Cathay Pacific to make a big move in New York and open the first-ever JFK lounge – The Points Guy

Cathay Pacific is making big moves at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

The Hong Kong-based airline announced this week that it will become one of the inaugural anchor tenants of the airport’s new Terminal 6.

The move to Terminal 6, which is scheduled to open in early 2026, will mark a major change for Cathay, which now operates out of Terminal 8.

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JFK MILLENNIUM PARTNERS

Terminal 8 is considered the hub of the Oneworld alliance at JFK. The main tenant is American Airlines (a founding member of the Oneworld airline alliance), and most other Oneworld airlines serving JFK have relocated their operations there following a recent modernization and expansion project completed by American and the airport authority in 2022. (Cathay moved from Terminal 7 to Terminal 8 in January 2017.)

Cathay’s move to Terminal 6 is largely driven by the fact that the airline will be able to open its own lounge at JFK to serve its three daily flights to the airport. The airline did not provide details on the space, saying only that it will span nearly 10,000 square feet. The JFK lounge will become Cathay’s second U.S. airport lounge, following the one at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

Many top international airlines like to control the entire premium passenger experience from end to end, and opening a lounge at a station is a great way for the carrier to do that. Additionally, Cathay currently has to compensate American for the flyers it sends out to the Soho, Greenwich, and Admirals Club lounges in Terminal 8, which is likely quite expensive given all the lounge-eligible travelers flying Cathay out of New York.

Seat update: We got a glimpse of Cathay Pacific’s sleek new premium economy cabin

“It has long been our ambition to offer our customers a unique Cathay Pacific airport experience at JFK, and we are thrilled to partner with JFK Millennium Partners to make this dream a reality,” said Chris van den Hooven, Cathay Pacific’s senior vice president of the Americas, in a statement regarding the move.

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PORT AUTHORITY

In addition to Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa Group, Aer Lingus and JetBlue have all shared plans to operate flights from Terminal 6.

The new Terminal 6 is part of the $19 billion JFK transformation project led by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the government agency responsible for managing the airport. The transformation includes two brand new terminals which will open in 2026.

Terminal 6 is the smaller of the two projects. When completed, the $4.2 billion project will span 1.2 million square feet and feature 10 new gates, nine of which will accommodate wide-body aircraft. The new terminal will connect airside to the adjacent Terminal 5, home to JetBlue Airways’ JFK hub.

The other project is the construction of the new $9.5 billion Terminal One, which will become one of JFK’s flagship international terminals.

PORT AUTHORITY

JFK’s new Terminal 1 will integrate the current and former sites of Terminals 1, 2 and 3 into a massive 2.4 million-square-foot international terminal that will anchor the south side of the airport.

The first major stage, which includes the new arrivals and departures hall and the first set of 14 new gates, is expected to open in 2026. When fully completed in 2030, the new Terminal One will include 23 gates, a redesigned recording. and renovated arrival areas.

“New York JFK is a key location for our global lounge strategy. We are extremely excited about the opportunity to bring Cathay Pacific’s iconic lounge experience to our premium customers at this important port in our network. This new lounge will include a number of exciting developments that will place it at the forefront of our lounge proposition, and we look forward to sharing more details with our customers in due course,” Vivian Lo, Cathay Pacific’s general manager of customer experience, said in a statement.

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