Cathay Pacific Bringing Back First Class!

Cathay Pacific Bringing Back First Class!

33

With Hong Kong starting to gradually reopen to visitors, Cathay Pacific is resuming selling first class. Ahhh, miles & points nature is finally healing! 😉

Cathay Pacific resumes first class on London route

At the start of the pandemic, Cathay Pacific grounded much of its fleet, and also stopped selling first class. This was for a couple of reasons:

  • Cathay Pacific only has first class on its Boeing 777s, and the airline grounded most of its 777s, instead focusing on primarily flying Airbus A350s
  • There just hasn’t been much demand for paid first class, so the airline decided it was more economical to just stop selling the product altogether, to save on staffing, the onboard product, ground services, etc.
Cathay Pacific’s beautiful 777 first class cabin

Interestingly Cathay Pacific has actually been flying some Boeing 777-300ERs with first class, so some lucky business class passengers have been able to assign those seats at no extra cost, while still receiving business class service.

After a suspension of over 2.5 years, Cathay Pacific will finally be bringing back first class. For flights as of December 5, 2022, Cathay Pacific is once again selling first class on one of its daily flights to London Heathrow. Specifically, first class is for sale on the following frequency:

CX251 Hong Kong to London departing 10:20PM arriving 5:00AM (+1 day)
CX252 London to Hong Kong departing 11:15AM arriving 7:00AM (+1 day)

Cathay Pacific first class is one of my favorite first class products in the world. While it’s not the most private seat out there, it’s such a well-rounded experience.

Cathay Pacific’s first class caviar service

Funny enough for the past several months, there has been one creative way to enjoy Cathay Pacific’s first class, sort of. Qatar Airways has been leasing some Cathay Pacific 777s, and has been offering first class. Let’s call it Qatar Pacific first class.

When will first class return to other routes?

So far Cathay Pacific has only formally announced the return of first class on a single daily London frequency. However, I’d be willing to bet that first class will be making a comeback on a lot more routes shortly:

  • There are economies of scale here, so if the airline is going to resume first class on one route, it might as well resume first class on more routes, as demand recovers
  • Cathay Pacific has almost exclusively been flying Airbus A350s to the United States for the past couple of years, but over the coming months Cathay Pacific is shifting a majority of US routes back to the Boeing 777, though first class isn’t yet on sale
  • Rumor has it that Hong Kong plans to ease most travel restrictions as of later this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a return of first class coinciding with that
Cathay Pacific is scheduling 777s on more routes again

Cathay Pacific still hasn’t reopened its Pier First Class Lounge in Hong Kong, which I rank as one of the best in the world (and it has also historically been accessible by oneworld Emerald members). I sure hope that we see that reopen soon — I imagine that will happen as the sale of first class is resumed on more routes.

Hopefully Cathay Pacific’s Pier First Class Lounge opens soon

Bottom line

After a nearly three year suspension, Cathay Pacific will be resuming first class as of December 2022, on the Hong Kong to London route. While the airline has been flying 777s with first class, it hasn’t actually been selling the cabin since the start of the pandemic.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cathay Pacific resume first class on a widespread basis in the coming months, especially if Hong Kong further eases travel restrictions.

When do you think Cathay Pacific will bring back first class on more routes?

Conversations (33)
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  1. Andrew Guest

    How many armchair commentators have actually been to Hong Kong? Ever or in the last few years? Free yourself from the Western media propaganda and speak to some locals - who for the most part have no desire to be involved in politics, just want to get on with living their life, primarily and in no particular order: get a good job, have a roof over one's head, a stable economy, eat good food and...

    How many armchair commentators have actually been to Hong Kong? Ever or in the last few years? Free yourself from the Western media propaganda and speak to some locals - who for the most part have no desire to be involved in politics, just want to get on with living their life, primarily and in no particular order: get a good job, have a roof over one's head, a stable economy, eat good food and be able to travel!

    These kind of Western broad brush anti-China views are unhelpful and racist - particularly unwarranted by those who are supposed to be part of a travel community. Ben was just posting about F awards opening up - how these comments disintegrated in such a scale is humanity at its worst (OK maybe a bit dramatic).

    All societies have their own unique issues (which, sidebar the coloniser of Hong Kong is now basically a real-time soap opera) but why do we need to drag this into a travel forum? You are visiting a place for new experiences, not to become the next Prime Minister/President/Chief Executive. If you don't like it, don't return, simple as that. Take your political views (both informed and uninformed) elsewhere.

    1. Cassio Guest

      Bugger off CCP Apologist. Yes, do speak to locals to see how bad it is now. Yes I am from Hong Kong.

  2. iamhere Guest

    Yes, the big catch is it requires you to go to/from HK or at least transfer there.
    Qatar are they leasing the same planes and repainting or they are Cathay interiors and exteriors used by Qatar?

  3. Ree Howard Guest

    The interior matches identically to a dream I had decades ago and never forgotten! The "hydro-train" is what I considered it to be this whole time.

  4. Jordan Gold

    Hong Kong use to be the most amazing city. Stunning, and now....no.

    Most people I know are avoiding HK and China moving forward. Such a shame for both places. No more CX F for a long time to come.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      Explain how Hong Kong has become not “the most amazing city” for visitors? (minus COVID bs)

    2. ArnoldB Guest

      I see you are the local CCP defender here. My guess would be that people do not like that HK was turned from a free, democratic city into just another unfree place under Xi's boot, with a lot of companies and people leaving the country as a consequence. And thus do not want to finance this regime.

    3. Bill n DC Gold

      Certainly my view! I’ve had a couple nice visits to Hong Kong in the past getting to and from in Cathay Pacific First (& enjoy The Wing and it’s Cabanas)
      Been to the Sitting Buddha, the Peak (while enjoying the Conrad Club level on pre-devalued, at that time, points)
      Enjoyed the InterContinental Club Jr. Suite with 270 degree views of the Harbor
      I’ve used my Cathay Pacific (née Asia Miles) points to...

      Certainly my view! I’ve had a couple nice visits to Hong Kong in the past getting to and from in Cathay Pacific First (& enjoy The Wing and it’s Cabanas)
      Been to the Sitting Buddha, the Peak (while enjoying the Conrad Club level on pre-devalued, at that time, points)
      Enjoyed the InterContinental Club Jr. Suite with 270 degree views of the Harbor
      I’ve used my Cathay Pacific (née Asia Miles) points to fly Japan First to Tokyo next summer
      I used to want to visit Shanghai to see the tall buildings. After screwing up the visa issue twice, I threw that idea in the dustbin

  5. Spencer Guest

    Hopefully Alaska doesn't destroy the CX redemption

  6. CMorgan Guest

    Bringing back F just in time for AS Air mileage plan devaluation. I book using AS miles so not expecting this to hang around for long.

  7. Bill n DC Gold

    No mention at all of award availability. Even your well based speculation. ;-)
    I know first things first but I want one/2 final flights in Cathay First and a layover in the Wing cabana.
    my final flights and use of CX miles but COVID cancellation (JFK HKG HND). The 125000 miles would expire this month so they are taking me ORD HND in JAL 1st next June
    then good bye.
    Hello Singapore

  8. Brian E. Guest

    Google flights is showing first class being available on their jfk-hkg flight starting Dec 4th.

    1. CXTraveller Member

      Just checked CX website, 77W returns to LAX on Dec 1, and they have increased # of flights to daily. Also, 77W returns to SFO on Dec 5 (4 weekly), plus 2 weekly with the A350. BOS-HKG remained 1 weekly flights on A350 until late March 2023 when it'll increase to 2 weekly.

  9. Gillian mountjoy Guest

    I just had my flight changed for the second time. I wouldn't mind but they could ask first about the date they change it to . Giving us a long stay over isn't acceptable.

    1. glenn t Diamond

      I agree that moving passengers travel dates around like cargo is completely unacceptable.

  10. JetAway Guest

    Well, the "catch" is that you have to travel to HK to enjoy it. Once my favorite city but no longer.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      I’ve been told many people fly Cathay Pacific and connect in Hong Kong to other destinations.

      And for HK, what's changed for visitors? (once the COVID restrictions end)

    2. Eskimo Guest

      You're asking the wrong question.

      It should be, What's changed for nosy Westerners?

    3. T- Guest

      I don’t think that “westerners” are the sole “nosy” people in the world. Taking an interest in another person’s country is a great idea. That is what travel/tourism is about sir/miss.

  11. Mike Guest

    Has anyone been able to book an award flight through Cathay's website? It constantly leads to an error page. Have tried different browsers and clearing cookies, but still the same result.

    1. DCAWABN Guest

      I've been getting the same issue about 70% of the time. Looking at the URL in my browser when I'm directed to the error page it appears that an API that pulls availability data from some other repository, some database, I'm sure, is poorly written or broken. I have a trip back from SEA next year that I'd like to return on CX, but their web presence is sub part between Asia Miles and Cathay...

      I've been getting the same issue about 70% of the time. Looking at the URL in my browser when I'm directed to the error page it appears that an API that pulls availability data from some other repository, some database, I'm sure, is poorly written or broken. I have a trip back from SEA next year that I'd like to return on CX, but their web presence is sub part between Asia Miles and Cathay Pacific and logging in to one/both to accomplish the same mission. And whatever this API issue is doesn't help.

  12. Todd Guest

    Who, in their right mind, would want to go to Hong Kong any longer?

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      Visitors? Tourists? Many business people?

      Once the COVID restriction nonsense is finally over, HK will be unchanged for them.

      The fact that for residents/citizens it’s become “Chairman Xi’s House of Horrors” doesn’t change visitor's experience.

    2. Bill n DC Gold

      Only if you’re indifferent to human suffering is the experience Unchanged

  13. SMR Guest

    As long as China keeps their hands on HK as they have been, destroying democracy…HK will simply never recover.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      I’ve been told many people fly Cathay Pacific and connect in Hong Kong to other destinations.

  14. CXTraveller Member

    That's a great news! And hopefully they'll bring the 777-300ER back to North America soon! Last I check, it's still all A350 so far with up to 6x a week to LAX. I expect they will load the new schedule by the end of the year to add more frequencies to NA for 2023! The award availability on biz class is hard to find due to the lower frequencies.

    1. Mike O. Guest

      While the west coast to HKG wouldn't be a problem, the 77Ws will struggle with ORD and points east because of the current geopolitical situation.

    2. CXTraveller Member

      Very true! Just checked CX841 JFK-HKG departed on Oct 16 with A350-1000, took 15 hours 20 min flying over Alaska and Japan. For 77W, it'll probably have some weight restriction, especially when the headwind is strong.

  15. uldguy Diamond

    I wonder at what point with Cathay pull back the 777's currently flying for Qatar? And, what is Qatar going to do without the lift those 777s provided?

    1. CXTraveller Member

      CX is predicting it'll take 2 years (if not more) to return capacity back to 2019 level. I heard Qatar leased these planes for 3 years (til 2025?). In the meantime, CX is still taking delivery of new A350s, so they should be good til 2025 on long haul. And of course, the 777-9 should come in 2026.

    2. Bill n DC Gold

      Maybe I should look out for fall 2023 Trip on Qatar flight using CX planes.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

JetAway Guest

Well, the "catch" is that you have to travel to HK to enjoy it. Once my favorite city but no longer.

4
ArnoldB Guest

I see you are the local CCP defender here. My guess would be that people do not like that HK was turned from a free, democratic city into just another unfree place under Xi's boot, with a lot of companies and people leaving the country as a consequence. And thus do not want to finance this regime.

3
T- Guest

I don’t think that “westerners” are the sole “nosy” people in the world. Taking an interest in another person’s country is a great idea. That is what travel/tourism is about sir/miss.

3
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