In addition to our scoop on the debut of Cathay Pacific's business class seats between Sydney and Hong Kong on the new Airbus A330, Australian Business Traveller now has details of the first trans-Pacific services to North America for the equally-equipped Boeing 777-300ER (courtesy of airlineroute.net).
Passengers between Hong Kong and New York's JFK will score the seats on CX830/831 from May 2nd and CX840/841 from June 1st, and on the Hong Kong-Vancouver-New York service (CX889/888) from May 1st. The upgraded seats are also tipped to appear on the 777-300ER which will Cathay's new Hong Kong-Chicago direct flight (CX806/807) on September 1st.
So you’re a frequent flyer between Sydney and Hong Kong, and eager to try Cathay Pacific’s impressive new business class seats?
Australian Business Traveller sat down with Cathay Pacific to bring you the good oil on which flights will feature the factory-fresh Airbus A330 sporting the much-improved cabin.
“We’re very fortunate that Sydney is the first port worldwide to get the new product, even ahead of the US” smiles Derek Morris, Cathay Pacific’s Sales & Marketing Manager for Australia.
That first flight will be CX101 from Hong Kong on Tuesday March 1st, with Sydneysiders getting their chance to sample the seats on the 3.40pm CX100 service when it heads back north on the following day, Wednesday March 2nd.
The shiny new A330 will continue on CX100/101 every day of the week except Monday out of Hong Kong and Tuesday out of Sydney.
Those days, and the remaining CX110/111, CX162/161 and CX138/139 will continue to the older A330s with the cubicle-style business class seating until June 6th, when it’s planned that every CX100/101 flight will sport the new seats (shown below).
From June 1st to the end of July, three CX110/111 flights per week will have the new business class product, going to daily from August 1st.
CX162/161 scores the new seats on two flights per week from June 1st, then up to four flights per week from August 1st.
“There will be mixed product over this period” Morris told Australian Business Traveller. “The keen travellers, the really frequent flyers, will pick their flights based on the seats. Some will quite understandably be eager to try the new product, and there will also be some devotees of the existing product. The great thing is that by August, 18 of our 28 flights weekly flights between Sydney and Hong Kong will have the new product.”
[Want to see what the fuss is all about? Browse our photo-gallery of the new seats here.]
However Morris says it probably won’t be until mid-2012 that all Sydney-Hong Kong flights will have the new business class. Then the rest of Australia will get their turn.
"Lucky I'm not flying out of Melbourne, or this cushy seat with its own iPhone/iPad connectivity would still be 18 months away..."
“As Sydney goes to daily we’ll start to see Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide get the new product as deliveries of new aircraft and refits of current aircraft take effect” Morris predicts.
“That we get the product so early means we hit critical mass but there will be a longer wait for more new aircraft to come, before we can get the rest of them.”
The plan – “and it’s only a plan at this stage because things can change depending on deliveries,” Morris cautions – is that Melbourne and Adelaide will see daily flights kitted out with the new business class seats from September 2012, followed by Perth and Brisbane in October 2012.
Auckland, which currently has a mix of Airbus A330s and Boeing 747s, “looks like they’re very late 2012” Morris says.