Interesting: Cathay Pacific Re-Starting Flights from New York – Vancouver – Hong Kong, with a Twist
The health pandemic has been an terrible time for luxury travel. Flights and routes that we previously used to have available were cancelled, and award opportunities that used to exist have dried up. Every now and then we get a sliver of good news that the world is starting to return to normal. This is one of those announcements of things starting to return to normal.
News: Cathay Pacific Re-Starting Flights from New York – Vancouver – Hong Kong, with a Twist
Cathay Pacific has been battered as a result of the health pandemic and has seen the reduction of most of its flight services to a small percentage of what it once was.
Cathay Pacific has regularly served our home city of Vancouver, Canada with up to 3 frequencies a day to and from Vancouver at it’s peak. It also maintains a gorgeous Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge Vancouver that has been mostly shuttered throughout the pandemic, due to the carrier not actually flying here over that time period.
Cathay Pacific used to have a major presence in Vancouver, with both a pilot, crew and ground staff based here. In the last 5 years, we’ve seen Cathay Pacific close the Vancouver base and relocate all of its labor staff to Hong Kong.
Cathay Pacific Announcing the Return to New York via Vancouver
It looks as though Cathay Pacific has announced plans to re-start it’s Hong Kong – Vancouver – New York service with a major catch.
This was a flight that previously operated on a daily basis, that originally complimented up to 4 daily frequencies to Hong Kong from New York. With New York’s John F Kennedy airport having three non stop frequencies, the fourth flight would operate with a stop in Vancouver before continuing onto Hong Kong.
Regulatory approval has just been filed with the United States Department of Transportation to operate service from New York’s John F Kennedy to Hong Kong via Vancouver.
Unfortunately, unlike in years prior, Cathay Pacific will not have pick up rights, nor be selling seats between Vancouver and New York.
The flights are scheduled to depart as follows:
- CX 2801 New York John F Kennedy to Vancouver departing 9:50 PM, arriving 12:55 AM + 1
- CX 885 Vancouver to Hong Kong departing 1:25 AM +1, arriving 5:35 AM +1
- CX 2800 Hong Kong to Vancouver departing 12: 45 AM, arriving 9:50 – 1
- CX 888 Vancouver to New York John F Kennedy departing 10:55 PM, arriving 0700 AM + 1
Despite this approval, Cathay Pacific hasn’t put out a general press release for this nor updated anything on their website, announcing the re-instatement of this route.
What does Cathay Pacific look like?
Cathay Pacific has been operating for dozens of years and is an inaugural member of the One World Alliance. As a result, as a One World elite member, you’ll get reciprocal benefits when flying Cathay Pacific Airways that include Priority Check In, Mileage Accumulation and Lounge Access.
Cathay Pacific offers one of the best and most understated First Class cabins out there. Their first class cabins are truly among the best way to fly internationally.
In addition to a comfortable seat, Cathay Pacific offers a world class food and beverage program. It’s not uncommon to enjoy Krug and terrific Asian cuisine across its aircraft.
Flights Don’t (yet) Appear to be On Sale:
While I would have thought that Cathay Pacific would have been all over this approval, it appears that the carrier is taking a very slow and cautious approach to this restart.
Despite having received approval to operate this route, it appears that the flights aren’t loaded into their sales calendar. Instead, the airline appears to be offering one direct flight a day, with connecting traffic being routed through Los Angeles on its One World Alliance partner American Airlines.
Hopefully, we will see the airlines continue to expand services as the health pandemic gradually allows the airline to recover.
What do I think of this Development?
The health pandemic has been a terrible time for the aviation industry. Flight frequencies and award seats have dried up, and we’ve seen carriers gradually return to business with vastly different re-opening rates.
It’s great to see that Cathay Pacific has gotten permission to restore service on the Hong Kong – New York route via Vancouver, although I’m really saddened to see that the cool fifth freedom flight between Vancouver – New York isn’t going to be offered for sale.
While it is remotely possible that this may chance in the future, Jet Blue has moved into this market and is offering seats between New York’s John F Kennedy Airport and Vancouver.
The Cathay Pacific flight used to offer a great way of getting One World Award availability, as you could have a great one stop flight to Europe by flying Cathay Pacific to New York, then onwards on British Airways New York – London. With Cathay Pacific not re-instating the Vancouver – New York portion, this excellent loop hole will have closed.
The Bottom Line: Cathay Pacific is restarting Hong Kong to New York Service via Vancouver
I’m happy to see that Cathay Pacific is planning a gradual return by re-instating its services from Hong Kong to New York via Vancouver. They offer a terrific product on board and they (used to) have a great network that allowed for a lot of connectivity across Asia.
I’m saddened by the fact that Cathay Pacific won’t be operating a Vancouver – New York segment. This was truly one of the greatest secrets in American Airlines AAdvantage award redemptions, as it allowed great one stop connectivity to Europe through Cathay Pacific and British Airways on their London – New York routes that always seemed to have reward availability.