Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 258,704
2013: 330,818

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Cathay Pacific Grows in US – Adds New Destination

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 in the midst of a turnaround at YVR.

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER in the midst of a turnaround at YVR

On the heels of Cathay Pacific retiring the Queen of the Skies from the North American services, they have announced a service expansion to add another US city.  As of May 1, 2015, Cathay Pacific will begin service to its sixth destination in the United States with the addition of Boston.

The Boston service also comes fairly quick on the heels of Cathay launching their service to Newark earlier this year and adds another connection to the Northeast.  With multiple daily services to New York’s JFK Airport, a daily flight to Newark, and now a four times per week service to Boston, things are picking up for the east coasters.

Why Boston though? Like Newark, it doesn’t seem the most likely of destinations.  According to Cathay Pacific, among its connecting passengers to Hong Kong, Boston is the largest market with over 53,000 passengers flying between Boston’s Logan Airport and Hong Kong.  All 53,000 of them having to connect somewhere along the way.  That sounds like a fairly decent reason to add a daily service to me!

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Cathay Pacific Concludes 747 Service to North America

Cathay Cabin crew lined up to bid farewell to their North American 747 operations. Photo - Cathay Pacific Airways

Cathay cabin crew lined up to bid farewell to their North American 747 operations – Photo: Cathay Pacific Airways

On August 13, 2014 Cathay Pacific Airways celebrated its last 747 flight of any sort to North America. This is an iconic moment, as Cathay Pacific has been flying the 747 to North America, starting with San Francisco, since 1986. That’s 28 years of daily 747s. Cathay itself has been in the commercial 747 business since August 3, 1979. The actual last 747 flight to San Francisco will take place on August 31.

Cathay Pacific's 747-400 Farewell luncheon took place in San Francisco Airport's museum.  Photo - Cathay Pacific.

Cathay Pacific’s 747-400 farewell luncheon took place in San Francisco Airport’s museum – Photo: Cathay Pacific Airways

Cathay was not going to let this event pass without fanfare. At San Francisco Airport, they hosted a luncheon to celebrate the 747’s service in Cathay’s fleet.

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2014 World Airline Award Winners

Emirates Airline Boeing 777-200LR with GE-90 engines. Photo by Brandon Farris.

The 2013 World Airline Award winner was Emirates; who will it be this year? Photo: Brandon Farris

The 2014 World Airline Awards were held recently, in conjunction with the Farnborough Air Show, and the winners have been announced.  In a star-studded event held at the old Royal Aircraft Establishment’s Wind Tunnels, the winners were announced by Skytrax, who manages the awards. Some of the winners this year came as a bit of a surprise.

The World Airline Awards are an independent and totally non-biased process, with nearly 19 million people voting online (between August 2013 to May 2014) to decide who has the best services, cabins, cabin crews, and even lounges.  This is not just for your big name full-service airlines; even Low Cost Carriers have their own categories!  More than 105 different nationalities participated in this year’s survey and helped to define who was going to be named “World’s Best Airline”.

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Cathay Pacific Pajama Review – Old vs New

Cathay Pacific First Class Suite - Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

Flying Cathay Pacific First Class is always a treat – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

Earlier in the year I flew Cathay Pacific First Class from New York to Vancouver.  One of the (many) little perks of flying in First Class with Cathay was a lovely pair of pajamas.  Waiting on my seat for me was a pair designed by leading Hong Kong fashion house Shanghai Tang.

I had been waiting for years to get my hands on a pair of these and was totally over the moon to have them.  I was also sad knowing that Cathay was going to change over to a new provider.  I commented in my review that I was disappointed in the change, so the new provider decided to send me a pair of their pajamas to show that all was not lost.
Let’s first  look at the old pajamas, before we talk about the new.

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Reviewing Cathay Pacific’s First Class – The Best Trans-Con Ever?

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER preparing for a Test flight at Boeing's Everett Factory - Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER preparing for a Test flight at Boeing’s Everett Factory. Image: Mal Muir.

If you need to travel between New York and the Canadian west coast, there are just a few choices.  Your main options are Air Canada or WestJet, which both operate direct flights between New York and Vancouver.  Another option is flying a US-based airline (like United or American) via one of their hub cities.  But what if you have a nice chunk of points to burn and want to get the best bang for your buck? Sure, you could redeem for Air Canada business, but that would just be like flying any other US airline in the front cabin.  What if you could get a truly unique experience for the same amount of points as any other redemption? Well you can, with an unexpected airline.

Cathay Pacific Airlines (CX), based in Hong Kong, operates four daily flights between New York’s JFK Airport and Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok Airport.  However, one of those flights has a layover in Vancouver.  The last flight of the day (CX889) makes a stop along the way and Cathay Pacific has “Fifth Freedom” rights between New York and Vancouver.

What is a Fifth Freedom flight?  It’s where an airline is allowed to sell tickets on a flight between two foreign countries as part of a service connecting their own country.  Confusing, right?  In layman’s terms it means that if, for instance, the airline needs to make a fuel stop mid-route or something similar, then it can sell a ticket from that stopping point to the end destination.

Cathay Pacific’s flight from New York to Vancouver is unique in that those in premium cabins get all the standard international service items, despite the fact that it’s only a five-hour flight.  So even though I was flying a transcontinental flight JFK-YVR, I still got the multiple-course meal, amenity kit, and even pajamas.  All the standard items you would get as though you were flying Cathay Pacific for a 14-hour flight.

Continue reading Reviewing Cathay Pacific’s First Class – The Best Trans-Con Ever?