Cathay Pacific Airways (CX)(Oneworld) confirmed that it will launch a new four-times weekly service between its base in Hong Kong (HKG) and London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW) starting in September 2016.
Cathay Pacific Airways
The new route will begin on September 2, 2016 and will complement the airline’s existing five-times daily service to London Heathrow Airport(LHR).
This brand new flight will be operated by the Airbus A350-900 which is in the final stages of assembly and testing in Toulouse, France and features its new livery (News – November 4, 2015).
The aircraft will be configured in three classes (Business, Premium Economy and Economy). Capacity is estimated to be 280 (38 seats in business class, 28 in premium economy and 214 in economy). All three classes will be refreshed with the Business and Premium Economy cabins receiving bigger updates (including inflight WiFi).
“We are delighted to launch a non-stop service to Gatwick, using our new state-of-the-art A350 aircraft, which will help meet increasing demand for both business and leisure travel between the Asia-Pacific region and the UK,” said CX chief executive Ivan Chu.
“These additional flights to London will provide our passengers with greater choice and flexibility and, at the same time, continue to boost Hong Kong’s standing as an international aviation hub.”
London Gatwick Airport is the second largest airport in the UK behind London Heathrow Airport (LHR). The new service will provide passengers living in Greater London and the counties of Kent, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex. The airport has been going through a transformation to improve passenger experience (News – November 16, 2015).
The airport also features multi-modal transportation options including an express train service to Victoria Station.
By September 2016, Cathay Pacific will have up to 39 weekly flights between Hong Kong and London non-stop. This will increase its market share on the weekly flights from 53 to 65%. If loads are good, expect the airline to extend the flight to daily by Fall 2016.
Operations by September 2016:
- British Airways – Airbus A380 and Boeing 777
- Cathay Pacific – 5x Boeing 777 and Airbus A350
- Virgin Atlantic – Boeing 787
The airline will enjoy significantly more total seat capacity in both economy and premium cabins as noted below:
Outbound flight departure of 0055 will put it as the first flight out of Hong Kong (two other flights leave at 0100 and 0120 respectively) to London and will have feeder traffic from Asian and Australian cities. Its arrival at 0550 will provide connection opportunities to different European cities through its Oneworld partner British Airways.
Inbound flight would be able to pick up passengers from morning flights into LGW. Arrival early morning in Hong Kong will provide a lot of connecting opportunities around Asia.
Cathay Pacific Airways will extend its lead as the dominant carrier serving Hong Kong and London with a new flight introduced to London Gatwick Airport. Tickets are now opened for sale.