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!

Cathay Pacific took World's Best Airline for 2014 - Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

Services to Boston will utilize a four-class 777-300ER – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter

The new Boston to Hong Kong service will operate four days a week with a 777-300ER, featuring four classes of service.  The full four-class aircraft (some of Cathay’s fleet of 777s are configured as three-class) features six First Class, 53 Business Class, 34 Premium Economy, and only 182 Economy Seats.  With an industry-leading business class reverse-herringbone seat, Cathay will now be the airline of choice if you are heading from New England to Southeast Asia.  The flights are timed to make sure that you can connect onwards to other Asian destinations.

Bonus: Read about flying Cathay Pacific’s First Class

With a 5:35 am arrival into Hong Kong, you can spend some time in Hong Kong’s amazing Chep Lap Kok Airport and then head off to your next Asian destination. The return to Boston leaves HKG at 6pm.  That said, the times in Boston aren’t really great.  Arriving in Boston, you will touch down at 9:30pm, not that great for connections.
The departure to HKG leaves at 1:45am, which is going to be a killer long day!  But this flight isn’t about connections to other New England or northeast destinations.  It’s about Bostonians heading out to the Far East.  The 1:45am departure for business travelers works.  You can put in a full day at the office, have dinner with the family, and then head to the airport.

Once onboard, snooze in that flat bed and wake up on the other side of the world refreshed, ready to head into Hong Kong for a full day of meetings.  On the way back, you can get most of your day in the city and be back at the airport to wing your way home.  Touch down in Boston ready for bed!

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

The Cathay Pacific First Class cabin

As Cathay Pacific expands their US network, we see them hitting more destinations, seeking not only the O&D market (Origin & Destination) but also the connecting market.  Cities like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles are all about the connecting market, as these are traditionally strong oneworld hub cities.  Cities like Boston and San Francisco are prime O&D and help connect these destinations onto other Asian cities.

Either way, Cathay Pacific’s expansion is a good thing for not only New England & the northeast, it means more options for the USA.  Maybe I need to fly their first class again… what do you think?

CORRESPONDENT - SEATTLE, WA. Mal is an Australian native who has been a huge fan of airlines and aviation and currently works in airport-related operations. Email: malcolm@airlinereporter.com

Flight Review: Flying Business Class on TAM Airlines
Chris Van Veen

Boston has been on quite a roll with international carriers who are quick to see the apathy from the likes of AA, UA, and (to a lesser extent) DL. None of these carriers have the operational or financial capital to launch international service from Boston (aside from Delta”s token efforts on a few routes). While our domestic carriers were fattening up on short- and medium-range RJ and 737s, the international carriers were focusing on 77Ws, 787s, and A350s…the perfect planes to connect more dots to their hub cities. Indeed, the domestic airlines were later to take on the 787 than many of the international carriers were…United”s are just starting to show up.

Foreign flag carriers seem to be very bullish on Boston, with more than one airline expressing interest in using the A380 there once Terminal E constructs the gate(s) needed to handle the behemoth. Interestingly, everything flying internationally from Boston seems to go east or west…not south. South America seems to be fertile ground for Boston judging by the population centers around the city. But generally speaking, South American flag carriers are not as financially healthy as, say, an Emirates is. Or any of the airlines descending on Logan like Locusts these days.

These are good days for Logan indeed. But that recently revamped Terminal E already looks like it”s bursting at the seams this summer with big widebodies parked off to the side like cordwood as demand for gates exceeds supply. This new Cathay flight won”t much have to worry about, coming into Boston when other flights are departing. And the hustle-and-bustle will be largely subsided by the time this 77W gets ready to depart at 0145 each morning.

Malcolm, after reading your original review of Cathay’s first class, I would not hesitate a second if I had the chance to fly first on them again! Go for it! We need to know if the BOS-HKG first class service is as good as your original flight!

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