Qantas Won’t Reopen Its Hong Kong Lounge Post COVID

News has emerged that Australian flag carrier Qantas will not be reopening its lounge at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) once it resumes scheduled services in February 2022. The airline says that while it expects demand to remain high, it has become difficult to justify maintaining its own facilities at HKG. Instead, Qantas has reached an agreement with Cathay Pacific for access to the carrier’s premium lounges.

Qantas B7879
Qantas international network may soon be returning – minus one Hong Kong lounge. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Reciprocal lounge access for alliance partners

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce confirmed the closure to Executive Traveler on Thursday. The Chief Executive stated that,

“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.”

The lounge access would be reciprocal, with fellow oneworld member Cathay Pacific being able to use Qantas’ lounges in Australia. Joyce further added that Qantas had looked at everything it would need in each individual market when planning its post-pandemic recovery strategy.

The new set-up will mean that Qantas business class and top-tier Gold and Platinum loyalty program members traveling through Hong Kong will have access to Cathay’s business and first class lounges.

Qantas Won’t Reopen Its Hong Kong Lounge Post COVID
While Qantas’ lounge in Hong Kong will close, the airline says it will reopen its facilities in other key airports. Photo: Qantas

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One lounge currently in operation

Cathay currently has three lounges at HKG. The Wing, which has a first class and a business class section. Both sections have been fully reopened. However, the latter was recently turned into a transit-passenger exclusive lounge.

Both sections of the Pier lounge, along with the Deck lounge, remain temporarily closed after Cathay shuttered all its lounges in March 2020. Meanwhile, Cathay’s lounge known as the Bridge at Hong Kong’s Terminal One will be permanently closed, the airline confirmed earlier this week.

Qantas also closed all of its lounges as a result of the global shutdown of commercial aviation in spring last year. However, lounges at destinations such as Los Angeles, Singapore, and London, are all set to reopen once the airline begins to reboot its international network.

Currently, flights to overseas ‘COVID-safe’ destinations are planned for December 2021. These will most likely include places such as Fiji, Singapore, the US, Japan, the UK, and Canada.

Qantas Won’t Reopen Its Hong Kong Lounge Post COVID
Qantas’ premium travelers and top-tier loyalty members will have access to Cathay Pacific’s lounges instead. Photo: Cathay Pacific

Hong Kong remains important to Qantas

While there is some turbulence not only from the lingering impact of the pandemic but also from political uncertainty in the Asian financial hub, Joyce believes Hong Kong will remain an important part of his airline’s international strategy.

“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,” Joyce told Executive Traveler.

Simple Flying has sought Qantas for a direct comment but was yet to receive a response at the time of publication.