QANTAS: Hong Kong Airport Lounge to re-open shock!
I lovvvvved this lounge, first visiting it in September after its opening in April 2014, on my way to India, so I am overjoyed to welcome the report in ET that the lounge is in the process of reopening.
Around two and a half years ago in August 2020, close to the beginning of the pandemic period, Qantas closed its popular and well-loved Hong Kong Airport lounge for business class passengers and frequent flyers.
Apparently, staff are being recruited, and previous lounge highlights including the char siu barbecued pork bar and hum cha trolley are to be re-introduced. However, expect a furniture change and possible new look, since the previous lounge furniture have reportedly returned to Australia.
An announcement is expected this week on Wednesday 15 February, at an event at the Sydney International First lounge.
The question is why Alan Joyce decided to re-open the Hong Kong lounge when he was so adamant about its closure and the use by Qantas customers of Cathay Pacific’s facilities. Looks like since Qantas Hong Kong’s service resumed at the end of January 2023, the airline has worked out it would be cheaper to re-open its lounge rather than pay Cathay, or Plaza Premium for the use of their lounges. Or, maybe HK Airport has reduced it leasing fees on the space to get the facility moving again
I don’t have any plans to return to Hong Kong anytime soon. Given the removal of many of the freedoms we associate with democracy and the pervasiveness of video surveillance on the island, I doubt that I will do more than transit through the airport, so it will be great to have somewhere I love to spend that time.
Qantas will also be able to tout the lounge to its OneWorld partners such as AirFrance/KLM and Finair to use the lounge as they did pre-pandemic. That might also help with the economics. Also, the benefit of having Cathay lounges of such high quality in the airport also acts as a bit of assurance on lounge quality. Qantas needs to be competitive.
That function on Wednesday might also see the announcement of the long-delayed refurbishment of Sydney’s rather dowdy International Business lounge. Let’s hope the Sydney Domestic Business Lounge also gets a long-overdue makeover.