How Many Cathay Pacific 777s Have Wifi?

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific, Travel Technology

Obviously there are bigger issues going on at Cathay Pacific right now than the progress of their wifi installation. However, I wrote a post a while back about their progress installing wifi on their 777s, and wanted to update that post, since several people have asked me if the status of this has changed.

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 long haul fleet continues to be the 777, and they only started installing wifi on these planes last year.

Cathay Pacific’s A350 business class

In this post I wanted to provide an update on Cathay Pacific’s 777 wifi installation progress, given that it has been several months.

Cathay Pacific’s General Wifi Plans

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 last year, and last I heard, the plan was for all Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon wide body 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 we’re approaching the end of 2019, 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?

This amazing resource about Cathay Pacific’s fleet has the lowdown on 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 2 Boeing 777-300ERs in a three class configuration with 9 seats per row in economy feature wifi
  • 12 out of 18 Boeing 777-300ERs in a three class configuration with 10 seats per row in economy feature wifi
  • 0 out of 7 Boeing 777-300ERs in a four class configuration with 9 seats per row in economy features wifi
  • 20 out of 24 Boeing 777-300ERs in a four class configuration with 10 seats per row in economy feature wifi

In total that means 32 of 51 Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ERs have wifi. That includes 12 out of 20 777-300ERs in a three class configuration (without first class), and 20 out of 31 Boeing 777-300ERs in a four class configuration (with first class).

As you can see, if you want to maximize your odds of getting wifi on a flight:

  • Book a four class 777-300ER with 10 seats per row in economy, since 83% of those planes have wifi
  • Book a three class 777-300ER with 10 seats per row in economy, since 67% of those planes have wifi

The best way to book on one of these flights is to just take a look at the economy seatmap for the flight you’re considering, and figure out if it has nine or 10 seats per row in economy.

For example, looking at a random date in December (the 15th), it looks like all 777 routes show configurations with 10 seats per row in economy:

  • 3 of the 3 LAX frequencies features a 777 with 10 seats per row in economy
  • 3 of the 3 JFK frequencies feature a 777 with 10 seats per row in economy
  • The SFO frequency features a 777 with 10 seats per row in economy
  • The ORD frequency features a 777 with 10 seats per row

Seatmap for Cathay Pacific’s 777 with 10 seats per row

Cathay Pacific 777 Wifi Summary

Cathay Pacific is making good progress with installing wifi on their 777s. As it stands, 32 of their 51 Boeing 777-300ERs feature wifi, and that number is growing fairly 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 (especially their four cabin variety) 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?

  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.


  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.

  13. Okay, this is weird. Ben’s post published April 27, but the comments are from last year.

    But the “AA is better” post gave me a good laugh, so it’s all good.

  14. Dear Lucky,
    You could really make a list of B777s still in 3-3-3 today… I feel like humanity onboard those 3-4-3 777s are dumped into the sewer.

  15. @ DenB — That’s because I updated the previous post I published with the new information, rather than publishing a second all new post. This is so that the information in the post is as accurate as possible, rather than keeping a post out there with outdated information.

  16. @DenB ha, I thought the same thing about AA. The only time I’ve ever put the two carriers into a single sentence is probably saying something like “the best use of AA miles for Asia is flying Cathay.”

  17. I’m currently on one of the 777, like now 🙂

    Speed is crazy fast, 85+Mbps download!

    CX 846, HKG-JFK, registration B-KQV

  18. I for HKG-JFK in March on four class with 10 across in economy. WiFi was $20 for duration with no limits and very fast/reliable.
    Their J product is old but very consistent with great service. I’ll often choose them over AA if going to Asia.

  19. @X
    This is what I have so far. Took me 35 minutes to get this info from going through SeatGuru and the Wikipedia list of 777 operators.

    Airlines with all 9 abreast economy 777:
    Air China, Air India, Asiana, Delta, EgyptAir, El Al, Ethiopian, Garuda Indonesia, Korean Air, Pakistan, Singapore, Thai, Turkish, Virgin Australia

    Airlines with partial 9 abreast economy 777:
    ANA, British, Cathay Pacific, China Southern, EVA Air, JAL, Qatar, Saudia, TAAG Angola, United,

    Airlines with no 9 abreast economy 777:
    Aeroflot, Air Canada, Air France, Air New Zealand, Alitalia, American, Austrian, China Airlines, China Eastern, Emirates, Etihad, KLM, LATAM, Swiss, Ukraine,

  20. To my surprise, I had wifi on HKG – SFO CX a couple of months ago and I was able to redeem one of my Amex bus plat gogo certs for the service.

  21. @Unnayan Jain

    Flew one EWR-HKG and the remote touchscreen was completely busted. Amazing for such a new aircraft. Pretty lackluster service too.

  22. I flew CX884 on April 6 and wifi was available and I opted for the $19.95 option. It was pretty reliable and had no issues connecting and browsing through Instagram/FB and emails.

  23. I just did a back to back on the routing HKG-JFK -HKG from the January 1st «sale». I loved the on board entertainment and service, however being of line in 34 hours is a killer. My iPhone looked like a teenager full of zits landing in HKG.

  24. Meh, wi-fi is about number 27 on my list of priorities for a flight.

    Frankly it is good to be offline for a while.

  25. I flew LAX HKG a few times on CX business in the past 12 months, and used the wifi on the 777. It was very fast and reliable. I did not experience disconnection at all, and were able to send image and video on iMessage. I also flew JAL First for the same route and used their wifi, it was an older generation, and it was slow and often experienced interruption.

    On a side note, I flew AA in business for the same route once. Never again!

  26. A better question will be “How Many Cathay Pacific 777s Have Their Oxygen canisters emptied deliberately?”

  27. @Tom

    Exactly right. Being airborne in J class is practically the last realm of serenity for me. I have not not died, suffered physical or mental injury, incurred financial loss or broken relationships or started a war by being offline for a few hours. Chances are most other ‘busy’ pax will also be fine by choosing to switch off. It ain’t healthy being wired 24/7!

  28. Flying JFK-HKG route in End of the year/ early January and back… is it bound to have 3-4-3 seating now? Y class it is this year but if that’s really the fate… Do I need to succumb to crossing the Hudson to EWR and fly the 350 back to the 852 because that’s a guarantee 3-3-3 seating in the back? Don’t really care about Wifi because slack is too slow to load 30000+ feet up in the air and I’ll most likely pass out half the flight since it’s a 1am departure.

  29. You won’t have to worry when CX no longer exists in its’ present form after China erodes most of the 2 systems 1 country. model.

  30. I wonder how it will be controlled or lack of on China-bound flights. I wonder if internet access for all of their planes will be bound in this way.

  31. Does anyone knows when they will end of installing wifi on all their 777 with first class seats?
    Have a flight on last July

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