Cathay Pacific

SO CUTE: Two Travel Geeks Get Married On A Cathay Dragon Flight!

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Okay, this is ridiculously cute. A travel-obsessed couple who met on a travel forum recently got married on a Cathay Dragon flight. It’s so so so so so so cute, and made my Monday:

I’m curious about the logistics of all this, though regardless, it put the biggest smile on my face, and almost made me a bit teary-eyed when they started talking about one another.

This is easily one of my favorite airline related videos ever.

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Could Cathay Pacific Launch A Vancouver To Miami Flight?

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For years there have been rumors of Cathay Pacific considering launching flights to Miami. A nonstop flight would cover a distance of about 9,000 miles, so doesn’t seem economically feasible, especially given Cathay Pacific’s poor financial performance on longhaul flights.

However, there are some media reports suggesting that Cathay Pacific is hoping to launch flights from Hong Kong to Miami via Vancouver, which would require a renegotiation of the bilateral air agreement between Hong Kong and Canada. This is an interesting rumor that could make sense on a couple of levels.

For one, Cathay Pacific already operates two to three daily flights between Hong Kong and Vancouver, so extending one of those flights to Miami wouldn’t be that costly. Furthermore, Vancouver to Miami is a pretty big market that’s presently not served nonstop, and Cathay Pacific already flies from Vancouver to New York (which is without a doubt the most comfortable way to fly within North America).

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Details Of The New Air Canada & Cathay Pacific Partnership

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One trend we’ve seen among global airlines the past few years is that the major alliances have become less important, while individual partnerships and joint ventures have become much more important. As a result we haven’t seen much growth of the global alliances, while we have seen a lot of new partnerships.

Air Canada seems to be thinking outside the traditional alliances at the moment. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about their new codeshare partnership with Virgin Australia. The intent is that Virgin Australia is codesharing on select Air Canada flights within Canada, while Air Canada is codesharing on select Virgin Australia flights within the Pacific region. The partnership makes a lot of sense, given that right now Air Canada doesn’t really have a partner for passengers looking to connect beyond their Sydney and Brisbane hubs.

Air Canada & Cathay Pacific have just announced a new codeshare agreement, which works in a very similar way to Air Canada’s new partnership with Virgin Australia. This new partnership applies for tickets booked as of January 12, 2017, and for travel as of January 19, 2017.

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Yay: Cathay Pacific Is Relocating To Terminal 8 At JFK

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While this is fairly specific, I think it’s great news for a vast majority of people.

Cathay Pacific will be relocating from Terminal 7 to Terminal 8 at JFK as of January 15, 2017. For those of you not familiar with JFK, Terminal 7 is dominated by British Airways, while Terminal 8 is dominated by American, and is also significantly nicer.

The fact that Cathay Pacific is moving to Terminal 8 is great for those connecting from American Airlines flights, given that they won’t have to clear security again when connecting. Previously you’d have to exit Terminal 8, take the AirTrain to Terminal 7, and then clear security there again (which can be brutal in the evenings).

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Sneak Peek: Cathay Pacific’s New London Heathrow Lounge

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Cathay Pacific has been refreshing many of their lounges worldwide, which has led to some pretty impressive spaces, like the new “The Pier” lounge in Hong Kong, which is one of our favorite airport lounges.

The new Cathay Pacific Heathrow lounge had a “soft opening” yesterday, and is scheduled to fully open to passengers on December 7th. Reader Clint happened to have a long layover at Heathrow Terminal 3 yesterday, and was kind enough to share some quick photos.

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The Dragonair Brand Will Be Phased Out As Of November 21, 2016

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Earlier in the year I wrote about how Cathay Pacific is planning on rebranding their Dragonair subsidiary as Cathay Dragon. For those of you not familiar, Cathay Pacific has a wholly owned subsidiary called Dragonair, which primarily operates routes within Asia on behalf of Cathay Pacific.

Dragonair is said to resonate more with customers in mainland China. So from a customer’s perspective it’s not necessarily a low cost carrier, but rather just has a different vibe. In reality Cathay Pacific’s biggest benefit with keeping the brand around is that it has a lower cost structure, as Cathay Dragon employees are generally paid less than Cathay Pacific employees.

So Cathay Pacific’s plan has been to rebrand Dragonair as Cathay Dragon. The reason is to create more of a brand connection between Cathay Pacific and their subsidiary, given that many people didn’t realize that Cathay Pacific owns Dragonair.

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Are Last Minute Cathay Pacific Award Seats Being Blocked?

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Cathay Pacific has one of my favorite first class products in the world, so I always try to stay on top of their award availability trends. They have just six first class seats on their 777-300ER aircraft, so it’s quite an intimate cabin. Typically in advance you can hope to score at most one first class award seat, while within a few days of departure you’ll reliably see them open up additional awards.

Until recently this has been a pretty consistent pattern. I’d typically check Cathay Pacific award availability through the British Airways award search tool a few days before departure, and if there were still a few seats for sale, they’d almost always make them available as award seats.

Something strange is happening right now — British Airways doesn’t have access to any Cathay Pacific award seats within six days of departure. It doesn’t matter when you’re searching online or calling British Airways, they just don’t have access to the space. This applies across all their routes, and all classes of service.

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Cathay Pacific’s U.S. Based Flight Attendants Want To Unionize

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Cathay Pacific has foreign flight attendant bases, including some in the U.S. Actually, they’re the only Asian airline I know of to have U.S. based flight attendants.

I’ve flown with Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco based Cathay Pacific crews. In some cases flights are entirely staffed by U.S. based crews, while in other cases they mix the staffing on a flight, and have crews that are part U.S. based and part Hong Kong based.

In my experience, in general U.S. based crews are more informal and fun, while Hong Kong based crews tend to be a bit more proper and poised. However, sometimes it’s tough to tell the difference between flight attendants based on where they’re based, since it’s not like the U.S. based flight attendants are exclusively American, and it’s not like the Hong Kong based flight attendnats are exclusively from there.

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Cathay Pacific Will Fly The A350 To Tel Aviv

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Cathay Pacific has just announced that they’ll launch 4x weekly flights between Hong Kong and Tel Aviv as of March 26, 2017.

The flight will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with the following schedule:

CX675 Hong Kong to Tel Aviv departing 1:00AM arriving 7:40AM
CX674 Tel Aviv to Hong Kong departing 1:50PM arriving 5:10AM (+1 day)

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Cathay Pacific Adds First Class Award Tiers — What Are The Implications?

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Cathay Pacific has one of my favorite first class products in the world, so I always try to stay on top of their award availability trends. They have just six first class seats on their 777-300ER aircraft, so it’s quite an intimate cabin. Typically in advance you can hope to score at most one first class award seat, while closer to departure you’ll reliably see them open up additional awards.

So I’m always worried when Cathay Pacific makes changes to their frequent flyer program, and what it could mean for first class redemptions.

Cathay Pacific has recently announced that they’ll be adding additional award tiers for first & business class. They introduced this a couple of years ago for economy and premium economy though this is new for first and business class.

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No Surprise: Cathay Pacific Will Shrink Economy Seats

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File this under “it was only a matter of time.”

When the 777 was first introduced, nine seats per row in economy was the standard configuration. However, as airlines have become more profit-driven, they’ve realized that they can squeeze 10 seats per row into economy and get away with it. Ultimately consumers mostly aren’t willing to pay extra for the additional seat width, so from the airlines’ perspective it’s a no brainer to squeeze as many seats as possible onto each plane.

As a result, over the years we’ve seen the standard go from nine seats per row to 10 seats per row. Interestingly even some Gulf carriers renowned for their excellent products, like Emirates, have had this configuration for years.

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Cathay Pacific Is Retiring The 747 In A Few Weeks

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Over the past several years we’ve seen many airlines retire the 747, given that there are more modern planes out there nowadays. Planes like the A350 and 787 have the same range as the 747, but are lower capacity and fuel efficient, meaning they can economically serve markets that might not work with a 747.

As an aviation geek I’m sad whenever a plane is retired, though at the same time the 747 has significance beyond that. The 747 didn’t just change commercial aviation, but rather changed the world as a whole. The plane was a quantum leap for aviation, as it’s the next model type Boeing introduced after the 707. The 747 allowed airlines to serve markets that couldn’t be served before, making it easier to travel across the globe.

So as much as I’d be sad if airlines ever retired the A380 (given the great amenities the plane has), the A380 hasn’t had nearly the impact on commercial aviation that the 747 has.

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Cathay Pacific Adds Fuel Surcharges Because… Oil Prices Are Dropping?!?

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Back when oil prices were at record highs, we saw several airlines introduce fuel surcharges. The intent was that they were supposed to help subsidize the increased cost in oil, and the general assumption was that they’d once again be lowered when oil prices went down.

Well, while oil prices have dropped, fuel surcharges haven’t. Even though oil prices have gone from one extreme to the other, airlines are gladly continuing to pass on these surcharges. They’ve simply changed how they market them (for legal reasons), from “fuel surcharges” to “carrier imposed surcharges.”

The whole concept is sort of laughable. For example, a roundtrip ticket on British Airways from New York to London costs ~$830, and ~$520 of that is “carrier imposed surcharges,” while the base fare is only ~$100. Perfectly rational, eh?

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