Cathay Pacific is about to open the biggest luxury lounge in its network, The Pier business class lounge at Hong Kong International Airport as it warns staff to tighten their belts in other areas.

The new lounge covers more than 3300 sqm - approximately 1000 sqm larger than the previous lounge with seating for 550 people - first and business class ticket holders or frequent flyers with qualifying guests.

Designed by Studioilse a London-based design studio, the lounge aims to emulate a Hong Kong street experience.

It stretches for over 100m in length and is divided into "fast" and "slow" lanes.

The Tea House, inside Cathay Pacific's The Pier lounge. Photo / Grant Bradley
The Tea House, inside Cathay Pacific's The Pier lounge. Photo / Grant Bradley

Entering the fast lane passengers get to the food hall, with a range of international food and a coffee cart before reaching The noodle bar provides a variety of signature noodles, including the popular Dan Dan and Wonton noodles.

The slow lane features extensive lounge seating with views out of the big glass windows and glazed timber screens.

Beyond the noodle house is tea house - a quiet space, with a wide selection of teas is served by a tea specialist.

There are fourteen shower suites and a relaxation room with subdued lighting, featuring low upholstered loungers and footstools.

The airline won't disclose what it spent on the refurbishment of the lounge but is part of a multi-million product upgrade.

Its opening comes as the airline calls on staff to reassess their spending, although it says the short-term drive to contain costs would not have any impact on big-ticket items that will "help to build a better, stronger airline".

Chief executive Ivan Chu told staff last month that business challenges had become more acute in recent weeks, with continued pressure on the cargo side being compounded by a weakening trend in the passenger business.

He said that while the passenger business had a reasonably good start to the year, things began to fall away after Chinese New Year, and "the revenue shock is beginning to be felt."

Cathay Pacific's new business class lounge.
Cathay Pacific's new business class lounge.

Last week the airline unveiled its new Airbus A350XWB aircraft which it will use on the Hong Kong-Auckland route from October 31.

Grant Bradley travelled to Hong Kong courtesy of Cathay Pacific