Cathay Pacific’s First A350 Route To North America

Cathay Pacific is one of the most recent airlines to begin operating the A350, which is one of my favorite planes in the sky. I had the chance to take the first ever commercial A350 flight with Qatar Airways from Doha to Frankfurt early last year, and was amazed by how quiet the plane was — personally I prefer it to the 787.

Qatar-Airways-A350-02

Presently Cathay Pacific has their A350 scheduled to a few longhaul destinations, including London Gatwick and Auckland, in addition to several intra-Asia routes. However, Cathay Pacific has just announced their first North American route to be operated by the A350.

Cathay Pacific will commence 3x weekly A350 flights between Hong Kong and Vancouver as of March 26, 2017. The new flight will operate with the following schedule:

CX856 Hong Kong to Vancouver departing 11:00AM arriving 7:55AM
CX855 Vancouver to Hong Kong departing 9:25AM arriving 1:45PM (+1 day)

The flight will operate in both directions on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

This additional frequency complements Cathay Pacific’s existing two daily flights between Vancouver and Hong Kong, meaning they’ll now offer 17x weekly flights between Hong Kong and Vancouver.

Vancouver

Inventory for the flight seems to have just been loaded, and all A350 flights between Vancouver and Hong Kong have two business class award seats, best I can tell.

Cathay-Pacific-Award

Cathay Pacific’s A350s are in a three class configuration, with 38 business class seats, 28 premium economy seats, and 214 economy seats. The business class product is just a slight update of their “standard” reverse herringbone business class product, so it’s very good. Perhaps most exciting is that the A350 is the first plane in Cathay Pacific’s fleet to feature wifi (which I know I value more than many others do).

Cathay-Pacific-Business-Class-A330 - 3

In terms of snagging an award seat on this flight in business class, your best bet is either to:

  • Book through American AAdvantage for 70,000 miles one-way
  • Book through Alaska Mileage Plan for 50,000 miles one-way, and you can even do a stopover in Hong Kong enroute to another destination in Asia (keep in mind Alaska is selling miles at a discount right now)

Bottom line

While I’d choose Cathay Pacific first class over business class, this would definitely be my first choice for Cathay Pacific business class to Asia. Not only do you have a brand new, quiet plane, with an updated seat, but there’s even wifi on it. The A350 is an awesome plane, so if you haven’t had the chance to fly it yet, this is a great opportunity to do so.

Does anyone plan on taking Cathay Pacific’s new A350 flight between Vancouver and Hong Kong?

Comments

  1. “However, Cathay Pacific has just announced their first US route to be operated by the A350.”

    Ben, Vancouver isn’t in the US…

  2. Americans don’t mean anything by it. Don’t ascribe hostility to this kind of error, which Americans make often. It’s not hostility, it’s insensitivity.

  3. How does the A350 biz compare to the existing 777 biz class?

    I have a first class on 777 booked for LAX to HKG. Would you suggest I change to the A350 Biz class and leave from YVR to HKG?

  4. As a PHL-based flyer, I’m hoping for some sexy carriers to begin flying to the city of brotherly love one an A350 or 787.

  5. BOS will be getting daily service starting in March 2017. Do you know if they are switching the flight from a 777-300ER to an A350? Hope not.

  6. I love love love the Airbus 350 – quite nice even in Economy. I think it is because the plane is wider than the 787 but not wide enough to add an additional seat! It might have been because I was on Finnair and I was on a Marimekko high.

    @Pat Qatar does DOH-PHL and I’m pretty sure BA does PHL on a 787

  7. @Sil – Flew it on its first flight. Bigger screen, more storage options, the headphone locker is now a latch rather than pressing the lock, improved table.

    @mangoceviche – Same 77W with F, just a frequency increase.

  8. Ben, Royal Brunei begun operating the A350 back in 2014 for the BWN-DXB-LHR route as well other routes if not mistaken. This is one airline you mentioned you wanted to try. Perhaps you could do it even before Cathay Pacific next year.

  9. I know CX’s affiliate KA flies to India from HKG. Could I use AS miles to fly CX+KA? Or do the flights have to be CX-coded only? (What if I found a KA-metal flight with CX codeshare?)

  10. @Louis Chiu

    That’s cause Canada is to the US like Hong Kong is to China. Just because they have different currency and border controls doesn’t make them a completely separate country.

    Viva la Canada SAR!

  11. My wife and I had a HKG-BKK J flight on the A350 in July and it was a wonderful plane, but only being a few weeks old already had problems. I had a few panels at my seat that had either fallen off or were just hanging there. The seat cushions and other areas were already worn down to the point that it looked like it needed a refurb. Pretty crazy since the plane had only been in operation for a few weeks before our flight. But it was quiet compared to even a 788, and there’s a window in the loo!

    Since CX F is too pricey now I will look forward to more 350 flights to NA.

  12. I’d still rather fly an A380 but of course it’s not viable on many routes.

    Second choice, A350.

    Then 777, 787 and the bubble of a 747.

    Last choice for wide bodies – A330, A340 and 767.

  13. @Sil, I think what he’s saying is 777 F > A350 J > 777 J, which makes complete sense to me.

    So if you are able to get F on the 777, do it. If the choice is between J on the A350 and J on the 777, then you would probably want to go for the A350 (assuming Vancouver doesn’t put you too far out of your way).

  14. The A350 seats need some work. Poor finishings, falling apart after just weeks in-service. updated TVs and internet is great though.

  15. Booked on business to Hong Kong this coming July, very excited to try this plane. I have been very impressed with A380 and my two flights with 787 where also very good. I have heard good things about Cathay Pacific but up to now only tried them once in regular economy.

  16. I have been twice on the Cathay Pacific A350 from Gatwick to Manila, (september and xmas). It really is a very quite and fast plane, it wide, air circulation and heating is spot on. The business class seats is just a tad better than the noisy B777, the camera is amazing, map amazing and the touch screen and wifi are both excellent. I choose A350 everytime without a problem, btw the view from the toilet is awesome lol
    I hope and wish that Cathay Pacific would buy the A380 but not likely to happen.

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