Cathay Pacific Will Fly A350s To Newark

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Since Cathay Pacific introduced the A350 into their fleet in mid-2016, their A350 routemap has been growing at a really fast rate. I had the chance to fly the A350 in business class from Taipei to Hong Kong last year, and thought the hard product excelled. It’s a step up from their 777 and A330 business class product, and is currently my favourite business class hard product in the world, though admittedly my sample size is limited.

a large white airplane at an airportCathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Hong Kong Airport

I’ve also heard great things about their premium economy and economy product, which I will be seeking opportunities to try in the near future.

Cathay Pacific has currently been flying their A350 to several destinations in Europe, though the only destination that they’ve been flying the A350 to in North America as of now is Vancouver. Fortunately that’s about to change, as Cathay Pacific seems to have loaded their A350 into the schedule for flights between Hong Kong and Newark as of October 29th, 2017. The route is currently operated by a Boeing 777, so most upgrades to the cabin product are rather minor.

The routes affected are:

Cathay Pacific 890 Hong Kong to Newark dep 17:45 arr 21:35
Cathay Pacific 899 Newark to Hong Kong dep 01:45 arr 05:30

Jason frequents the Hong Kong to Newark route, so he’s currently really excited about the changes, and will be able to give us full reviews of Cathay Pacific’s A350 business, premium economy and economy products.

Cathay Pacific’s A350 features a reverse herringbone business class product, with marginally more bed space, storage and better padding compared to their 777 business class product.

IMG_0593Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class

Their premium economy seats are laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration similarly to the 777, though these seats seem marginally more comfortable, and have 40″ of seat pitch and legrests at every seat (Cathay Pacific’s 777s will eventually have 40″ seat pitch and legrests at every seat, though the retrofit progress is currently slow).

IMG_0574Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Premium Economy Class

Their economy class product seems comfortable, and luckily Cathay’s A350 economy seats aren’t being subjected to 3-4-3 treatment, which means that this route will soon be one of the most comfortable ways to get from Hong Kong to the U.S. in economy (as United, American and Cathay Pacific all operate 777-300ERs between Hong Kong and the U.S., and all of them will eventually have 3-4-3 configurations).

IMG_0577Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Economy Class

The best improvement is probably that Cathay Pacific’s A350s feature WiFi, and it’s also charged by time instead of by data usage. Cathay Pacific typically charges US$19.95 for WiFi on flights longer than six hours, which is a great way to maximise productivity, especially on a 16-hour flight. It’s worth noting that this will be Cathay Pacific’s longest A350 route, which makes WiFi especially useful.

Bottom Line

I’m really excited that Cathay Pacific is introducing A350s between Hong Kong and the U.S., as those are some of the longest flights in Cathay Pacific’s route network. While Cathay Pacific’s A350 hard product is marginally better than their hard product on the 777 and A330, the most exciting addition has to be WiFi, which makes Cathay Pacific level with American and United in terms of onboard connectivity between Hong Kong and the U.S..

Hopefully I get to try this route soon, and for now I’m excited that Jason gets to fly between Hong Kong and Newark multiple times on the A350.

1 comment

  1. If CX can fly the A350 to Vancouver, San Francisco, and Newark, why can’t they introduce the A350 to Toronto? I see the 777 as a significantly inferior aircraft to the A350 and I have to avoid it whenever possible. Without the A350 service to Toronto I have to resort to BA and Finnair through Heathrow and Helsinki in order to get their excellent A350, which is significantly more comfortable in all classes than the CX 777 (even BA 787 is significantly more comfortable than CX 777 despite the slightly narrower seat), and all of this costs about the same as what a direct flight from Toronto to HK would have been; furthermore CX website does not allow booking YYZ-HKG while connecting through CX856/855 in YVR and booking YYZ-YVR and YVR-HKG separately costs much more than BA/AY through LHR and HEL. It’s just infuriating that a world class airline is treating some customers (YVR, SFO, EWR) with respect while treating others (YYZ) like a dump by offering them significantly inferior service. I read on that the A350 on HKG-EWR uses at least 33 tonnes less fuel than the 77W and can climb directly to 37,000 ft after takeoff (the 777 can only go to 29,000 for the first 4 hours of flight) and that the A350 can carry slightly more payload than the 77W on HKG-EWR.

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