Cathay Pacific closes The Pier lounge at Hong Kong (again)

Cathay pulls down the shutters on its flagship business class lounge in the wake of drastic cuts to worldwide flights.

By David Flynn, January 7 2022
Cathay Pacific closes The Pier lounge at Hong Kong (again)
Executive Traveller exclusive

Cathay Pacific has once again locked the doors of The Pier Business lounge at Hong Kong, less than eight weeks after the flagship space was reopened as a dedicated transit lounge.

This follows sweeping flight bans and aircrew quarantine measures imposed by the Hong Kong government to prevent a looming "fifth wave" of Covid-19.

In an email distributed to travel agents and obtained by Executive Traveller, Cathay Pacific advises that "in light of the increasing number of Omicron cases emerging in many of our major markets and as a precautionary measure to reduce the risk of exposure for our employees and the Hong Kong community, we are temporarily closing The Pier, Business lounge at Hong Kong International Airport until further notice."

Cathay Pacific has closed The Pier Business lounge as HK travel restrictions bite.
Cathay Pacific has closed The Pier Business lounge as HK travel restrictions bite.

"Affected passengers will be provided access to a third-party lounge at Hong Kong International Airport," the airline says.

Cathay has since advised this will be the Plaza Premium Lounge near Gate 60, which is located in the same 'orange zone' as The Pier for all connecting flights and transit passengers, while the 'green zone' (at Gates 1 though 24) remains exclusively for flights to the Chinese mainland, with those travellers able to access The Wing First lounge.

Situated on the terminal's upper level The Plaza Premium Lounge is open from 8am to 11.30pm; outside of those hours, travellers will be accommodated at the Plaza Premium Lounge near gate 35.

The Plaza Premium Lounge neat Gate 60 will be the new go-to for Cathay's transit passengers.
The Plaza Premium Lounge neat Gate 60 will be the new go-to for Cathay's transit passengers.

"Eligible passengers transiting through Hong Kong from destinations other than the Chinese Mainland are invited to relax and unwind at the lounge," Cathay says.

"Eligible passengers starting their journey from Hong Kong or transiting through Hong Kong from the Chinese Mainland will be provided access to The Wing, First."

Eight countries – including Australia, the USA and the UK, Canada, France, India and Pakistan – have been hit by a 14-day ban on all flights into Hong Kong, leading Cathay Pacific to cancel all flights from those nations.

Ongoing stringent quarantine measures have also crippled demand for travel to the once teeming Asian metropolis.

In a statement supplied to Executive Traveller, Cathay Pacific said the airline would “operate at about 2% of its pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity in January, following the latest aircrew quarantine measures imposed by the Hong Kong SAR Government in view of the rising Omicron cases around the world.”

The email to travel agents paints an even gloomier picture, saying the travel bans and quarantine measures "continue to impact our flight schedule and, consequently, will further reduce our passenger flights to and from Hong Kong from now until tentatively the end of March 2022."

JA
JA

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Jul 2013

Total posts 15

David any idea whether the showers in the pier will be open? 

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 663

Not really a draw card to fly CX next year from plats and higher unless the Pier First lounge is there and open for those longer transits.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 663

The news just gets more grim for CX as each week passes. I really hope they pull through. Major loss for OW if they do.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 118

I know all airlines have been feeling the strain. But how long can a really major world airline like venerable CX limp on like this? But it's only a 'temporary' lounge closure, I hear you say. I think it's far more than that. What we're really seeing is death by a thousand cuts. Not gonna go all political on this, but with the continuing flight of business from HK to SIN; and with HK now just another Chinese city; and with those mainland gov't-backed behemoth airlines circling; and with covid all around and shutting down major $$$$ routes, how long can CX stay in business (at least in its current form)?? They already got a major HK govt bailout last year, and the tide still hasn't turned for them. It used to be their pax mix was quite healthy: locals, expat business executives, tourists, and connecting pax. But the first two categories have been savagely reduced (even before covid!) And the last two categories are wiped out to virtually zero with no guarantee of return after covid. CX has much bigger issues than a mere lounge closure.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 512

Certainly the China market with HK as access point is pretty much bricked up with no foreseeable thaw date for international movement. 

HK as a transit hub is not going to be made any easier or more comfortable considering flight schedules are likely to be decimated and hence pax may be in transit area (and lounges if they are open and accessible) for hours

I am surprised that they have as little as 2% pax traffic (presumably the cut to 2% precovid flight schedule) , but as I would have expected 10-20% pax numbers, most of them likely business or premium customers and certainly these are the ones they shouldn’t alienate 

01 Oct 2021

Total posts 10

China seems determined to drive CX's international operations into the ground.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Jun 2018

Total posts 14

So what is the status of FF reward flights with CX that were booked using Qantas points? My scheduled flights are for Paris in April, but I suspect there are many more who are facing this issue imminently.


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