Cathay Pacific Adds Hong Kong To Doha Flight

Cathay Pacific announced today that they’ll be launching daily service between Hong Kong and Doha, Qatar as of March 30, 2014. The new service will be operated by an Airbus A330-300, featuring, business class, premium economy, and economy class. The schedule for the new flight will be as follows:

CX645 Hong Kong to Doha departing 6:40PM arriving 10:50PM
CX640 Doha to Hong Kong departing 1:45AM arriving 2:40PM

This route actually also comes with the announcement of a new reciprocal codeshare agreement with Qatar Airways. Qatar Airways presently operates the route twice daily, though will be giving up one of the frequencies to Cathay Pacific. That probably explains why the route is being announced with only about six weeks of advance notice. Since it’s replacing an existing frequency it doesn’t represent a huge change in capacity.

The only remaining Qatar Airways frequency is well timed to give travelers options as to which time of day they want to travel:

QR815 Hong Kong to Doha departing 1:30AM arriving 5:30AM
QR816 Doha to Hong Kong departing 7:45AM arriving 8:45PM

This is a nice example of two airlines working together in a mutually beneficial way. It seems lately we’ve seen lots of “foul” play in the airline industry. There’s no better example than what’s going on between Alaska and Delta.

So Qatar Airways giving up a frequency and offering a reciprocal codeshare (without a joint venture, meaning it’s not full revenue sharing) is cool.

Ultimately Cathay Pacific offers a much better product on the route, in my opinion. All of Cathay Pacific’s longhaul Airbus A330 aircraft feature their new reverse herringbone business class, as pictured below.

Cathay Pacific A330 business class

Meanwhile Qatar Airways A330 business class is angled flat and in a 2-2-2 configuration. Qatar Airways is actually in the process of reconfiguring some of their A330s with reverse herringbone seats, though to date only a small number of planes have been reconfigured.

One of the best things about Qatar Airways joining OneWorld is the value they add to American AAdvantage Oneworld distance based awards. Having a strong Middle Eastern partner opens up a lot of new destinations, which is especially useful with a distance based award chart that allows unlimited stopovers, given the close proximity of many popular destinations in the Middle East. So being able to fly Cathay Pacific rather than Qatar Airways between Doha and Asia is a nice option to have.

Sadly it doesn’t look like they’ve fully loaded the flight into the GDS or loaded award availability, for that matter.

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific, Qatar
  1. @ hkairlinenews — To be honest have only done Qatar Airways first class, so I’m not sure. Plan on doing Qatar Airways business class soon, so can provide better feedback after that.

  2. @ Lucky – Cool. Seems like none of the schedules HKG – DOH are aimed at Hong Kong based leisure travelers, since QR 815 arrives too early for leisure travellers and CX 645 arrives way too late. I guess QR 815 is the better option for the flight to, but I’m not sure.

  3. Very interesting! I just got shut out my hoped for return trip from Hong Kong back to the US in CX F fir my 2015 trip would you prefer Cathay business class or Emirates first class strictly comparing the hard product for sleeping? I remember you said the Emirates F seat felt cramped for sleeping.

    Thanks for keeping us posted on all the new opportunities!

  4. Excellent news. Hoping the fares are similar to those ex-DXB as they have some ridiculous prices in biz and PE to LAX, SFO!

  5. @ Beachfan — Ultimately I’d say the Emirates first class hard product is still better than the Cathay Pacific business class hard product, though both are great for sleeping.

  6. I often fly HK to Milan via Doha in business class and enjoy the premium terminal in Doha during the stop over. I don’t understand if under this code share agreement I will be able to use the premium terminal if the HK-Doha trip is operated by Cathay.

  7. I have asked Qatar airways the direct question, I report the answer below. They state clearly that if your onward flight is on Cathay Pacific, then you are NOT allowed to use the premium terminal. I think this is a drawback.


    We wish to inform you that as per terms, whenever you travel in First or Business Class and transferring at Doha International Airport to an onward Qatar Airways connecting flight, you will be warmly welcomed to relax during your transit time at our Premium Transit Terminal.

    However, as per terms if your onward flight is a code share flight operated by a partner airline, access to Premium terminal is not permitted.

  8. On the 4th of May I flew from Melbourne to Manchester via Doha with Qatar Airways. Qatar Airways is affiliated with One World, so lounge access is provided at Melbourne Airport by Qantas, always a good way to start a long journey. The plane for the first sector was a brand new Boeing 777, and on a full flight I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of room in economy. I am 6ft 3in (189cms) and I could stretch out quite comfortably without touching the seat in front. I was sat in 23K. In flight entertainment was excellent with Premiere release movies and a host of documentaries to help while the hours away (all 14hrs and 15 minutes for the first sector). Service and in flight catering was excellent, with a good choice of food and regular water runs by the cabin crew.
    Landing in Doha was probably the only negative as the airport was packed and hectic. With a tight transit time of just 60 minutes, I was fearing the worst, but somehow it all seemed to happen and I made the connection.
    The second sector of 7hrs and 30 minutes was completed in an Airbus A330, which was notably smaller and older than the Boeing 777. However the service was on par, and food and entertainment options again superior
    All in all, a pleasant experience for what is a gruelling distance to fly. Qatar Airways deserve the recognition and commendations they win on a regular basis. Highly recommended.

  9. I have recently purchased a HKG-DOH-ATH flight on QA, the first leg is operated by CX as CX has a better business class product and it’s much cheaper to book on QA website rather than on CX website. Fellow travellers, do you know if I would able to access to the CX lounges or I’d only be able to used the QA lounge in HK International Airport? (it’s actually just a paid lounge) Thanks all in advance!

  10. Just got back from europe, using the HKG,DOH (cx645) and DOH to HKG (cx640), and man what a difference there is between CX’s old airbus and the shiney new QR 787 on our follow up leg. Not to speak of the level of service onboard, CX is really loosing it’s appeal with all their cost cutting.. Next time I will try to avoid the CX leg if possible..

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