Cathay Pacific to fly Airbus A350, Boeing 777 to Melbourne

By Chris C., September 8 2016
Cathay Pacific to fly Airbus A350, Boeing 777 to Melbourne

Cathay Pacific will fly its flagship Airbus A350 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to Melbourne from next year, replacing many of the Oneworld alliance carrier’s current Airbus A330 flights.

Come February 1 2017, the A350 takes wing on flight CX104 from Melbourne to Hong Kong – the 2:20pm departure which arrives at 9:50pm – and CX105 on the return, pushing back just after midnight at 12:05am for a 12:20pm touchdown in the Victorian capital.

The A350 brings with it Cathay Pacific’s latest business class beds with more space around the seat to stretch out and sleep…

… along with improved storage zones, a redesigned shell and a larger and clearer inflight entertainment screen.

AusBT review: Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 business class

In premium economy, every passenger now gets a padded leg rest – not just those in the front row…

… plus two inches of extra legroom compared to some of the airline’s other aircraft, and nifty new features like a ‘tablet tray’ for those who prefer to watch their own entertainment en route:

Read: Up close with Cathay Pacific's A350 premium economy seat

There's also inflight Internet access – the first Cathay Pacific flight in Australian skies to offer this new service – sold at US$9.95 (A$13) for one hour of browsing or US$19.95 (A$26) for the entire flight, with no data download limits.

AusBT review: Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 inflight Internet

“We’ve been flying into Melbourne for 40 years and in that time we’ve grown to 21 flights a week,” said Cathay Pacific GM Southwest Pacific Nelson Chin.

“It is really exciting to be introducing the Airbus A350 into Melbourne. I know people are going to love the quieter, more comfortable inflight experience with larger windows, new seats and a spacious aesthetically-pleasing cabin with LED mood lighting,” Chin continued.

From March 1 2017, the Boeing 777-300ER brings a more familiar feel to the airline’s overnight CX178 flights from Melbourne and the daytime CX163 service out of Hong Kong, with business class and premium economy seats that near-mirror the outgoing A330s.

Like the Boeing 777s Cathay flies to Sydney, those winging their way to Melbourne come sans first class: instead topping out at business class.

Cathay Pacific flights CX134 from Melbourne and CX135 from Hong Kong will continue to be served by the current Airbus A330 aircraft.

Also read:

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Feb 2016

Total posts 24

Oh what a shame. I actually had a J class award booking on CX105 for the end of February but cancelled it only last week due to a change in plans. Would have loved to fly on the A350 and see CX's latest Business class product.  

Fantastic news! CX needs more capacity on MEL sectors. Capacity for:

77W+A350  >  2(A330) ?

03 Aug 2015

Total posts 58

The A359 adds 23 Economy Seats and 7 Premium Economy seats, while losing 1 Business Class seat

While the 77W adds 16 Business, 77 Economy and 11 Premium Economy 


03 Aug 2015

Total posts 58

So any extra 900 or so seats per week

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 543

No, the 77W doesn't. It's run by the three-class config 77W as mentioned above: "Like the Boeing 777s Cathay flies to Sydney, those winging their way to Melbourne come sans first class: instead topping out at business class."

The 777-300ER only adds 1 business class seat


I'm sick of having to route via SYD because all the cheaper S,V,L fares on CX from MEL are gone.

The QF First lounge in Sydney gets too busy and is less intimate than the QF First MEL.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Mar 2016

Total posts 169

Fantastic news! 


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1463

Hooray, I am in – flying CX105 in April.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 269

It's a shame they won't be flying First Class to Melbourne, but excited to see another A350 head to Melbourne :)

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 622


"It's a shame they won't be flying First Class to Melbourne..."

Most likely due to insufficient demand from F fare-paying pax(i.e. excluding FFP redemption for F) in that mkt.  In fact except HKG-SYD(but only periodically/occasionally if I remember correctly), CX has not deployed F product on any AU routes for well over a decade so MEL is far from alone in that regard.

CX has pax service from HKG to 57 airports worldwide today but deploys & sell F product for only about a dozen of them.

Objectively, if we look @ the standard of the recently announced new J design by DL(Yes, 1 of those lowly U.S. carriers perpetually despised by so many AU travellers: ), the F design of CX is really nothing to write home about IMHO.....

03 Aug 2015

Total posts 58

It is also likely because the 77W with First Class would not add much capacity at all to the route which is what they are aiming for, due to them being at the limit for weekly flights

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 144

I love the concept of the tablet tray


22 Feb 2016

Total posts 10

This is fantastic news!!! Have been struggling to get seats on the 330 service regularly given the heavy loads....

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Jan 2017

Total posts 3

As a frequent visitor to Hong Kong, I am really excited to read about this increased capacity with Cathay. I've flown with them a few times between various Asian destinations and have always enjoyed the experience. To now see that they are offering 3 flights per day from Melbourne to Hong Kong (and vice versa) is a big plus. I wonder how Qantas will respond (or not). I've been hugely loyal to Qantas over many years, not sure if that has been wise or not. I do have a Hong Kong trip planned for late February, I might give Cathay a go. 

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