Could DFW Be Cathay Pacific’s Next US Destination?

If you’re not interested in speculation then skip this post and just wait a couple of days until the announcement is official. If you do like to speculate, comment below with what you think, so you’ll have bragging rights if your prediction is correct. šŸ˜‰

Cathay Pacific sure knows how to get us interested in their new routes. They’ll be announcing a few new routes in the coming days, and they’ve made a bit of a game of it. As I posted about yesterday, they’re saying that their next destinations are all beer related, and have the following video encouraging us to guess their new routes based on the color of beer:

That certainly made some cities spring to mind. There were some further clues in the “CX Secrets” Facebook group, which is an unofficial Cathay Pacific employee group that posts a lot of rumors (many of which turn out to be true):

According to rumors within 8/F, there will at least be 3 new ports in 2018. Bxxxxxxx, Cxxxxxxxxx and Dxxxxx. We will also be closing 3 ports: 1 in China, 1 in SE Asia and 1 in Europe.

Based on that,Ā Brussels, Copenhagen, and Dublin were the first cities that came to mind.

But there’s speculation that Dublin might not get a Cathay Pacific flight after all. A memo that has been circulating suggests that Cathay Pacific will add flights to Brussels, Copenhagen, and Dallas. Furthermore, they’ll cut flights to Dusseldorf, and Bali and Beijing flights will completely be transferred to Cathay Dragon, their subsidiary.

While many suggest the memo is authentic, I can’t personally confirm that, so I tried to look for other clues. Dallas has some breweries, but in the grand scheme of things I wouldn’t say it’s one of the world’s great beer cities. Then again, the whole beer related thing seems like a stretch to begin with.

Dublin is best known for Guinness, which is a really dark beer. Maybe my interpretation is wrong here, but I don’t see any beer that looks dark enough to be Guinness. Now, I know there are other types of beer in Dublin, and I also know that this whole beer marketing campaign is probably a bit of a stretch, but if you’re going to make people guess based on the color of beer, you’d think you’d show a really dark beer for Dublin.

Forgetting about the contest for a second, it just seems to me like it would be a bit odd if all of Cathay Pacific’s new routes were to Europe.

So if it weren’t for the beer clues and if I just knew they’d start service to a city starting with “D,” I would have guessed Dallas. Yes, American flies from Dallas to Hong Kong (they launched the route in 2014), though the two airlines don’t have a joint venture, so the route could still make sense in terms of connecting traffic. Yes, this is a really long route, but Cathay Pacific should be able to operate it with their A350s, should they want to.

I’m torn here, but I really wouldn’t be surprised to see the new destination be Dallas. If I had to guess, I’d give Dallas 60% odds and Dublin 40% odds. There’s a good chance the “CX Secrets” rumor is based on the supposed memo going around, in which case I suspect the “D” is for Dallas. Then again, both of these rumors could be wrong, and there may not even be a “D” city involved here.

What do you guys think — is Cathay Pacific about to announce service to Dallas, Dublin, or neither?

Comments

  1. My guess is Dallas. Micro Brews in TX (Austin /Dallas). I know even though they are both AA and Cathay are OneWorld, they do not have the best relationship. If Dallas is the choice, flight time would be interesting. I think there is a need for an overnight flight out of DFW for business travelers getting to Asia early morning. This is a gap that could be filled. The AA flight DFW to HKG is always full especially business and first.

  2. Ah, yes, the world-renown beer city Dallas. A six-letter U.S. city known for beer would be Denver. It’s certainly more likely to be Dullass than Denver, and if it is, it will show just how stupid this marketing campaign is.

  3. @Colin yes, but No Bright away. Go to your local pub and order one from night, look at the glass while it’s been poured and right after. Then the picture makes perfect sense. The foam takes a bit to move at the top.

  4. Are we about to see the breakup, or a realignment, of the airline alliances, with UA competing with SQ, and CX competing with AA?

  5. Dublin makes no sense.
    While I hope D doesn’t stand for Dallas, DFW at least makes sense realistically.
    My wish is D stands for DC (IAD).

  6. Detroit has better breweries then Dallas and Denver!

    But let’s be honest here, Dallas makes the most sense due to being a major oneworld hub. Even though DEN does have service from every AA hub, I just can’t see that making enough sense. I did used to work in the area and did know that the DEN-NRT was a very popular choice for pretty much one-stop to anywhere in Asia, so maybe I’m wrong. But DEN is a UA hub and has feeder service from all over too.

  7. So this is a bit of a stretch, but hear me out. I think it is Denver.

    Based on the following facts:
    -CX has been hinting for a while that they might join *A,
    -UA is not happy with SQ as a partner for flights in SE Asia.
    -LH (UAs closest partner has signed a codeshare agreement with CX)

    With the above it is possible that CX could be chosing Denver and looking at signing a code share agreement with UA (if not completely joining STAR). If UA could provide connecting traffic to DEN for CX it could make a lot of sense.

    Even without a codeshare with UA, CX could make Denver work as most routes from DEN to SE Asia require two stops (DEN-SFO/LAX/NRT-HKG/SIN-Destination), a 3x weekly flight from DEN could work and The City and County of Denver has Bering throwing money left and right to get international nonstops from DEN, they have been trying to get EK forever, so maybe they switched to trying CX

  8. Please let it be DC (“Dulles”). As a DC resident, this would be much welcomed, especially since there is no HKG-IAD route yet.

  9. I agree with many other posts that Dallas is not known as a beer city – trust me, I live here!! While it wouldn’t make a lot of sense, Denver is much, much more of a beer city than Dallas. Even though Coors is out of Golden, it’s close enough to Denver to be considered Denver.

    With that being said, I think it probably makes more sense for it to be Dallas. I just think their little game is stretching it a bit. I hope it’s DFW!!

  10. @CJS Colorado has the most breweries per capita of any state in the nation. Please don’t equate Colorado beer with Coors which is hardly beer (I don’t know anyone in Colorado that drinks Coors Light), there are hundreds of breweries here that make better beer than Coors.

  11. CX has been operating cargo flights to DFW for a long time, and the airport authority offers very generous terms to airlines starting a new international passenger route. DFW would give CX better connecting service on AA to the southern US and Latin America, which they don’t have now.

  12. @Brad B – for sure, totally agree. Why drink weak horse piss when you can have so many great locally brewed beers. That’s the thing I most look forward to anytime my travel plans take me to Denver!

  13. Suspect Dallas, although if that’s correct it’s frustrating to see CX doubling up US service to compete with AA rather than opening new truly new routes. That route seems very popular on AA though.

    Dublin makes no sense given the connectivity via London and also via Dubai with Emirates from there. Denver would be interesting but I think unlikely.

    As for joining Star, I really can’t see that happening. Their key long haul routes include JFK, LHR, LAX and SYD and all work better for them with OneWorld. They also just finishing upgraded lounges in many of their current terminals, as well as a move to terminal 8 at JFK. Also cannot imagine them joining an alliance with SQ.

  14. Doubt its Dallas, ’cause AA already runs that flight and its never fully booked. Copenhagen makes sense, considering SAS has had an exclusive run on that route forever and SQ recently started CPH service. So why not. Also Brussels makes a lot of sense. More and more Asian carriers have been starting to serve Brussels in recent years. First Thai, then Emirates, Qatar and Etihad. Then came Hainan and one other Chinese carrier, followed by ANA. So logically CX and SQ are next to follow. SQ used to fly to Brussels in the late ’90’s. It was a 3 x weekly extension of their CDG flight. The other 4 days the flights continued to Madrid or Manchester. Can’t remember. Another extension flight SQ offered was ZRH – LHR. I can not remember if it was a daily service, but i used to love taking that flight about 6pm. I do not recall if the return flight from LHR was via ZRH.

  15. It’s not DUB because they don’t have a single Asian airline serving the market. Do you really think that CX will be the first one?

  16. The DFW-HKG route might have demand at the CX service level. Just flew it on AA and it was painful even in J even though their hard product was ok, the 3 yr old 77W was already beaten up and showing signs of wear. Id pay a little more to fly it on CX and have a proper J class product.

    Speaking of…Ben – why don’t you think CX could do it with their 77Ws? I agree Id prefer it on their 350.

  17. Was chatting with a CX Captain in January and after finding out I lived in Dallas, he mentioned that CX planned on starting up HKG-DFW in 2018 or 2019 with the A350. He said it was one of the reasons they were getting A350’s.

  18. My hunch is that the “D” is not related to that marketing, and Munich is the destination.
    MUC-HKG is currently served by one daily 346 (LH) and I see more potential than either CPH, BRU, or DUB. I honestly don’t think DFW would get any beer marketing from airline based out of North America.

  19. By the way, the beer color resembles German Dunkel (Dark), Pilsener, Lager, Weizen. All of them relates to Munich.

  20. @yhd spot on. I know my company and several others would switch their business overnight to CX over AA. Drop in the bucket but I’m sure there’s countless others out there that would do the same thing. On that flight again next week and service struggles even in F.

  21. If it’s DFW, then maybe we would finally have a DFW-HKG that can depart and arrive on time on a consistent basis.

  22. I flew Cathay business few years ago however I wasn’t impressed with the service and food so I skipped them to get to Asia. No offense to anyone but sometimes the Chinese crowd on the plane can be really loud therefore I’m alittle hestitated to fly Cathay on long distance. Any Cathay frequent flyer here able to share the overall experiences good or bad? If the new route is really DFW than I may choose them over AA.

  23. 3 new ports in 2018. Brussels, Copenhagen and Dublin. CX will also be closing 3 ports: 1 in China – Beijing, 1 in SE Asia – Saigon or Denpasar (selected China and SE Asia city will handover to KA) and 1 in Europe.

  24. Cathay already has offices in Dallas (and Miami.) It makes sense if they fly a B77W to Dallas. It is easier to connect to other US cities, and they can take advantage of the cargo capacity. CX has 4 daily flights HKGLAX, but yet AA just started flying LAXHKG. So it all about the depth of the market.

  25. @nathan – SQ has been flying to Copenhagen for years. Flew the flight myself back in 2003!

    Also someone suggested that CX was looking to join *A. TG and SQ -and likely NH and CA too- would block that at all possible costs, so that’s never going to happen.

  26. And for anyone wondering, don’t expect to see a major carrier in Asia joining *A; the growth here will be with the smaller regional airlines (like Juneyao in China which was recently added).

    I still think it is possible we will see SilkAir join in some capacity (always has puzzled my why they haven’t) and maybe another relatively smaller regional carrier that isn’t in an alliance yet that compliments other *A members rather than compete (like Philippines Air).

  27. Denver is home of the Great American Beer Festival (coincidentally coming up soon), the biggest craft beer event in the USA. If the “beer” hint is valid, Denver seems far more likely than any of the other “D” cities in the USA.

  28. Tough is only crazy person would associate american or it city(ies) with beer (other than taste like piss), it is very plausible one of the city is in USA.

    Reason? American is overreacting hype bunch of people. The kind of marketing people loved. The message wouldn’t get through to european, asian, middle eastern, etc. But once you get reaction from american associating themselves with beer, you get the hype!

    Marketing 101

  29. The color is dark enough is simply Becoz Guinness icon appears after the first two beers and you happened to have captured it too early?
    The loads on HKG-DFW isn’t exactly very high-yield from what I have gathered

  30. According to Business Traveller Magazine the announcement a few minutes ago is Copenhagen, Dublin and Brussels. So much for Dallas, Denver, Dulles and Des Moines.

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