Executive Traveller exclusive
Qantas' Hong Kong airport lounge will remain permanently closed after the airline resumes flying to the Asian financial hub in February 2022.
While the airline believes there will still be "significant demand" for travel between Australia and Hong Kong, it's become harder to justify having its own lounge in an airport well served by the upscale lounges of Oneworld partner Cathay Pacific, including dedicated facilities for first and business class passengers.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce confirmed the closure of its Hong Kong lounge to Executive Traveller this morning.
"All of our other international lounges will be reopened, but in Hong Kong we've come to a relationship with Cathay to use their premium lounges there."
Joyce said the airline had "looked at everything that we needed in individual markets" in planning its post-pandemic recovery, "and Cathay have some amazing lounges in Hong Kong, so we've worked with them to get access to their lounges, and of course they have access to our lounges here, and we think that's the best arrangement."
Qantas business class travellers and top-tier Gold and Platinum-grade frequent flyers visiting Hong Kong will still be able to visit the business and first class lounges of fellow Oneworld airline Cathay Pacific.
These will include the first class and business class sections of The Wing and The Pier, along with The Deck, which is adjacent to the Qantas Hong Kong lounge – although, as reported earlier this week, Cathay has shuttered The Bridge lounge for good.
It's expected that Qantas Club members would also gain access to a nominated Cathay Pacific lounge under revised agreements.
Joyce added that "even with the political changes in Hong Kong, it will be a very important part of our network going forward, and there will still be significant demand... with Hong Kong being the gateway to the rest of China for us and Cathay, and we think that will continue."
Qantas pulled down the shutters on all of its international lounges in March 2020 – but while lounges at key destinations such as Singapore, Los Angeles and London will reopen as international flights resume from December 2021, the elegant Hong Kong lounge – first opened in April 2014 to "deliver a new standard of luxury for customers travelling through Hong Kong" – won't return.
With a design which embraced and reflected Hong Kong, the 300-passenger lounge primarily catered for Qantas' evening flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane but was also used as a contract lounge by a number of other airlines including Finnair and Air France.
Its hallmark feature was a BBQ bar serving local delights such as char siu Chinse barbecued pork, while a yum cha trolley rattled around the main dining area.
Guests in the evening could choose between several freshly-prepared dishes or enjoy a cocktail from the bar.
In the mood to reminisce? Look back at the Qantas Hong Kong lounge with our review from when it first opened in April 2014.
ET readers: what will you miss about the Qantas Hong Kong lounge, and which Cathay Pacific lounge will be your new go-to?