About a month ago I wrote about the rumor that Cathay Pacific was expected to announce flights to Cape Town soon. This was per the always reliable Danny Lee at the South China Morning Post. As expected, this rumor has now been confirmed.
Cathay Pacific has announced that they’ll offer 3x weekly seasonal flights between Hong Kong and Cape Town, between November 13, 2018, and February 18, 2019. The flight will operate with the following schedule:
CX795 Hong Kong to Cape Town departing 11:45PM arriving 8:05AM (+1 day) [Tue, Thu, Sun]
CX794 Cape Town to Hong Kong departing 11:05AM arriving 6:55AM (+1 day) [Mon, Wed, Fri]
The flight covers a distance of ~7,350 miles in each direction, and is blocked at 14hr20min westbound and 13hr50min eastbound.
As of now this flight will only operate seasonally, though it will complement Cathay Pacific’s daily, year-round flight to Johannesburg. This will also be the only nonstop route between Cape Town and Asia (Singapore Airlines flies to Cape Town, but only as a tag flight to their Johannesburg service).
Cathay Pacific will use an Airbus A350-900 for the route, featuring 38 business class seats, 28 premium economy seats, and 214 economy seats. The plane is also the first in Cathay Pacific’s fleet to feature wifi.
This new flight is already bookable, though it looks like Cathay Pacific hasn’t yet gotten around to loading award seats. I suspect they will soon.
Once they do, redeeming Alaska Mileage Plan miles for this flight will be an exceptional deal, thanks to their generous routing rules. They let you fly from the US to Africa one-way on Cathay Pacific for just 62,500 miles in business class or 70,000 miles in first class (there’s no first class on the Hong Kong to Africa flight, though paying 7,500 miles to upgrade to first class between the US and Hong Kong is quite a deal).
With Mileage Plan you can also do stopovers on one-way awards, so you could fly New York to Hong Kong in first class, then have a stopover, and then fly from Hong Kong to Cape Town in business class, for just 70,000 miles one-way. That’s an incredible deal.
This is a surprising time for a route like this to be announced, given that Cape Town is on the verge of running out of water — as of now they’re expected to run out of water as of July.