Why Hong Kong Airlines Will Have An Inconsistent A350 Business Class Product

Filed Under: Other Airlines

Hong Kong Airlines just recently took delivery of their first A350, which should allow them to expand significantly. This December Hong Kong Airlines will begin A350 flights between Hong Kong and Los Angeles, and in 2018 they plan on adding flights to London, New York, and San Francisco.

It’s nice to see some more longhaul competition out of Hong Kong, given that it’s a market that Cathay Pacific dominates. Up until now we’ve known that Hong Kong Airlines plans to offer B/E Aerospace reverse herringbone seats in business class on their A350s, which is among the best business class hard products out there.

Qatar’s A350 B/E Aerospace reverse herringbone seats

Well, Hong Kong Airlines recently took delivery of their first A350, which they’ll soon begin flying on flights within Asia, in order to familiarize their crews with the plane, before flying it to Los Angeles.

However, there’s one small catch. Hong Kong Airlines’ first two A350s won’t feature reverse herringbone seats in business class. Instead they’ll feature a staggered configuration, which isn’t nearly as spacious or private.

The first two A350s being delivered to Hong Kong Airlines are ones that were initially going to be delivered to Brazil-based airline Azul, and Hong Kong Airlines decided to keep the seats that they had ordered on the plane.

It’s my understanding that starting with the third A350 they’ll have a new business class product, but that won’t be the case for the first two.

So if you’re planning to fly Hong Kong Airlines to Los Angeles in the first couple of months the route is offered, you can bet that this will be the seat you’ll get in business class.

It’s a bit unfortunate that the airline is taking delivery of a new type of plane and won’t even offer a consistent product on it.

(Tip of the hat to Carfield)

  1. In case if the comment section is wondering:

    Hainan Airlines is Hong Kong Airlines’s parent company, hence Hong Kong Airlines’s similar livery to that of Hainan’s.

  2. @Andy is that so? In that case, perhaps we will see a cooperation between Hong Kong Airlines and Virgin Australia in the future given that HNA Group partially owns both of them. Should be interesting!

    Well the staggered 1-2-1 by EADS isn’t exactly a nightmare in my experience. Tried it on EY, GA, TG.. just gotta be lucky enough to snatch a true window seat

  3. Actually, I prefer the more open arrangement of the Azul seats, as opposed to hiding in some slanted coffin closet. Besides, every other center seat pair there is great for couples.

  4. I’ve flown with them a few times domestically in the staggered business configuration. I’d worry more about the service and not the seat. I’d still pay the premium to fly Cathay any day.

  5. Actually, the difference between reverse herringbone and staggered configuration is really up to personal preference.
    I have really nothing against either, I like Qatar’s configuration but I recently flew Etihad and Alitalia and their windows seat is as private as it can get, and it also has a wider space for feet when in bed mode.
    And if I flew as a couple, I would much prefer the honeymoon seat than being forced to stay on my own

  6. In case if the comment section is wondering:

    Hainan Airlines is Hong Kong Airlines’s parent company, hence Hong Kong Airlines’s similar livery to that of Hainan’s.

  7. You’re wrong. The Stelia seats in the first 2 A350s are the best business class seats in the sky. The window and center honeymoon seats have extended length beds that are 83 inches long.

  8. I do not agree with you.
    This staggered seat is really comfortable especially in bed position. It gives lot of privacy and there isthe center seats pair which is good for couple or if you travel with a colleague/friend.

  9. whilst I agree this type of seating isnt ideal for a common themed business class product, you have to understand the passengers who normally take HKA are mostly mainland Chinese and they arent necessarily loyal to a particular airline or product. I have personally tested these seats (I also fly the A350) and some of the window seats are ultrawide and have much longer legroom than normal.

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