I’m generally a big fan of Cathay Pacific, though there are some areas in which they’ve historically lagged. One of those areas is wifi.
Cathay Pacific has offered wifi on their A350s since they started taking delivery of them a couple of years back. However, the backbone of their longhaul fleet continues to be the 777, and they only started installing wifi on these planes earlier this year.
Cathay Pacific’s A350 business class
I’m thinking of taking another flight in Cathay Pacific’s 777 first class in January, as it has been years since I’ve reviewed the product. However, I’d really love to experience a 777 with wifi, because I’m curious how my perception of Cathay Pacific first class changes if being able to stay connected the entire flight.
Cathay Pacific’s general wifi plans
As I wrote about a bit over a year ago, Cathay Pacific’s general plan is to install Gogo 2Ku satellite-based wifi on their Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft, including those operated by Cathay Dragon.
The process started around the middle of this year, and last I heard, the plan was for all Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon widebody aircraft to feature wifi by 2020. This is certainly an exciting development for the airline.
Note that on the 777 the addition of wifi is coming at a cost, sort of. Not only is Cathay Pacific installing wifi on their 777s, but they’re also adding more seats. They’ll go from being one of the few airlines to feature just nine seats per row in economy, to having 10 seats per row in economy, like most other airlines.
Cathay Pacific’s 777 first class
How many Cathay Pacific 777s have wifi?
Now that 2018 is drawing to a close, how is Cathay Pacific doing when it comes to installing wifi on their 777s, which are the planes used for many of their longest flights?
Thanks to The Flight Deal for pointing me towards this amazing resource about Cathay Pacific’s fleet, which has the lowdown of how many 777s have wifi. What’s interesting is that there’s not full overlap between the planes with 10 seats per row in economy and those with wifi, which surprises me, since I figured wifi was being installed the same time as extra seats.
As of now:
- 0 out of 8 Boeing 777-300ERs in a three class configuration with 9 seats per row in economy feature wifi
- 8 out of 12 Boeing 777-300ERs in a three class configuration with 10 seats per row in economy feature wifi
- 1 out of 26 Boeing 777-300ERs in a four class configuration with 9 seats per row in economy features wifi
- 5 out of 6 Boeing 777-300ERs in a four class configuration with 10 seats per row in economy feature wifi
So in total that means 14 or 52 Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ERs have wifi. That includes 8 out of 20 777-300ERs in a three class configuration (without first class), and 6 out of 32 Boeing 777-300ERs in a four class configuration (with first class).
However, as you can see, your best odds of scoring a flight with wifi are to book one of the four class 777-300ERs with 10 seats per row, since ~84% of those planes have wifi.
For example, looking at a random date in January (the 17th), for US to Hong Kong routes, it looks like:
- 1 of the 3 LAX frequencies features a 777 with 10 seats per row in economy
- 1 of the 2 SFO frequencies feature a 777 with 10 seats per row in economy
- None of the JFK frequencies feature a 777 with 10 seats per row in economy
- The ORD frequency doesn’t feature a 777 with 10 seats per row
Seatmap for Cathay Pacific’s 777 with 10 seats per row
Cathay Pacific is making good progress with installing wifi on their 777s. As it stands, 14 of their 52 Boeing 777-300ERs feature wifi, and that number is growing quickly. While there’s no way to guarantee your flight will have wifi, your best bet is to book one of their 777s with 10 seats per row in economy, as a majority of those planes feature wifi.
Have you flown a Cathay Pacific 777 with wifi yet? If so, what was your experience with the Gogo 2Ku service?