Cathay Pacific axes Kuala lumpur flights, hands them to Dragonair

By David Flynn, August 11 2016
Cathay Pacific axes Kuala lumpur flights, hands them to Dragonair

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.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 376

Since it is the same hard product, I'm guessing that dragonair has a lower cost base

Spot on. No discernible difference for end consumer. Lower cost base for CX. Wish SQ and MI would be so harmonised vis a vis Star Alliance.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 276

KL flights getting quite the shaft recently - Emirates cutting the Melb route completely, and Cathay shifting to Dragonair - I suppose KLIA is outputting low yields to other regions?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Jul 2014

Total posts 9

KUL is no premium destination so its probably a good business decision. They might chose to land in KLIA2/LCCT for that matter

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 543

dragonair, as a full service carrier, probably won't get lcct

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 441

The only difference to the passengers with this change will be the colour of the unfiforms. KA is a terrific airline - have flown them multiple times and they were consistently excellent. Everything a regional J should be.


14 Jun 2013

Total posts 353

Smart move, I've flown Dragon Air a few times out of Hong Kong and it's a fine airline, not noticeably 'low cost' because it's more like a regional CX. They've been upgrading seats and meals over the past couple of years. Would not be worried if more near-HKG Asian cities were handed fully over to Dragon Air and CX focussed on the prime international routes.

They're far from low cost. It's hard to tell the difference between CX and KA. I'm all up for whatever contortions companies need to do to get round pesky unreasonable unions.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1248

Would it be fair to say that KA is to CX like MI is to SQ? That is, the former is the regional wing of the latter?


16 Nov 2011

Total posts 596

Yes, though KA and CX are a bit closer in terms of product than SQ and MI are. For one MI doesn't operate any wide body a/c and things like meals, entertainment and lounge access at remote ports is not quite like SQ.

Whereas KA you may as well be in a CX aircraft.

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