Cathay Pacific Cancelling Copenhagen Route

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific

Well that didn’t last long!

Just five months ago, on May 2, 2018, Cathay Pacific commenced non stop services from Hong Kong to Copenhagen, as part of a major European expansion which also included new services to Dublin and Brussels.

The flight operated seasonally (over the northern summer), three times per week with the following schedule:

  • CX227 Hong Kong to Copenhagen departing 1:10AM arriving 6:30AM [Mon, Wed, Fri]
  • CX226 Copenhagen to Hong Kong departing 1:55PM arriving 6:35AM (+1 day) [Mon, Wed, Fri]

The flight was operated by a three class Airbus A350 (with business, premium economy and economy). It operated from May to the end of October of this year, so it’s still operating for a few more weeks this year.

The seasonal route was then supposed to recommence in May 2019, to run until (at least) October 2019.

Cathay A350 Business Class

Unfortunately Airline Route is reporting that Cathay Pacific has updated their northern summer 2019 schedules, and the Copenhagen route has been discontinued altogether.

It will continue to run until the end of this month but will not return at all next year.

SAS announced they would also commence flying the route after an almost 20 year absence on the same day the Cathay Pacific’s seasonal route paused (October 28 of this year), moving their Stockholm to Hong Kong flight to operate from Copenhagen instead with a five weekly service.

SAS Business Class

Bottom line

This is a shame, as Copenhagen is possibly my favourite European city.

I suspect that the route did not perform particularly well for Cathay Pacific during the busier summer months and with SAS starting the route as soon as Cathay Pacific paused it for winter (with a similar timetable), Cathay realised there was not enough demand for two carriers on the same route at the same time, even during the norther summer.

It is interesting how it went from no carriers operating the route non stop, to two carriers (SAS and Cathay) suddenly operating the route, although not at the same time.

Would you prefer to fly Cathay Pacific or SAS between Hong Kong and Copenhagen?

  1. Well…I guess for European travelers chasing miles on A3 this is a win – especially for us who are under 26 and can book youth tickets. However there was always better chance for op up on CX flights ex-Europe (even on routes that did not seem to go well, like DUS where I got x op ups from Y to Y+).

  2. Doesnt matter what I (or anybody else) would PREFER to fly from CPH to HKG nonstop. If you want the nonstop, soon you’ll only have the option of SAS. Doesnt matter what you would prefer.

  3. This route was waived in favour of adding additional capacity to the FRA route(from 7/7 to 10/7) which has been performing incredibly well

  4. James, any chance you guys could look into the big devaluation SAS just snuck out this week?

    They’re cutting earnings from the cheapest economy tickets by up to 95% – it only applies to Eurobonus as of now, but I’m guessing that those generous Star Alliance partner earnings on SAS flights aren’t going to last…

  5. I am surprised to hear that. My sister actually works for CX and flew that route just a month ago and said it was a very popular route (most of the flights are full load) and CX was thinking to expand it to have this route all year around.

    CX even offered the December schedule to let the eligible crew “trump” the flights although the CPH ground staff confirmed that they don’t have any info about that, but the route may open slightly earlier next year, in April or so… (we were just discussing it an hour ago here in FRA) So this is completely different than what I heard.

  6. I have flown this route over the summer period. Business class was between 50% and 75% on my flights, but Australian passengers heading to or from cruises seemed to be a big part of the business passengers. I doubt they are a particularly high or even decent yield group of passengers.

    So I can hardly say I am surprised, while still sad, that it did not last.

  7. Hard to compete with a local airline in their biggest hub, SK can feed from their short haul operation.

    Plus there is Thai which SK feeds if memory serves my right to other Asian destinations outside HKG. Great as HKG is as connecting airport it’s still a back track to most of South east Asia coming from Europe.

  8. @ No Name – true, but CX flies to loads of European destinations close to CPH anyway (AMS, BRU, FRA etc) and CX has massive connections from HKG.

  9. does nobody else find it outrageous that SAS are behaving in such an anti competitive way by moving their HKG from Stockholm to Copenhagen ?!

  10. @ ADS – increasing competition on a route isn’t anti competitive.
    CX could always pick up the ARN slack…

  11. @ADS Let’s say that at the ARN catch area has about 2 million people, but Sweden 10 million plus, a lot of the HKG traffic is from GOT (shipping business people etc) which can have plenty of other choices as they have to connect anyhow and SAS is a quite bad airline service vise which would be one of my last choices..not enough business to keep it just as a pride thing for the big city shots..

  12. They quickly stopped their Dusseldorf flights also. Without any noise.
    I am sure Brussel will not last long.

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