Hong Kong Airlines Debuts New A350 Business Class

Filed Under: Other Airlines

In mid-August Hong Kong Airlines published some incredibly low business class fares between the US and Asia, which they’ll be honoring (and they announced this in the most impressive way possible). So I know many of you will be flying the airline in the coming weeks and months, and therefore might be interested in this news.

I had the chance to fly Hong Kong Airlines recently on their A350 between Hong Kong and Los Angeles, and the experience was excellent. I was so impressed by the airline, and in particular by how well polished their soft product was. I also loved their lounge in Hong Kong.

Anyway, the airline has a total of 21 Airbus A350s on order, and what’s interesting is that their first four A350s were delivered with the staggered business class seats you see above. The reason for this is that the first A350s they took delivery of were supposed to go to Brazilian airline Azul, but they had canceled their order. So Hong Kong Airlines took over their order, including keeping their seats.

The good news is that I found the configuration to be one of the best staggered ones out there, so it didn’t bother me one bit.

There’s some good news when it comes to their business class product, though. Hong Kong Airlines has just taken delivery of their first A350 with reverse herringbone seats in business class. This is their fifth A350, and should enter commercial service shortly.

The airline went with very standard (and comfortable) B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats, which I consider to be an excellent business class product. The planes with reverse herringbone seats will have 33 business class seats, which is the same number of seats they have in the other configuration.

Each seat will have a 17″ monitor with an updated AVANT entertainment system from Thales, which should be a nice improvement for business class passengers.

Hong Kong Airlines says that the new A350 should be flying to LAX on select services as of this month. Best I can tell, the airline hasn’t actually updated any seatmaps to reflect the new cabin. They may not even have to do that, given that the two cabins have the same number of seats, so it should be easy enough to swap configurations.

So if you are flying the airline to/from LAX, don’t be surprised if you see these excellent seats.

What do you make of Hong Kong Airlines’ new A350 business class?

(Tip of the hat to Alvin at YTHK)

  1. Any idea when additional A350s will deliver? I’m interested in whether these newbies are going to service the SFO-HKG route at some point.

  2. John s is right. Additionally you’ll be happy to hear that these A350s have air nozzles at all seats. Was a pleasant surprise for me!

  3. @Alvin (and others)
    Sounds like you might have some special insights into HK airlines. Wonder if you could speculate on something for me.
    I was one of the lucky people who was able to purchase some of those $600 tickets in business class to Bangkok (departing9/13)
    I purchased tickets for myself my wife and my infant son (seat not lap).
    Afterwords I went onto the Hong Kong airlines website and saw that infants are not allowed in the business cabin of the a350.
    I called Expedia which contacted Hong Kong airlines which said it was OK.
    I also contacted Hong Kong airlines by phone and chat and was assured that it was OK as well.
    However last week I received a call from Hong Kong Airlines telling me that infants were not allowed into the business cabin.
    Out of an abundance of caution I was able to convince a family member to fly in coach and I purchased my son a second infant ticket in coach, but I am really hoping that they will just let myself my wife and son into the business class cabin.
    Any insight or educated guess into how best to proceed or how this might play out would be most appreciated.

  4. @Luis – Not necessarily. They have only gotten one of those so far and the flight time is 15 hours there and 13.5 back plus turnaround time. So not enough to use their single reverse herringbone A350 plane every day. I’m guessing they will probably use the new one for LAX-HKG-BKK and back again. So if I am right your chances are 1 in 3 to get the new one.

  5. The new seats look great! Is there any information on possible future routes for the airline, because they are getting a lot of new aircraft, but do not have many routes announced. I was wondering if we might see further expansion for them in the USA to take on CX.

  6. For my personal situation, I prefer the old seats. I just flew HX J last month HKG-LAX with my family (spouse & 6 year old child). The current set up is very good for having a small child, as in the “honeymoon” seat it was easy to manage our child without having to leave my seat. We previously had flown AA, and their (comfortable) seats were a pain, as either I have to walk around the cabin or have a seat across the aisle and always get up.

    Totally get why they switched (Business traveler preference), but from a family perspective the prior seats are much better.

  7. If/when they partner and get positioning links then they will become a major player.
    Not USA, but they have been flying out of YVR for quite a while.

  8. The tail number for the new A350 is B-LGE. For HKG-LAX route, they use B-LG(ABCDE)…I guess we only have a 20% chance to fly the new aircraft.

  9. Got to fly B-LGE on its first trip from LAX to HKG. Simply awsome, both hard and soft. Just finished my RT on HX.

    Got the old style staggered on the return. (Position of fixed TV means no knee room when reclined).

    Tried 2 configurations of regional on connecting flights. So 4 versions of HX J class in total for $577. It was a decent airline overall

  10. We just flew these seats from LAX to HKG, and HKG to LAX. On the flight from LAX in my family of 4 we had 2 seats where the IFE volume did not work. In addition, there was a woman behind one of our seats who didn’t have volume on her IFE. The flight was full so we couldn’t move to a working seat.

    On the flight from HKG to LAX there was 1 seat in my party that didn’t recline, and another seat that did not recline, and one other seat where the IFE volume didn’t work, luckily this flight wasn’t full so I was able to move my non-reclining seat to a working seat.

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