As part of its recent demonstration tour, Northern Pacific Airways took its Boeing 757 on its first visit to its future home in Anchorage, Alaska. The long-term plan is to set Alaska up as the next Iceland-like stopover point, for flyers heading from the US to Asia. As such, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport could be handling far more passengers than it is currently used to, and facilitating a new connection experience for long haul travelers.
To make the connection a pleasant experience, Northern Pacific has been investing heavily in the facilities at Anchorage. Most notably, it plans to open a brand-new lounge area for its guests to relax in while they await their next flight. The ongoing $6 million investment in the airport promises a revitalized passenger experience, even including a mini IMAX theater!
The recent tour with the 757 gave us the first look at this new facility – let’s see what we can expect.
The Navigator Lounge
Spanning some 2,500 square feet, the Navigator Lounge is still a bit bare bones at present, but we can start to get an idea of the aesthetic that’s being strived for here. On arrival at the lounge, the doors have already been branded with the Navigators Lounge logo, incorporating that bright blue already seen on the winglets of the 757.
In keeping with its elegant monochrome cabin interiors, the lounge is certainly channeling some of that dark opulence in the main color palette. Lifting the look are swathes of glamorous gold and a lighter-colored floor. Adorning one wall is the familiar geometric wave seen on the fuselage of the airline’s planes.
Although the lounge is yet to be furnished, we can see there will be a bar, food section, and separate area for hot and cold drinks. Northern Pacific advises that it has already applied for its alcohol license for the premises and that food will be served on a buffet basis.
Photo: Northern Pacific Airways
The large space is fit to accommodate up to 146 guests, providing a variety of seating options for passengers. These will include bistro-style dining areas, relaxed bar seating, and a separate conference room with all the modern conveniences. WiFi will be available throughout, and charging will be provided with ample power outlets.
A mini IMAX
How many airport lounges have their own movie theater? Possibly more than you think – Singapore Changi has two 24-hour movie theaters, Incheon has one, and Portland has a 17-seat micro movie space. But only one other that we can find has gone for the IMAX experience – Hong Kong International.
Photo: Northern Pacific Airways
Nevertheless, Anchorage’s mini-IMAX is a one-of-a-kind, not just because of its intimate 50-seat setting and huge screen. Also unique is the content it will be showing, which Northern Pacific suggests will be inspirational showcases of everything Alaska, tempting travelers to experience the stopover on their next trip through the state.
There’s limited work left to do on the airport lounge, with the fixtures, fittings, and final touches awaiting completion. It’s anticipated to be ready by Spring 2023, to coincide with the airline’s projected launch of its Asia-Anchorage-USA services.