Cathay Pacific’s first A350 from HKG to YVR is ready for a tug to pull it to the gate
Almost 35 years ago, Cathay Pacific Airways (CX) began its international expansion to North America, flying a Boeing 747-200 from Hong Kong (HKG) to Vancouver, BC (YVR). It was the first airline to fly nonstop between the two key Pacific Rim cities, and on Tuesday morning, Cathay Pacific introduced a new aircraft type on the route.
The airline’s Airbus A350-900XWB, B-LRI, touched down in the pouring rain just after sunrise, almost an hour ahead of its 8:00 AM scheduled arrival time. I was with the media group, set up on the south ramp for the A350’s expected arrival on YVR’s runway 08R. But just a few minutes before landing, the plane’s approach was changed to the north runway, 08L.
A brand-new EVA Boeing 777-300ER, currently the most popular 777 variant, at Paine Field (with nine-abreast economy)
In October 2015, it appeared that Cathay Pacific was ‘flirting’ with the idea of changing its long-haul 777 economy class from a 9-abreast to a 10-abreast cabin. This appears to be correct, since Cathay Pacific gauged the responses of some of its most loyal Marco Polo customers in a recent survey to see whether they would accept a 3-4-3 configuration on their long-haul 777 aircraft.
BONUS: Flying a Cathay 777 Across North America in Business Class
“To understand the needs of our customers as well as the trend and development of the airline industry, Cathay Pacific periodically conducts research on different aspects of our offerings so as to continuously improve on our passenger services,” Julie Jarratt, Cathay Pacific Communications Manager explained to AirlineReporter. “Cathay Pacific, at this stage, has no decision to change the seat width and seat pitch of our 777 fleet.”
The economy cabin inside a Singapore Airlines 777
From an airline’s perspective, the rationale for a 10-abreast cabin is quite obvious. Not only does it provide a higher profit margin, by lowering its cost per seat mile, but it (theoretically) allows these savings to be put into other benefits for travelers in the form of cheaper airfares or enhanced services. In this sense, a denser cabin allows airlines to move greater numbers of passenger on fewer flights, which leads to fuel efficiency in the form of equated fuel burn reduction savings. I wanted to take a closer look at which airlines are taking delivery of the higher-density 777s, as that configuration is becoming more and more popular.
An American Airlines 777-300ER (77W) taxis at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Will it soon offer a Premium Economy option?
American Airlines is hosting a press conference on Wednesday, January 20, at the world-famous Hollywood Bowl, and AirlineReporter has been invited to attend this special “preview” for the media.
The hook from the invitation: there will be “some very exciting announcements to unveil about their continued growth and expansion in Los Angeles, including new services, partnerships, and programs that will be rolled out in 2016 at LAX and citywide!”
What could this mean? Does American have some big news for flyers… or will it be all fluff and circumstance?
Cathay Pacific has unveiled their new livery – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
Though there have been clues for over a year as to what Cathay Pacific was doing with their rebranding, it didn’t become fully clear until they recently unveiled it (including a new livery) in Hong Kong.
The previous hints were namely removing red from the boarding passes, corporate letterheads, and other places where customers may see the trademark “brushwing.”
There were even numerous rumors last year that a new livery was coming soon. That turned out not to be the case, but quite a bit of work was going on behind the scenes on the rebranding effort. Now, the world gets to see what Cathay has done to their aircraft.