How Many Cathay Pacific 777s Have Wifi?

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

Bottom line

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?

Comments

  1. There was a part of me that used to enjoy tuning out the world for 15 hours but it’s now a real hardship and creates a lot of anxiety being entirely incommunicado for so long. When flying CX I avoid flights over the business day in North America and there are more and more acceptable alternatives to CX (with Wi-Fi) appearing all the time. They need to speed this up.

  2. Keep in mind B-KPA B-KPH B-KPP B-KPW B-KQW B-KQM B-KPF B-KPU B-KQU B-KPM B-KPV B-KQV all have the new TV screens, remotes, and IFE operating system in F, and new IFE operating system in J.

  3. Greetings from the CX Flyertalk page. Thanks resource was created by a number of us active on the board over there, and is maintained by a dedicated group of folks. It is regularly updated, although not always instantly! Input welcome on two threads below.

    -QRC3288

    https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/cathay-pacific-marco-polo-club/1789769-cathay-pacific-fleet-information.html

    https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/cathay-pacific-marco-polo-club/1943301-flown-cx-b77w-777-300er-lately-please-post-here-777-wi-fi-query.html

  4. @Jacob McCarthy are these “new” tv screens in F the same as the A350 Business? Looking forward to a higher resolution than 140p in Cathay Pacific First Class…

  5. Lucky.. you haven’t covered frequent broken seats on newer CX A350. Would love to hear your thoughts on it

  6. I thought I heard that the issue with lack of wifi on CX was something to do with their flying through chinese airspace and the whole censorship by the chinese government thing. Was that just a myth or were some restrictions lifted by the Chinese government?

  7. @Bill, Cathays wifi runs fully unrestricted over Chinese airspace. This is actually better than many carriers, many who must turn it off.

    What you refer to is the point CX repeated publicly about the multi-year wifi delay, but it wasn’t really the full story. However that delay is over, and all A350s are equipped and 777s being rolled out rapidly.

    Anyway, CX’s wifi works fully and uncensored even over Chinese airspace; they have a special waiver from CAAC. It is actually a competitive advantage, not disadvantage.

  8. I flew J from HKG-AKL recently on a 777-300ER and Wi-Fi was offered on that flight, much to my surprise. But usually that route is serviced by their A350 so I am wondering whether they made sure to keep Wi-Fi availability on the route to maintain some product consistency? They schedule a 777 during summer months when they have two flights per day.

  9. Let’s be real. CX offers a horrible hard product.. I now avoid them as much as possible and will pay extra to fly AA 777. AA J offers better IFE, better food, mattress pad, pajamas, decent snacks in gallery.. oh and wifi!! Such a decline in last 3x. It’s a shame…

  10. @Super

    I flew one of the upgraded 777s in May in F. The display is *much* higher quality and the display assembly is redesigned. There is also now a touch screen IFE remote. The IFE operating system is the same as the A350. In J, it has the new operating system, but the screen is still the same and quality is still low. I didn’t check what the deal was in Y and PE.

  11. Interesting timing bc I just flew yesterday (12/29) jfk-HKG on CX841, 777-3, and was looking for a week to find a tracking site with the WiFi deployment. I couldn’t find anything, but thankfully the flight had excellent WiFi. Speeds were very fast, and outside of the lack of connection while over the poles, I had no interruptions at all. I was in F, so I didn’t see what the economy configuration was.

  12. @Lucky — I trying to research the same topic as I’m on an upcoming JFK-HKG day flight. Google Flights shows whether a flight has wifi, apparently. Not sure how accurate but 9/10-across economy layout fits with that you outlined above.

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