Since Hong Kong Airlines discontinued their London Gatwick service in 2012, nothing has been flying between the airports. Instead, Cathay Pacific has five flights to Heathrow, all with Boeing 777-300ERs.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Business Class
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Premium Economy
Well, I’m late reporting this, but starting September 2nd, 2016, Cathay Pacific will launch 4x weekly service from Hong Kong to London Gatwick. The summer schedule is as follows:
CX 349 HKG – LGW 00:55 – 07:10 359 Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
CX 344 LGW – HKG 12:35 – 07:25 359 Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
And the winter schedule as follows:
CX 349 HKG – LGW 00:55 – 05:50 359 Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
CX 344 LGW – HKG 11:35 – 07:05 359 Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
The flight will be operated by one of Cathay Pacific’s all new Airbus A350s, which are pretty exciting (looks like I won’t get it on any of my six flights next year, but hopefully I do get it once).
None of the products have been introduced yet, but they’ll probably be out soon given the aircraft’s flying in February. By the way, the first longhaul flight seems to be Auckland, in May 2016.
At first, this didn’t really make sense to me, but now I realize the reason they found Gatwick useful:
- There are many places British Airways flies to from Gatwick that Heathrow doesn’t operate to, such as Dubrovnik, that are more leisure routes
- London is quite spread out, so to offer comfortable aircraft to Heathrow and a (hopefully) more comfortable aircraft to Gatwick may be appealing
As Gatwick is more of a connection to leisure destinations, it seems like economy would be fuller. There are 38 business class seats (rows 20 and 21 are in a separate cabin):
Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class Seatmap
28 premium economy seats:
Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Premium Economy Seatmap
…and much more economy seats, spread across two cabins. Presumably the “new economy class” would be better as new premium economy and new economy seats would be introduced, but I’m pretty excited to see how the existing seats would be topped.
Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Economy Class Seatmap
I think this is a smart decision though I’m interested to see where it’s headed. I’m more excited to see how the new interiors look like, though, but I don’t think I’ll be seeing them in real life anytime soon.
None of the seats have been taken on the inaugural, so book quickly!