Confirmed: Cathay Pacific Flying To Seattle As Of March 2019

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific

Called it. 😉

Earlier I wrote about how Cathay Pacific hinted at how they’d soon launch a new flight to the US. They narrowed it down to nine cities for us, and just now they’ve announced what that new route will be.

Cathay Pacific will launch 4x weekly flights between Hong Kong and Seattle as of March 31, 2019. The new flight will operate with the following schedule:

CX857 Seattle to Hong Kong departing 1:05AM arriving 5:25AM (+1 day) [Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun]
CX858 Hong Kong to Seattle departing 11:55PM arriving 9:00PM [Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun]

The A350-900 that Cathay Pacific will use for the route features a total of 280 seats, including 38 business class seats, 28 premium economy seats, and 214 economy seats. Cathay Pacific’s A350s have Wi-Fi, and excellent reverse herringbone seats in business class.

The flight will cover a distance of 6,500 miles in each direction, and is blocked at 12hr5min eastbound and 13hr20min westbound. This will be Cathay Pacific’s eight US gateway and 10th North American gateway.

Cathay Pacific’s new flight is already bookable, and award availability is plentiful. It looks like all flights have four business class award seats available. If you want to redeem miles for this flight, you have two best options:

  • You can redeem 70,000 American AAdvantage miles for a one-way business class ticket between the US and anywhere in Asia Zone 2
  • You can redeem 50,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles for a one-way ticket between the US and Asia, and you’re even allowed a free stopover in Hong Kong enroute to your final destination
  • If you want to travel beyond Asia, Alaska Mileage Plan is a great deal, as you can redeem 60,000 miles to fly all the way to Australia, or 62,500 miles to fly all the way to Africa, India, or the Middle East; in all of those cases you can have a free stopover in Hong Kong enroute to your final destination

As I shared in my earlier post, Seattle seems like an obvious choice for Cathay Pacific:

  • Seattle is a growing US market that has seen a ton of longhaul expansion
  • Seattle is the closest major lower 48 US city to Asia, meaning the flight time is shortest, and therefore operating costs are lowest
  • Cathay Pacific has a partnership with Alaska Airlines, so they’ll have a ton of connectivity
  • Delta just announced that they’re discontinuing their flight between Seattle and Hong Kong, so Cathay Pacific will have a monopoly (and unlike Delta, they have the key benefit of having extensive connectivity at both airports)

What do you make of Cathay Pacific’s new route to Seattle?

  1. Let’s give it some time first.

    It may be fake news. Or they may have said will when they meant to say won’t. Nothing is certain until a few days have passed and it’s announced on fox news.

  2. Phoned AS, the agent was able to see the flight in her system but couldn’t confirm the ticket…

  3. About time! Duh, why not connect to the hub of a partner in the US which is on the way to everywhere!

  4. CX does not appear to be allowing award connection availability out of HKG (at least to SE Asia), which makes the option much less interesting.

  5. Nice that they are flying the A350 into Boeing’s home town. After a busy month of long hauls I think this is the best widebody currently flying. I’m sitting in the lounge in HEL after CX and AY A350 legs and I feel more refreshed than after any recent flight, including a 787 leg. My wife who rarely remarks on these things was raving about TG’s A350 a couple of weeks back. It see a high bar and I hope the 777X is up to the challenge.

    CX clearly have some quality’s problems with their A350 interiors, loose bits of trim and upholstery in Biz.

  6. It’s rather disappointing that Cathay Pacific opted to operate the route only four times weekly. They’re clearly taking advantage of the great feed in SFO from Alaska and LAX from Alaska and American to offer multiple daily routes to and from Hong Kong. Regardless, Cathay is notoriously conservative ( and it may be a hedge against the possible re-launch of JAL’s service to Seattle (per CAPA, above). And Alaska will no doubt be providing feed to that route as well.

    The upside is the thrice-daily routes from Vancouver to Hong Kong offer the next best thing to a daily connection

  7. Big win for SEA, my departure airport. Great for AS to stay competitive in this market too, especially as they continue to hemorrhage partners – AA, AF, KLM, Aero Mex – poof!

    Big question… will CX build a SEA lounge, and one with the same style and amenities as found in YVR? With only 4x/wk and no F, I doubt it.

  8. A Delta rep told me last week that they will have over 200 flights a day starting in October, second in number to Atlanta. The SEA airport is growing fast.

  9. With these slots, CX is clearly taking SEA into its own hands. 9PM arrival into SEA means not much connection beyond SEA (some AS/Skywest ones maybe), while the bet is on Oceania/Asia feed into HKG. P.S. AS still can’t book the new flights and AA reps are able to issue award tickets.

  10. Just tried booking via Alaska miles. They aren’t able to price the routing currently (even though they are able to see it). Will try again tomorrow or a later time.

  11. the flight times are pretty good.
    SEA to HKG, the departure is late enough to basically catch all flights coming into Seattle, especially afternoon flights from the east coast. Arrival is early enough for basically any connection to rest of Asia.

    HKG to SEA, again, its late enough from HKG to connect and 9 PM is just close enough for late shuttle flights to surrounding cities or a redeye to east coast.

  12. I know I keep complaining about this, but CX still has ZERO business class award availability intra-Asia at this time. Get it fixed, CX! I want to book out of SEA but I need to not just stop in HKG.

  13. Coincidentally, just before you posted this I booked two of the seats on cx831 on the exact dates you showed

  14. Yeah. It is possible to fly J from North America to Australia for 60K AS in business. But the HKG to SYD in J is even more difficult to secure than is JFK HKG in F ! It’s frustrating

  15. Alaska domestic awards are non-existent, so award connectivity will be bad. Im glad to see CX replacing DL. DL is the worst of the major 3 airlines in every way possible.

  16. Lucky-

    You mentioned that CX had a list of nine U.S. markets that they were considering for passenger service. What are the other eight markets?

    John G.

  17. ” (and unlike Delta, they have the key benefit of having extensive connectivity at both airports) ”
    “CX858 Hong Kong to Seattle departing 11:55PM arriving 9:00PM”

    this is another example of a self-contradicting post. The first statement *would’ve* been true if the timings were more normalized, but realistically, how many non-east-coast-red-eye connections can you be making at AS/SEA after 2230 (allocating a minimum 1hr30 gap for clearing FIS) ?

  18. @Davisson : “9 PM is just close enough for late shuttle flights to surrounding cities”

    other than PDX, which regional “shuttle” flights are you referring to that CX doesn’t already have multiple dailies to (YVR SFO LAX) ?

    SAN ? SLC? Spokane ??

  19. This is always the confusing part for me…you mentioned that it costs 70k on AA, 50k on Alaska and then show a BA award search. When I do the same BA award search, it shows 90k avios and CX does not show as a partner. Which airline am I searching for on what website? This is the reason I can never redeem miles. I want to spend the least amount of miles possible but I can’t even find how to book them. Can you write a post that explains how to book this or a post about how to book partner airlines?

  20. @ AJ — The reason I show a British Airways screenshot is because their website is best for searching Cathay Pacific award availability for partner airlines. Both Alaska and American don’t show Cathay Pacific award space online, so you have to search availability through BA and then call Alaska or American to book, and you’d be charged their normal rates. Hope that makes sense.

  21. The propsects seem good, but is it really a good idea to park an A350 for nearly 18 hours? Isn’t CX’s busiest American-bound flight bank around 5-6pm HK time anyway, which, if you keep the return schedule, would give the plane just under 2-3h in SEA.

  22. Just had a long chat with the Alaska partner reservations desk. They don’t have permission from cathay to book these flights yet, but the inventory is in their system and they expect to be able to book within two weeks.

  23. Finally no longer having to drive to YVR to fly CX… though would still need to do if I want to fly CX F!

  24. Business out of HKG seems to be opened up now. 5 seats available HKG-DEL for January anyways.

  25. @Henry LAX

    Just doing a quick google on the seatac airport for flights departing tonight on Alaska from 11PM to 12AM (more flights after 12AM, but didn’t look) is about 17. More than half is non-redeye to destinations such as Yakima, Wenatchee, Redmond, Medford, Eugene, Bellingham, Anchorage, Spokane…. etc. Again, what CX has secured on flight times is pretty good IMO.

  26. The proximity to YVR may be a problem for CX. The frequency is only four days a week versus delta daily service. For purposes of immigration and customs YVR is the US.

  27. Very nice. Usually have to fly out of SFO or LAX when I fly to the Philippines via HK. Will save a lot of time.

  28. This is great news for western canada! Usually, we have to connect through SEA and another US city to redeem AS points on CX.

  29. This is good news. Even better news would be JAL coming to SEA – with a plane that has their First Class cabin.

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