Cathay Pacific plans A350s on all Australian flights by November

From later this year, every Cathay Pacific flight to Australia will offer the carrier’s latest business class and premium economy.

By Chris C., January 18 2021
Cathay Pacific plans A350s on all Australian flights by November
Executive Traveller exclusive

Cathay Pacific looks set to switch Australia to an 'all Airbus A350' market this year, swapping out its older Airbus A330s and larger Boeing 777s for the modern fuel-efficient A350.

The move will see all passengers jetting between Australia and Hong Kong on the Oneworld airline enjoying the airline’s latest seats and service on every flight by November 2021.

Brisbane and Perth are already served exclusively by Cathay’s A350 jets, while Sydney is set to make the switch from October 31 2021, with Melbourne-Hong Kong flights planned as ‘all A350’ from November.

The airline’s latest schedules show the currently-paused Adelaide-Hong Kong route returning from April 1 – although like so much else these days, that's subject to change.

Adelaide will initially be served by the previous-generation Airbus A330 before changing to the Airbus A350 from November 3.

Of course, international travel to and from Australia remains highly restricted, and until at least March residents will require a special exemption to head abroad.

Journeys back to Australia are also difficult and expensive, with strict limits on passenger numbers arriving into the country, followed by two weeks of mandatory quarantine at their own expense.

However, most travellers are expected to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations from the middle of the year, with Health Minister Greg Hunt now saying that Australia is set to be 'fully vaccinated' against COVID-19 by October.

Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350 experience

Cathay Pacific’s A350s deliver the airline’s best experience, and are a noticeable step up from the Airbus A330s and Boeing 777 jets in everything from business class and premium economy seating to the spacious and quiet cabin.

With seats refined by Studio F.A. Porsche, business class sees a modernised version of Cathay’s longstanding ‘Cirrus’ business class seat, retaining the key promise of a fully-flat bed and direct aisle for every passenger.

ET review: Cathay Pacific A350 business class, Brisbane-Hong Kong

Premium economy passengers will also find leg rests at every seat on these modern birds – a feature found only in selected rows on the planes the A350 will replace.

ET review: Cathay Pacific A350 premium economy, Brisbane-Hong Kong

Although further changes could still ripple through the schedule, Cathay Pacific’s A350 plans are now reflected on the airline’s website and in other industry booking systems:

In Cathay Pacific's booking system, "359" is shorthand for the Airbus A350-900.
In Cathay Pacific's booking system, "359" is shorthand for the Airbus A350-900.

Cathay Pacific has been approached for comment, but had not replied by the time this article was published.

Also read: Here is Cathay's new A321neo business class seat

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 410

Very good news, I love Cathay's A350s, CX was always my preferred airline to and from HKG, especially with the choice of four flights ex-SYD and two daytime flights on the HKG-SYD return leg. I know that November is a long way away but I am really looking forward to this is it means we re getting back to normal, especially after vaccination!


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 386

Agree, CX schedule on SYD-HKG is fantastic, and YES YES YES daytime flights back to Sydney.

12 Feb 2013

Total posts 48

If Adelaide is to be served by the A330s by the interim, they might need to bring them back out of storage from Alice Springs as the current A330s in service are the 33E and 33J fitted with flat bed business class but no premium economy.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 457

i suppose with no more virgin australia hong kong services this was going to happen at some point.i would rather a CX A350 OVER AN OLDER VA A330-200 or whatever QF offers these days now that the 744 or 380 out of sydney most of us adelaide people would fly adl-syd to connect with is no more.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Mar 2015

Total posts 96

Great news. I do not understand those pasengers that consider the 777 a great plane. I am assuming its success is due to accountants, because in my own case as a passenger I have found 777s as sub optimal no matter what class of travel. Being able to fly Australia-Canada on a 350 on both legs (while avoiding the US) is worth waiting for.


03 May 2013

Total posts 668

Music to long and ultra long haul flyers ears. Be gone with the ancient, loud, cramped, jet lag inducing, dry air 777.  Should never have been certified for pax use.

22 Sep 2017

Total posts 67

Perhaps this is also an admission that 10-abreast 777 seating doesn’t work for Australian bodies. People expect better on a premium airline, even in economy class.

08 Feb 2018

Total posts 144

don't most CX 777's still have 3-3-3 economy seating?

22 Sep 2017

Total posts 67

Hi @dml2, the conversion to 10-abreast was well under way before the virus struck.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Mar 2015

Total posts 230

The A350 is just about the best aeroplane I have ever passengered in, the A380 a close second.

So nice and wide, comfortable, very quiet and nice low cabin altitude make it a big passenger winner.

I would go out of my way to ensure I fly on the A350 whenever I next travel.

It’s streets ahead of the awful B777.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 363

I love the A350. I flew with Thai Air a couple of years ago from MEL-BKK and it was the most comfortable economy experience I've ever had.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Mar 2016

Total posts 55

I love the A350 and am currently booked to fly Brisbane to Hong Kong to Paris on the 10/5/21 in business though I doubt I will actually be going given the current circumstances but Qantas has again extended the free cancellation deadline until the 31/3/21.

26 Jan 2021

Total posts 1

It's good to see all A350s in Australia market. However, this means no more First class redemption........

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