VANCOUVER — Cathay Pacific is using its noodle as a drawing point for its new VIP lounge, unveiled this week at Vancouver International Airport with expanded food facilities and vista views through walls of glass overlooking the runways and the North Shore’s mountains.
“The Noodle Bar is really our signature,” said Nick Hays, Vice-President, Canada for Cathay Pacific, of the new lounge which can handle 108 patrons and brings the noodle bar concept to Vancouver. The Noodle Bar offers a selection of soups including wonton noodle soup, dan dan soup and authentic Hong Kong-style fish ball noodle soup.
The YVR lounge is the fifth international lounge that Cathay Pacific has redesigned following a template similar to others at Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok, Taipei and Haneda Airport.
Located on the fourth level of the international terminal, the new Vancouver lounge is between departure gates D66 and D67, part of a larger initiative that Cathay Pacific has been undertaking to grab new business and hang onto its current customers. “This is part of a much larger rollout of lounges around our network,” said Hays, adding the airline faces a competitive market and is focused on reinventing itself both in the air and on the ground.
Hays said the carrier has placed new seats in every cabin for greater passenger comfort. “The ground service is equally important to us,” he added.
A ribbon cutting ceremony featuring taiko drummers saw Hays, Cathay Pacific’s General Manager Airports Vivian Lo, Consul, Chief of Economic & Commercial Office, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Vancouver Shanjun Yu, Principal Consultant, Communications (Vancouver), HKETO The Government of the Hong Kong SAR Catherine Yuen and Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Vancouver International Airport Authority Glenn McCoy officially open the new lounge.
The new lounge’s other features include The Pantry, cold and hot buffet table, two wine and spirits bars, fridge with refreshments, three iMac workstations with printers, a range of seating options and two shower rooms. There is complimentary WiFi throughout the lounge.
The lounge’s warm wood tones, bustling noodle bar in a restaurant setting and views of the runway and mountains all provide a compelling atmosphere. “Lounges can often be cold and sterile,” said Hays, something the new Cathay Pacific lounges attempt to dispel, balancing the necessary airport hustle and bustle while at the same time providing areas that are restful and relaxing for passengers.
The 510-square metre lounge, like the other template lounges, features a number of seating arrangements ranging from cluster groupings (both chairs and sofas) to oversized chairs with work tables and computer plug-ins and lounge chairs with foot-rests that can be used for relaxing and edged along the picture window. The facility is also divided using tatami windows to give it a more intimate atmosphere with the noodle bar off to one side and a large tatami window wall dividing the main lounge room. The lounge features both televisions and reading material.
Cherry wood walls and a limestone floor are framed with details such as glazed screens and green ceramic tiles in The Noodle Bar and bronze and brass highlights in the main entrance and bar area. An abundance of plants adds colour to the space and specially-sourced artwork reflects the local culture of B.C., giving the feel of a comfortable domestic space rather than a standard airline lounge.
The lounge is open to First and Business Class passengers travelling on Cathay Pacific and members of the Marco Polo Club with Silver Card status or above and members of all tiers who earn lounge passes and/or their friends and family, including oneworld members with Sapphire status or above. The Cathay Pacific Lounge is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., but adjusted seasonally according to Cathay Pacific’s flight schedule.