Once home to seven Cathay Pacific lounges, catering to almost 2,100 passengers at any one time, the airline's Hong Kong hub is being scaled back to a single lounge – albeit a first class one.
Executive Traveller understands that all lounge-worthy passengers on the handful of Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights will be directed to The Wing First Class, as the doors on the adjacent two-storey The Wing Business Class lounge are locked for what could be months on end.
Cathay began its Hong Kong lounge closures in mid-February with The Pier First Class, The Bridge and The Deck, with The Pier Business Class following in late March as the airline rolled out a sweeping 96% cut in passenger capacity.
This saw its network pared back to "a skeleton schedule" of only 15 destinations, all served by no more than three flights per week.
Approached for comment, a Cathay Pacific spokesperson would say only that "As a result of the substantial reduction in flight capacity, we are making some short term adjustments to our lounge capacity based on passenger volume and operational requirements."
"In addition to the announced closure of The Deck, The Bridge and The Pier First Class and Business Class lounges at Hong Kong International Airport, there could be some other temporary changes depending on the latest situation as well."
It's not known if the private cabana suites at The Wing First Class will remain open to offer passengers a relaxing respite from the harsh reality of travel in the COVID-19 era.
With Hong Kong still closed to visitors and banning transit passengers, and even arriving citizens subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period, Cathay Pacific has recently seen days where it carried less than 240 passengers across a 24-hour period – sufficient to fit onto the airline's smallest Airbus A330 jet, with a few seats to spare.
Cathay Pacific has been especially hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which arrived on top of reduced passenger numbers owing to political protests and civil unrest in Hong Kong.
The Oneworld member's extensive web of international routes are funnelled through Hong Kong, while Cathay Pacific and its regional arm Cathay Dragon also maintained an extensive network of 368 flights per week to 23 destinations across mainland China.
Cathay Pacific CEO Augustus Tang noted earlier this month that "a timeline for a recovery in our customer demand still remains impossible to predict."