We’ve known for a while that Cathay Pacific’s first major route for the A350-900 will be on the Hong Kong to London Gatwick run.
Now that’s changed with Cathay Pacific’s introduction of the plane on regional routes.
For those of you looking to redeem miles for a Cathay Pacific award ticket from a US gateway, the airline uses the A330, A340, or B777 for the second leg departing from Hong Kong to other cities in Asia.
It’s gradually replacing the aging A330 and A340 products with the A350 plane, which features a new coach class and the same reverse herringbone business class seat, though slightly refreshed.
Keep in mind though, the A350 does not feature a first-class section. Cathay Pacific decided against it, keeping first-class for its B777 fleet that flies on its “trunk routes” like London, Los Angeles, and New York.
In other words, make sure you’re booking the A350 frequency on the second leg if you’re flying to Asia through Hong Kong anytime soon for the best end-to-end onboard experience, especially if you’re flying in coach.
Right now, the plane is being deployed on a number of routes: Hong Kong to Manila, Taipei, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore with frequencies increasing after July.
Other Cathay Pacific A350 Routes
Aside from the Hong Kong to Gatwick and Dusseldorf routes starting in September, nothing has been confirmed by Cathay Pacific.
As an eventual replacement for the A330, the A350 should see more routes opening up to places like Australia and New Zealand. Other rumored destinations include Milan, Zürich, and Barcelona. Cathay Pacific has 47 A350s on order, so the aircraft should be a primary fixture on more long-haul routes down the road.
If you’re eager to try out the new plane, your best bet is to redeem Alaska Mileage Plan miles for these flights between Europe and Hong Kong. A one-way flight is 42,500 miles in business class, 35,000 miles in premium economy or 30,000 miles in coach. You can also redeem 75,000 AAdvantage miles for business or 35,000 for economy. Unfortunately, you can’t take advantage of the one-way stopover rule between Europe and Asia using Alaska miles.
The best way to find Cathay Pacific award availability is to use the British Airways website. I did a quick search of Hong Kong to London Gatwick and Dusseldorf availability from September onwards, and found 1 to 2 seats on each flight in business class.