Cathay Pacific brings first class back to the skies

The popular ‘open suites’ return to the skies for the first time in almost three years.

By David Flynn, December 12 2022
Cathay Pacific brings first class back to the skies

Now that Hong Kong has reopened to the rest of the world, Cathay Pacific is not only rebuilding its global network but restarting first class flights to prime destinations.

Following the return of its flagship Boeing 777-300ER jets with six first class suites to London as daily flights CX251/CX252 beginning last week, Cathay has also rostered first-equipped Boeing 777s to Paris and Tokyo for early 2023.

Paris will see Cathay’s first class on flights CX261/CX260 from 18 January 2023, followed by its Tokyo Haneda flights CX548/CX549 from 1 February.

Cathay Pacific first class.
Cathay Pacific first class.

“We are extremely excited to be bringing back our First class service after an extended absence as the world’s appetite for travel comes roaring back,” notes Vivian Lo, the airline’s General Manager, Customer Experience and Design.

To celebrate the return of its first class service, Lo says First passengers will be served a celebratory limited edition Krug 2004 Vintage Champagne on board, as well as a special editions of Bordeaux vintages Blanc de Lynch-Bages 2018 and Château Lynch-Bages 2000.

Here's cheers to the return of Cathy Pacific first class.
Here's cheers to the return of Cathy Pacific first class.

Other creature comforts will include Bamford bedding and amenities, including 600-thread-count sustainably sourced cotton bedlinen, with a pillow menu and lavender-scented Bamford Pillow Mist.

Cathay Pacific and Bamford have partnered on the softest of 'soft product' for first class.
Cathay Pacific and Bamford have partnered on the softest of 'soft product' for first class.

While flying first class with Cathay Pacific typically sees excellent dining, drinks and crew service, the suites themselves are perhaps the most dated in the skies, having debuted in 2007.

Cathay Pacific first class.
Cathay Pacific first class.

Despite revamps in 2013 and 2017 they’re far from cutting edge, although the spacious open suite design still has many fans.

Cathay Pacific first class.
Cathay Pacific first class.

An all-new first class suite shaped by feted London-based firm JPA Design for Cathay’s Boeing 777-9 jets remains under wraps, given that these next-gen 777s won’t arrive in the Hong Kong hangars until sometime after 2025.

The airline’s highly-regarded first class and business class lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 3 are still popular with business class travellers and frequent flyers who generally rate them as T3’s best Oneworld lounges.

Cathay Pacific's elegant London Heathrow First lounge.
Cathay Pacific's elegant London Heathrow First lounge.

If you’re headed from London to somewhere else on Cathay’s network, however, it’s worth noting that those quick side-trips into Hong Kong during an extended layover are currently not permitted – leaving you to cool your heels at The Pier Business lounge, which remains the only Cathay Pacific lounge open to passengers in transit.

Although Oneworld partner British Airways resumed flights to Hong Kong in early December, as previously reported, Virgin Atlantic will no longer fly to Hong Kong – leaving BA and Cathay Pacific to soak up a Oneworld monopoly on flights between the UK and Asian financial hubs.

Cathay Pacific expects to be operating around 70% of its pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity by the end of 2023, "with an aim to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024.”

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Sep 2018

Total posts 158

Good amounts of points availability in first class in February and March too! Nice find!

I'm so glad to see CX first flying once again. As this article says it's probably the oldest first class still flying, but it's still one of my very favourites. Very fond memories of CX first on HKG-LHR-HKG back in the day.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 349

Love Cathay First  1A always!  No coffins like the latest Swiss First  only other people in aisle is 2A  The other 4 seats share their aisle.  Comfy, good wifi which is  cheap! Lots of Krug , hope they stil lhave the PYE PJs and slippers  The Aesop kits are OK Cant wait for it to be back, and lets hope JFK is included Cathay has non-stuffy FA's Much nicer than Qantas First, and I'd put it up their with Lufthansa and Qatar, ANA  First

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

10 Jul 2015

Total posts 15

Still the most comfortable seat I've ever enjoyed on a plane!  (And Ive flown first on half a dozen of the top airlines)
Give me a super comfortable plush seat/bed over a dividing door any day!

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 385

Still one of the best first class experiences despite the suite's age. Spacious, very comfortable, excellent crew. Ticks all the boxes and it's a very unique CX product. I hope the new CX First keeps some of that spirit instead of being just another suite similar to other airlines.

30 May 2018

Total posts 31

For info, I live in Paris and an equipment switch to 77W had already happened in early October. 

As far as I am concerned, even if they have gold plated their planes, I would not travel on Cathy.

They are NOTHING compared to what they were, in the “old days”

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 153

Looks a lovely product, am just not a fan of the angled seat concept and screen position. Much prefer the straight on approach like EK and LH.


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