SNEAK PEEK: Cathay Pacific’s NEW Business Class Dining Concept

I’m a fan of Andrew from Expatriate Days’ photos on Instagram. Earlier this month he had the chance to fly Cathay Pacific’s inaugural flight from Hong Kong to Washington Dulles on the new A350-1000, which included Cathay Pacific’s new dining concept. I reached out to Andrew to see if he could provide his thoughts in a post, and he was kind enough to oblige.

Here they are below. While all opinions below are his, I largely agree with them (I’ve been more critical of Cathay Pacific’s current premium product than he has, though). Thanks, Andrew! 🙂

In September, I had to fly from New York to Shanghai for business. The month of September must be a busy travel time as premium cabins were largely full on more desirable carriers — JAL, ANA, Cathay, even the U.S. carriers.

I couldn’t book myself onto one of the five Cathay flights from New York, but luckily space was available on the flight from Washington D.C.— Cathay’s longest flight by distance — and on the inaugural flight no less. The flight nicely coincided with the dates that I needed to fly, so as a result, I got to experience two new Cathay features: the A350-1000 service (with updated reverse herringbone seating and inflight WiFi) along with the new Cathay business class dining concept.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-1000 Washington Dulles Airport

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EVA Air Releases New 787 Business Class Seat

EVA Air has long been quite a leader in their business class product. While the same can’t be said in their mediocre premium economy product and their latest 3-4-3 economy configuration, their longhaul fleet has reverse herringbone seats, and their soft product is also known to be outstanding, with generous amenities, good bedding, great food, and pajamas.

Well, EVA ordered a bunch of new 787-9s which have just arrived, and they seem to be changing their business class seats up on those aircraft. Here’s a quick walkthrough through the business class cabin on this aircraft (I really like this video):

EVA Air 787 Business Class Walkthrough

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RANKED: The Best Business Class Seats In 2018

Over the course of the last few years I’ve had the opportunity to sample every single “generic” business class configurations there is out there. By “generic”, I’m talking about business class configurations that a number of airlines operate. I’m effectively ruling out specific custom-made configurations, such as Qatar Airways’ QSuites, Delta’s Delta One Suites, British Airways’ weird forwards-backwards configuration, etc.. I plan to try those out soon, though for now I thought it would be fun to visit a quick ranking of all the business class seats we’ve flown here at YTHK so far.

(For the record, based on reviews alone I’d predict that QSuites and Delta One Suites are both ahead of the competition compared to all of the products listed below. Here’s to hoping I can prove that sometime soon.)

While economy class is all about the price these days, there is lots of competition for the best business class seat out there

I figured I’d start from the worst and move on up. So here we go:

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VIDEO + GIVEAWAY: Hong Kong Airlines’ New A350 (My New YouTube Channel)

As you know, last Tuesday I had the amazing opportunity to visit Hong Kong Airlines’ newest A350. While they currently fly four A350s, those were leased after Azul Airlines cancelled their orders, so they’re delivered with staggered seats. Meanwhile, Hong Kong Airlines’ newest Airbus A350s are delivered with reverse herringbone seats, and the economy class seat is also different from what they have on their current four.

Today I released a video detailing my time in Hong Kong Airlines’ newest A350, including footage of their new cabins, as well as interviews from CMO Mr. George Liu, General Manager of Inflight Services Mr. Chris Birt, as well as General Manager of Social Media Mr. Dennis Owen (he’s also a great friend, since I knew him back when he was working at Cathay Pacific). Thanks to them, as well as the airline’s Communications Manager Ms. Tracey Kwong, for making everything happen.

The video’s slightly thrown together, but I wholeheartedly recommend you at least skim through some of the exclusive footage of their new cabins, which I was lucky enough to get:

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Up Close With Hong Kong Airlines’ New A350 Economy Seat

Yesterday I got to tour one of Hong Kong Airlines’ own Airbus A350s. While Hong Kong Airlines currently already flies four A350s, they were meant to be delivered to Azul, so feature a different onboard product. So the rest of Hong Kong’s 21 A350s from hereon out will be delivered with a different product to the one on the first four.

The biggest hype was surrounding the business class product, so yesterday I gave an extensive tour of the airline’s new business class product. However, I realised that the economy class product was also different from what the airline offers on their other A350s, so I thought I’d be bereft in my duty not to check them out as well.

Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A350 Economy Cabin

So, how is Hong Kong Airlines’ newest A350 economy class product?

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Hong Kong Airlines’ NEW A350 Business Class

Today I had the chance to have a look at Hong Kong Airlines’ new A350 business class product. I’ve flown Hong Kong Airlines’ A330 with their staggered business class configuration, as well as their A330 with their ex-Singapore Airlines business class configuration. Hong Kong Airlines has a ton of different business class configurations, and this is the one that they’ve been planning to introduce on all of their future longhaul aircraft since 2016.

Reverse herringbone seats are some of my favourite seats in the industry – I actually prefer them to Apex Suites due to the extra storage space. I’m glad to say that Hong Kong Airlines’ newest A350s have a very nice iteration of reverse herringbone seats.

Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A350 Business Class 

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QSuites Coming To Hong Kong In October

I’ve long been a fan of Qatar Airways’ onboard product. Qatar Airways’ soft product is awesome, featuring dine-on-demand and consistently excellent service, though the main highlight has usually been the onboard product. Back when I flew them in 2017 they were flying their 787s between Hong Kong and Doha, and I had an awesome flight (I also connected to Munich with their LATAM-leased A350s, which I enjoyed as well).

Qatar Airways Boeing 777 Doha Airport

For years Qatar Airways operated their 787 between Doha and Hong Kong. However, as of October 2017 they moved both of their frequencies to 777s featuring a 2-2-2 configuration in business class. Since their 787s featured reverse herringbone seats, this was largely an unwelcome change.

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Air New Zealand Will Lease EVA Air 777 On Los Angeles Route

EVA Air is competitive in all of their airline cabins. While their cabin colour tones are bland and their premium economy experience can be hit-or-miss (as writer Ethan realised), they have reverse herringbone seats in business class on their 777s (which they fly on a majority of their longhaul flights now that they’ve retired all of their 747s), which I consider to be one of the world’s business class hard products. In addition to that, they have a plush premium economy seat, though they do have a 3-4-3 configuration in economy class on the 777, which has sadly become the industry standard.

EVA Air Boeing 777 Business Class Cabin

All of EVA Air’s US routes are now flown with 777s, though as of this October, it won’t only be out of Taipei where you’ll get to fly an EVA Air plane to the U.S. on a longhaul flight.

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BOOK NOW: Cheap Cathay Pacific Fares From Mainland China to New York City

As part of Cathay Pacific’s latest push into the mainland Chinese market, they are now offering a series of cheap fares for travel between Beijing or Shanghai to New York. While this doesn’t really sit well with Cathay’s improved yields, I’m not exactly complaining.

Cathay Pacific’s 777 business class, which you’ll get on a majority of flights from Hong Kong to the U.S. – not the world’s best experience, though a very, good seat

These fares are for travel during December of this year. While dates tend to vary, I recommend heading over to Cathay’s website where you’ll find a published “matrix” of fare information with information about the cheapest days to fly. These fares generally tend to pop up with a departure date from early December onwards and a return date from after the 23rd of December, although it’s best to check dates that you will be travelling on.

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Finnair’s Nordic Sky WiFi

I flew Finnair (yes, for the third year in a row) to Europe. While I won’t be reviewing my flights, I’ll be writing some posts about my experiences. On my flights, I had the chance to check out their Nordic Sky portal on both my long-haul flight from Bangkok to Helsinki and my regional connection from Helsinki to Prague. The portal was redesigned last year to make it more user-friendly, which rolled out along with new restrictions on WiFi usage on oneworld elite and Business Class passengers. With that in mind, I thought I’d review the internet service and the WiFi portal.

IMG_0056Finnair Airbus A350 Business Class Wifi 

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