Last week I wrote about how it was rumored that Cathay Pacific would be adding flights between Hong Kong and Washington Dulles in 2018. Not only has this now been confirmed, but the flights are now on sale.
Cathay Pacific will be adding 4x weekly flights between Hong Kong and Washington Dulles as of September 15, 2018. The new flight will operate with the following schedule:
CX860 Hong Kong to Washington Dulles departing 6:35PM arriving 10:20PM [Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat]
CX861 Washington Dulles to Hong Kong departing 1:15AM arriving 5:10AM (+1 day) [Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun]
This flight will be operated by one of Cathay Pacific’s brand new Airbus A350-1000s, which they’ll begin taking delivery of next year. As far as I know this is the first A350-1000 route that Cathay Pacific has announced. I’m a bit surprised to see them start a route with the higher capacity version of the A350, since you’d think they’d first want to establish themselves with a smaller plane before adding capacity.
Cathay Pacific’s A350-900
This will be Cathay Pacific’s furthest route, as it covers a distance of 8,153 miles, and is blocked at 15hr45min eastbound and 15hr55min westbound. That makes it just under 100 miles longer than their route to New York.
This flight is now bookable, and the great news is that award availability is wide open. Best I can tell, just about every flight has five business class award seats available.
If you want to redeem miles for business class on this flight, your best bet is to book through Alaska Mileage Plan (50,000 miles one-way) or American AAdvantage (70,000 miles one-way).
As I explained last time, I find Washington to be an interesting choice for Cathay Pacific. On one hand, they’ll have virtually no connecting traffic, as Dulles is a United hub, and Cathay Pacific is in oneworld (I suppose it’s possible that Cathay Pacific and United create a codeshare partnership, but it seems unlikely that United would want to route passengers onto Cathay Pacific’s flight, when they fly to Hong Kong out of Chicago, Newark, and San Francisco). It’s interesting that United never operated a flight from Dulles to Hong Kong, and that Cathay Pacific is beating them to the punch there. So I guess Cathay Pacific sees enough potential in terms of traffic originating and terminating in Washington to make the route work.
While Cathay Pacific’s A350-1000 is the stretched version of the A350-900, it still doesn’t feature first class. Instead it just features business, premium economy, and economy, and fortunately also has wifi (though Cathay Pacific’s 777s are getting wifi soon as well).
Cathay Pacific’s A350 business class
Does anyone have plans to take Cathay Pacific’s new Washington flight?