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Hong Kong Airport changes mean easier transit

Green and orange “travel zone” separations at the Hong Kong airport are eliminated

Travelers should soon be able to access any lounge once the walls between designated “mainland” and “transit” zones come down. 

After China reopened to Hong Kong and the rest of the world on Sunday, January 8, the airport in Hong Kong will no longer be divided into two distinct zones depending on whether a traveler is going to mainland China or is in transit.

In order to prevent Covid cross-infection among incoming passengers, the once-bustling hub was divided into green and orange travel zones in November 2021. 

Physical barriers were erected at Gate 24 – about a third of the way along Terminal 1’s concourse – serving as the dividing line for passengers as well as airport and airline staff.

The “green zone” from Gates 1 through 24 was designated for passengers and aircraft headed towards the mainland, while the “orange zone” from Gates 25 through 71 was designated for passengers and planes headed elsewhere.

But this weekend, such divisions between the zones will be removed.

 According to a spokesperson for the Airport Authority Hong Kong, “the implementation of designated zones at Hong Kong International Airport for flights from/to different places will be revoked accordingly” 

Following the announcement by the Hong Kong SAR Government that normal travel with Mainland China will resume on January 8. 

As a result of the decision, Cathay Pacific will also be able to reclaim full access to its Hong Kong lounges, which have been divided since November 2021 in accordance with the airport’s own structure.  

The Wing First for travelers departing Hong Kong or flying to mainland China and The Pier Business for those in transit. 

In the past, first-class passengers as well as those with Cathay Diamond status or its Oneworld Emerald counterpart would have access to The Wing First and its long-closed twin The Pier First. 

For business class passengers and those with Cathay Gold status or its Oneworld Sapphire equivalent, The Pier Business, along with the now-closed The Wing Business and The Deck, was the preferred option. 

As far as when it anticipates reopening its final three lounges at the Hong Kong airport, Cathay Pacific has been contacted for comment on the changes to lounge access.

The airline intends to operate 61 round-trip flights per week between Hong Kong and 13 locations on the Chinese mainland in the upcoming week, more than doubling its flights into that region. 

By March 2023, it hopes to operate more than 100 round-trip flights weekly.

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