Cathay Pacific will axe daily flights between Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur from March 2017, handing the route over to regional sibling Dragonair.
Dragonair – which is being rebranded as CathayDragon from November – will begin the first of four daily flights in March 2017 and complete the schedule by May 2017, at which point Cathay Pacific will no longer fly to KL under its own stripe.
Cathay will also hand down five of its Airbus A330 jets to the Dragonair fleet, with those jets being in the regional configuration regularly seen on the KL route and sporting the same regional business class as Dragonair.
The seat is 21 inches wide with a pitch of 47 inches, which is certainly enough for the quick four hour dash between Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.
Eligible Dragonair flyers – such as those in business class and holding appropriate Marco Polo or Oneworld status – will still have access to Cathay Pacific lounges at both ends of the journey.
Cathay's switch will not only take advantage of Dragonair's lower cost structure on the same route but help the parent sidestep a long-running industrial dispute with its pilots which has slowed training for the new Airbus A350.
It's understood that Cathay Pacific intends to assign 'second officer pilots' on the A330s to Dragonair, where they can gain experience before moving back to Cathay and the flight deck of the advanced A350.
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT