Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
- Splendid isolation in Bangkok - December 5, 2022
- Why the Wai beats the handshake every time in the COVID era - December 1, 2022
- Discovering the lure of luxury at Hong Kong Airport and with Le Clos at DXB - November 25, 2022
I’ve just opened my Interim Qatar Airways 817 Interim Bureau en route from Hong Kong to Doha. And what a superb Bureau it is, with fast-speed inflight wifi, superbly efficient and friendly staff, and (it has to be said) a nicely diverse wine list which in the interests of journalistic thoroughness, I have been studying intently.
After almost a year without international travel I’m off on my second extended trip in short succession, truly a flying Kiwi once more.
In fact I’ve been travelling so much in recent weeks that when I paid my twice-yearly visit to my Hong Kong dentist on Friday, I actually (and I swear this is true) went to fasten my seat belt as I sat in my chair. Given my aversion to dentists and what followed, I probably should have. “Cabin crew, doors to automatic and cross-check,” she instructed the hygienist (ok then, I made that bit up).
Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is a little more lively than since my last departure three and a half months ago – no doubt helped by the new ‘3+4’ hotel/home quarantine policy introduced earlier this month – but it’s got a long, long way to go before reaching anywhere near pre-pandemic levels.
I do believe, however, that 2023 is going to be HKIA’s year. I really hope so for the sake of Cissy Chang, Alby Tsang and all the fantastic commercial team here and for their colleagues across the whole airport estate who have suffered so much during this horrible and sustained period of darkness in Hong Kong’s history.
But being back home for a couple of weeks and then flying over Hong Kong tonight has reminded me of why I love the place so. It will be my home for a long time to come and in true Chinese spirit I intend to be patient. The ‘3+4’ regime has at least made my hectic late 2022 travel schedule a lot easier, a relief given a forthcoming flurry of events (TFWA World Exhibition, The Trinity Forum) and airport/retailer openings that I have committed to.
[Click on the YouTube icon to watch a quick video from Martin Moodie as he visits the Duty Zero by cdf store]
Having received my PCR test results from the on-site Prenetics testing centre at HKIA in an impressive 84 minutes, I was able to check-in early and, as always, check out the airport’s commercial offer. As I said, it’s a little, but not a lot, better than when I last flew. It was nice to see the Duty Zero by cdf store on Level 6 near Gate 5 now trading (it was closed last time through). Along with fellow anchor store retailer The Shilla Duty Free (trading as Beauty&You), which is operating out of a secondary store by Gate 35, the presence is still modest. Small but nonetheless important steps. Giant strides must wait a little longer.
[And now it’s time to visit Beauty&You, the only one of The Shilla Duty Free’s four stores at Hong Kong International Airport currently trading]
So must the openings of an impressive array of luxury stores, including the two duplex stores in waiting from Chanel and Louis Vuitton pictured below. Speaking of Louis Vuitton… no, that must wait for my next Blog. Doha here we come.