Cathay Pacific reconsidering Sydney, Melbourne airport lounges

By David Flynn, February 21 2017
Cathay Pacific reconsidering Sydney, Melbourne airport lounges

Cathay Pacific is rethinking how its own lounges fit into Australia's two major airports of Sydney and Melbourne, which between them host seven daily flights to Hong Kong – with four of those on the airline's passenger-packing Boeing 777-300ER flagship.

The Oneworld member already operates a lounge at Melbourne's international terminal but it's a rather compact and dated affair, and with the lease on that space expiring in the second half of this year it's been tipped that Cathay Pacific may pull down the shutters and direct business class travellers and eligible Marco Polo Club frequent flyers to the nearby Qantas international business lounge.

However, the lounge's fate is yet to be decided – and Nelson Chin, Cathay Pacific's Regional General Manager for South West Pacific, feels there's a case to be made for a new lounge embracing the contemporary design of its counterparts in Hong Kong and London.

Melbourne gets a make-over?

"I believe there is a lot of value in having our own lounge, which is uniquely Cathay," Chin told Australian Business Traveller, "so we are going through an evaluation stage (of Melbourne). The lease for that lounge will end, but there are options."

"We'll take a good look at what is available... there are (spaces) that might not be available today but might be available in the future," Chin added. "If we did have to move to a new location that could affect our decision about how much we improve the current lounge before we do make any major step forward."

Chin also confirmed that if Cathay was to keep a lounge in Melbourne "the intention certainly is" to have it be one of the airline's new-look lounges based on the template of designer Ilse Crawford.

"But everything is up in the air... we are going through the phase right now of trying to get more clarity in terms of what is available should we move to a new lounge," he said, with a decision expected by mid-year.

An all-new Cathay Pacific lounge for Sydney?

Opening a lounge in Sydney would be an even bigger step for Cathay Pacific, "and I would like to see our own lounge... but at the end of the day, as with all things there needs to be the business case there," Chin admitted.

"It really depends on infrastructure at the airport – is there a good enough spot for us to have our own lounge and where we can have a point of differentiation, is the lounge in proximity to the bays we use? At the end of the day I'm eager to hear what they've got to offer in terms of space allocation."

"It certainly makes sense to have a good look at it, as long as the right space is available we will give it every opportunity to have our own lounge."


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Oct 2016

Total posts 128

I can't believe that they would even consider using the Qantas dungeon before it has had a major revamp


14 Jun 2013

Total posts 360

And what would you suggest? That CX should extend their lease for several more years just to cover themselves until Qantas upgrades the business lounge? What's your solution, Notso?

05 May 2016

Total posts 624

At least OWE have the excellent option of the QF FLounge provided its open at that time of day.

With the prospect of Virgin flights starting flying MEL-HKG one would think they would want to do all they could within reason to keep customers flying Cathay Pacific especially when they currently have the majority of flights on this route.

Hopefully they can find a better location. The QF J lounge could do with a better location too. Hopefully whenever there are next major renovations to MEL Int some consideration is given to having more good lounge spaces.

05 May 2016

Total posts 624

Obviously CX have got the best lounge in HKG but having a lounge option at each end is desirable. With increased competition the pressure will be on to protect market share/profits as much as possible.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 362

I think most would welcome an additional J lounge option for OW carriers in Sydney.

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 38

Oh yes please - I would use the Cathay lounge in Sydney over QANTAS every time - the QANTAS holding pen (oops I mean 'lounge') is just appalling these days.

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 262

If CX got a space with windows in Melbourne it would have to seriously control access - QF passengers would choose it every time! Right now, no such problem :)

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