Business Traveller Asia-Pacific flew in to Tokyo Haneda for a sneak peek of Cathay Pacific’s (CX) new first and business class lounge, which officially opened today.
Reception desk at the new CX lounge in Haneda Airport
At 990sqm it is one of the largest CX lounges outside Hong Kong and feels very spacious. Natural light streams through floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides of the lounge, creating a bright, airy environment with fantastic views over the airfield. The iconic Mount Fuji is also apparently visible on a clear day.
Large windows provide great views and let in lots of natural light
Located on Level 6 near Gate 114, it is the first CX lounge to have been designed in line with the airline’s brand refresh and reflects a sleeker look to previous offerings.
London-based creative firm Studioilse have combined warm natural materials, such as cherry wood walls and limestone floors, with a muted colour palette to create a welcoming feeling that’s “more like a living room than an airline lounge”.
Bespoke, designer furniture in the lounge area
Leather sofas, cosy armchairs, plush carpets and lots of plants certainly help to add a homey touch, while the overall look remains quite simple and clean.
Different areas defined by individual characteristics
Director of service delivery, James Ginns, said: “We strive to make our passengers feel special and airport lounges are a very important part of that. We invest significantly in them to make sure ours stand out from the crowd.”
One new concept is a free-standing area with counters in front of a TV screen that gives people the option to stretch their legs and has quite a social vibe.
Business travellers spend enough time sitting down
There is free wifi and ample power points throughout, which are neatly hidden in side tables. Do note that the plug sockets are local or USB, so adaptors may be required. Alternatively, a partially secluded area called The Bureau is equipped with four iMacs and printers.
The Bureau work station
Food and beverage has been an important focus of the new lounge. Cathay Pacific’s signature Noodle Bar, a popular feature of the Hong Kong lounge, has been reincarnated at Haneda with a new twist. Passengers can now prop themselves up on a bar stool and watch the chefs create delicious dan dan noodles or wonton noodle soup, among other offerings.
The Noodle Bar
Signature dan dan noodles with a side of sweet French toast
For lighter bites, such as wraps, quiches or salad, plus barista-made coffee and desserts, travellers can check out the newly introduced Food Bar and retire to their favourite part of the lounge.
If you just fancy a quiet drink, there is a bronzed bar located in the opposite corner where bartenders can whip up a range of freshly made cocktails or other beverages.
Enjoy one of CX signature cocktails at the bar
There are no shower facilities at the new CX lounge, however the washrooms are pleasant and equipped with hi-tech Toto toilets – quite a novelty for the uninitiated!
Overall, the lounge is warm, friendly and offers great views. A welcome space to relax before departing from Haneda Airport.
Parties eligible for access to the Haneda lounge include first and business class passengers, Silver or above Marco Polo Club members, and Sapphire or above oneworld members. The lounge is open from 7.30am-5pm.
The new design concept will be continued at a series of lounge openings in the coming months. Next to be revealed will be Manila in April, followed by Bangkok in May and finally the hotly anticipated Pier Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport.
The new CX lounge is the first at Haneda to be operated by a non-Japanese carrier. Speaking at the opening ceremony, James Ginns said: “The fact that we have chosen Haneda to launch our new lounge design shows the importance we place on the Japanese market.”
CX flies Hong Kong to Haneda twice a day, with a total of 129 flights per week to seven Japanese cities.