Cathay Pacific to announce new US route next week — will it be Boston, Miami, Newark, or Seattle?

Cathay Pacific just posted the below picture on Facebook and Twitter:

Cathay_Pacific_New_Destination

The caption reads as follows:

The countdown begins today! We’re excited to announce a brand new route next week to one of the four locations below. Can you guess where it is?

If I’m not mistaken, those pictures are of Boston, Seattle, Miami, and Newark.

Now, I think you can all guess which city I’m biased toward. Cathay Pacific starting service to Seattle would be a (wet) dream come true. But do “we” have a chance?

Here are my thoughts by city:

Boston seems highly unlikely. Maybe if they were announcing A350 service that could happen, but I don’t think they’re at that point yet. Furthermore, Boston isn’t a OneWorld hub, making the service even less likely.

Seattle service could make sense. I think Delta is really onto something with all of the Asia service they have out of Seattle. It’s the closest North America gateway to Asia, so the operating costs of those flights makes it a very attractive hub. Seattle also has lots of tech businesses, a huge Asian population, and possible feed from their partner Alaska Airlines. The service still seems unlikely now, though I think it’s a city they’ll consider more seriously once they take delivery of their A350s.

And Miami also would make a lot of sense in theory, given the lack of practical connections presently available from Latin America to Asia. They’d have tons of feed from American’s Latin America network, though the one thing standing in the way of this flight being profitable is that it’s ~9,000 miles. That would be their longest fight, and ultra longhaul flights are notoriously difficult to turn a profit on.

I’m afraid the new service will probably be to Newark. There was lots of speculation about Cathay Pacific launching the service in 2012, and while it hasn’t formally happened yet, my money is on this being the announcement.

Actually, Cathay Pacific’s website seems to be unofficially confirming that Newark will be the new destination. When you type in Newark as your destination on cathaypacific.com, the Cathay Pacific logo appears next to it, which only happens for cities they serve on their own “metal.”

Cathay_Pacific_Newark

I really don’t know how adding Newark service makes sense, when Cathay Pacific already has 3-4 flights per day to JFK. Since they belong to OneWorld and not Star Alliance they’ll have very little feed out of Newark (unlike JFK, where American has a hub), so they’ll be at a considerable disadvantage against United. Maybe they see some opportunity with Newark since Singapore will soon be discontinuing the world’s longest flight between Newark and Singapore and they’re trying to pick up that market share, though I’m not convinced those passengers are loyal to Newark vs. JFK, but rather that they were loyal to the nonstop flight to Singapore.

What do you guys think? Is Newark a sure bet, and if so, is it a wise move?

Comments

  1. mangoceviche says

    But could it be Boston now that JAL is flying nonstop to NRT? I guess I m hoping to find a needle in the haystack.

  2. lucky says

    @ mangoceviche — Well I think the only reason JAL is trying the route is because they have the 787. Cathay Pacific’s three cabin 777-300ERs have almost double as many seats as the 787, so I can’t imagine they’d try to enter a market like that without any connection opportunities and not an amazing amount of O&D traffic.

  3. Gene says

    I agree it must be EWR, but this seems unlikely to succeed. DFW would seem to make more sense. Regardless, this should mean even more award seats! I only hope they have a better loumge than SQ’s POS at EWR.

  4. Ryan says

    I doubt that a 773ER could make it from BOS to HKG non-stop with a commercially viable payload. It seems like a kot of hype if the announcement were EWR, which is really just another airport in an existing market. MIA is probably too far to make work, but it would be an interesting route. My vote is SEA, with EWR as my second choice.

  5. gavinmac says

    Well, the four photos above are of three great American cities and . . . Newark. Newark doesn’t really belong, which makes it seem like the likely choice.

  6. says

    GCmap.com says SEA-HKG is exactly 6500 miles, which would mean Business Class on this route would be only 60K Avios. That would be great if you’re in the Seattle area.

  7. Justin says

    We did SIN-HKG-JFK with Avios and while it was expensive in miles (we used 50% Amex bonus), taxes and fees, if I recall, were only around $300 pp.

    Didn’t Cathay cut a JFK frequency maybe ~a year ago? If they feel like the market is better now, “moving” that one to EWR could make sense as EWR is much more convenient for Trenton and Philadelphia pax also, so perhaps the demand is there?

  8. Gene says

    @TravelSummary — OK, but it would still only be 62,500 miles + something like $5 for First Class using AA miles!

  9. AdamH says

    Here is my guess, YVR-NYC becomes YVR to BOS or MIA. My guess would be MIA as it is a OW hub and there is currently no direct service on the route. I could see it being a popular destination for o & d traffic along with connecting passengers wanting to continue to Latin America from Asia. Although that would be quite the long journey.

  10. says

    Four JFK flights have been iffy, hard to see EWR-HKG making sense since there’s competititon on he route from United, CX has no EWR feed, and it would mean a 5th flight to the NY area.

    All of which means it’s probably EWR anyway :P

    I think @AdamH’s idea makes tons of sense, drop JFK to 3x and re-time YVR to accomodate a tag flight to MIA.
    MIA-YVR-HKG

  11. Phillip says

    Could it be two of the above? SEA and then on to EWR or MIA? It’s interesting that one is West Coast and three are East Coast.

  12. Jon says

    I think it will be Boston. The state has been pushing heavily for new international routes. Some new ones include Tokyo, Panama City and Istanbul next year.

  13. Antonio C. says

    Well

    I can assure you I saw a Cx plane at MIA last Friday. I was en route from a DOH-JFK-MIA flught and saw a 747, oddly enough I kept looking and it was a CX Cargo.

  14. Gene says

    @Antonio C. — CX’s cargo (and many other airlines’ cargo) planes fly to places where they do not have passenger service. ANC is a great example of this.

  15. Peter says

    Boston would be nice but I suspect we’re holding out for Royal Jordanian. ;-)

    Can’t wait for nonstop IST in 2014 (following Lucky’s reviews of Turkish Airlines)! I’m already humming “we are globally yours”.

  16. Thanh says

    Living on the west side of manhattan, and right by Penn, I do prefer EWR to JFK due to proximity in some cases, and I almost always have to go to JFK when going to Asia. Nothing to cry about though, it’s cheaper going to JFK by public transportation. But I definitely didn’t desperately need Cathay to fly out of EWR. In any case though, more options for New Yorkers hopefully.

  17. Papa Smurf says

    MIA would be nice.

    Although as far as the CX cargo plane, they’re here all the time so I wouldn’t read to much into it.

  18. John C says

    EWR makes perfect sense for Cathay Pacific. They will pickup all the NJ and Pennsylvania passengers that formerly flew EVA Airways out of EWR
    Before they moved their operations to JFK in Oct 2011. I’m sure Cathay will
    Provide B777-300ER nonstop service to HKG from EWR with excellent connections to major Destinations in Asia. Many NJ and Pennsylvania
    Passengers dread the ride to JFK and would be happy to fly Cathay Pacific out of EWR. This will be a profitable route.

  19. Lindsay says

    SEA would be AMAZING! Seems likely to me, so oneworld can increase their transpacific presence here. We are becoming a pretty significant international hub.

  20. says

    All this talk about SEA and BOS becoming significant international hubs is news to me. I’ve flown internationally through most of the usual suspects like LAX, SFO, DFW, IAH, ORD, ATL, JFK, & YYZ, but never through the likes of SEA or BOS. In fact I rarely see them show up as a legal routing at any price or points level. Am I just clueless to a hidden wave of long and narrow international connections or is this some sort of tongue in cheek sarcasm? We call the airport in San Antonio “international” and technically it’s true, but it’s a bit of a joke since the only other country you can reach nonstop with scheduled services is just a couple hours away by car. Otherwise you’ll need to enlist the help of a connection or a charter operation like any other non-hub airport.

  21. Zach says

    Historically, DL and CX haven’t really fought for turf. But, I have heard rumors that DL was considering starting HKG from SEA. But by rumor, it was heard like 4th hand. I would love to see this come to fruition, but with the EWR and CX logo together, I can’t help but think it’s going to EWR.

  22. VG says

    Newark makes no sense. And DFW should have been top of the list with BOS, MIA, SEA still contenders.

  23. Hillrider says

    Google dragged this thread from a.net from NOV11, saying that “According to some local intelligence, Cathay is planning for another NYC service starting from March 2012 and it is pending for approval.”

    http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/5309644/

    If those rumors were right (and apparently it had already made the website, but the link it’s long dead), it looks like it’s been in the works for a while.

    FedEx having a hub there may (and I say may) make the economics slightly better if this flight allows CX to carry highly valuable cargo. [wild speculation — don’t know anything about cargo traffic economics]

  24. Mike Hines says

    No one is thinking about the Usair/aa merger with that, one word has 24 destinations out of boston not incuding the iberia fight to spain or the JA fight to Tokyo (yes a certain etter on me keyboard is broken)

    Meanwhie, Boston has bene obbying hard core for more direct fights to asia, as particularly sought by the investment community and heathcare/biotech sector there Hence the JA fight

  25. Carl says

    Both JFK and EWR are pretty awful connecting airports, since they often have ATC delays. EWR is marginally better. I would imagine that if it is EWR, then it is based on O/D traffic, and that just like airlines like BA LX & LH serve both JFK & EWR, CX might do so as well. MIA and BOS seem unlikely.

    So, my money is on either EWR or SEA.

  26. Carl says

    DAX, SEA offers non-stop service to the following cities:
    NRT HND KIX ICN PEK TPE
    LHR AMS CDG FRA DXB RKV
    Plus many Canadian and Mexican destinations

  27. Kevin says

    Not sure there’s enough demand out of SEA even with Alaska Air’s feed, although another west coast departure option would be great.

  28. Mike says

    It’ll be EWR.

    SEA is a potential destination for us, but not till our new orders of A350’s come online.

  29. Jorge says

    I am rooting for Seattle or Boston. I live in Miami and I would not fly nonstop to Hong Kong. Not even in first class.

    Seattle is the best choice but they already have a feeder plane coming to Vancouver. How about BOS-SEA-HKG

  30. says

    If they really are doing EWR, I don’t see why they wouldn’t have considered PHL. Given the imminent merger, PHL is about to become a Oneworld hub and this could have been the perfect opportunity to tap into the new market of OW flyers. Plus, BA already has flights in/out of PHL (and of course the new AA will have plenty of connecting options). While I see why NYC has appeal, I really don’t see the need for ANOTHER daily (or even 3-5x weekly) at EWR.

  31. anh8297 says

    BOS has over 225 people departing each way onto Hong Kong and destinations reasonably served by CX and Dragon Air. Reasonably served meaning within 1200 miles of the shortest 1-stop route possible. B6 has an interline agreement with CX as well which could help.

    Still I doubt its going to be BOS…. this time. Like MIA, an A350 is better suited for the route. I think JFK-YVR-HKG could be transferred to MIA instead.

    Depending if HU starting BOS-PEK, we definitely could see BOS-HKG in 3-5 years.

    Dax – BOS has a LOT of Transatlantic and Caribbean flights plus the recent and future additions mentioned above. I don’t think you see too many BOS connections since there is unfortunately not a SAT-BOS non-stop flight.

  32. Shannon says

    I would be happy to fly CX from EWR to Asia as it will be extremely convenient for New Jersey residence, even though JFK is not that far but still nice to get to depart from the local airport.

  33. Phillip says

    Interesting comment about PHL – the EC has ruled that with the AA/US merger, they will have to give up the slots for the LHR-PHL route at LHR which sounded a little bit random. I wonder if anyone else would want to bother operating the route?

  34. Simon says

    It is EWR……flight CX890 will depart HKG at 17:00 arriving EWR 21:00…..Return flight CX899 departing at 01:50 arriving HKG at 05:10.
    I used May 13 outbound and May 22, 14 return dates to book on CX website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *