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From Wednesday August 9, the cosily chic space will welcome travellers daily from 5am to 8.50pm, and will no doubt also be popular with loungeworthy flyers on fellow Oneworld carriers Japan Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.
But the importance of this moment stretches far beyond the lounge itself. With Taipei back on the map, Cathay Pacific’s entire network of lounges across Asia has been restored (those which have not reopened, such as at Kuala Lumpur, won’t be coming back, and in the case of KL we can attest there’s no great loss when Oneworld partner Malaysia Airlines has its own excellent flagship lounges a short stroll away).
It’s a milestone from March 2020 when Cathay, in common with airlines around the world, begin closing its lounges in the face of the pandemic.
The airline’s flightpath for recovery sees passenger flight capacity climbing back to 70% of pe-pandemic levels by the end of this year, hitting the magic 100% mark sometime in 2024.
And 2024 will be a big year for Cathay, with the debut of its new Boeing 777 ‘Aria’ business class suites and the opening of Hong Kong Airport’s third runway and redeveloped Terminal 2 – which will not only help boost passenger numbers but free up space within Terminal 1 for new Cathay Pacific lounges as other airlines are relocated to T2.
But back to Taiwan, where Cathay’s Taipei lounge – which debuted in November 2015 with seating for 245 people – pleasingly shares the same contemporary design ethos of ‘understated residential luxury’ as its regional siblings in Bangkok, Tokyo Haneda and Manila.
Alongside the familiar Wonton Noodle soup and Dan Dan Noodles served at the signature Noodle Bar, guests were also treated to local dishes such as Taiwanese Beef Noodles, Minced Pork Rice and Bubble Milk Tea.
Entry to the Cathay Pacific Taipei lounge includes business class travellers, with Cathay Gold and Diamond tiers and their Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald equivalents, plus Cathay Silver members (but not their Oneworld Ruby equivalents).
As previously reported, Cathay will soon cut the ribbon on an all-new lounge at Shenzhen’s Shekou port terminal, where fast ferry services whisk travellers straight to the the SkyPier at Hong Kong Airport and onto their Cathay Pacific flight.
“This is our first seaside lounge, it’s like an airport lounge in the Shekou pier,” Lavinia Lau, Cathay Pacific’s Chief Customer and Commercial Officer, tells Executive Traveller.
“It will give people a taste of what they are going to have at Hong Kong airport,” she added, emphasising the Shekou ‘seaport’ lounge is part of Cathay’s push into the Greater Bay Area.
Further ahead is a fresh flagship lounge at Hong Kong following the late 2024 reopening of the airport’s Terminal 2; a flagship lounge for Beijing, designed to reflect the importance and status of the Chinese capital; and a modernisation of the Tokyo Narita lounge.