Cathay Pacific recently teased their launch of three new long-haul routes. Well, they have now announced their destinations and they're all in Europe. Sad for me, but great news for my friends across the pond!
The three new routes will operate between Hong Kong (HKG) and Brussels (BRU), Copenhagen (CPH), and Dublin (DUB) and will be the only non-stop flights on these routes. They will use new Airbus A350s on these routes. These aircraft have economy, premium economy, and business cabins but do not have a first class cabin.
Cathay Pacific already operates between Dusseldorf (DUS), Frankfurt (FRA), Madrid (MAD), Paris (CDG), Rome (FCO), Zurich (ZRH), and a seasonal route to Barcelona (BCN). It's always great to see airlines add routes and these new additions will only make it easier to travel between Europe and Asia.
For those flying from Hong Kong, you'll have the added benefit of not being hit with carrier-imposed surcharges as Hong Kong does not allow airlines to add these sometimes egregious fees to tickets. This is important for cash tickets as well as many award bookings.
New Route Schedules
These new routes will not be operated daily but, as you can see below, they will regularly operate three or four days per week depending on destination.
Hong Kong-Copenhagen (Seasonal)
With so many short flights from the UK and other European cities to Brussels, Dublin, and Copenhagen, this will hopefully give travelers more award flight options departing from Europe.
Now, I'll just sit here and hope that Cathay Pacific launches some more routes to the US. I'm thinking Washington, DC would be a fun place to start.
Book with Miles and Points
These new routes are already bookable with miles and points and you have a couple of solid options for booking.
If you have SPG Starpoints thanks to hotel stays or one of the Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards from American Express, your best option by far is to transfer them to Japan Airlines Mileage Bank or Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. You can use 80,000 Japan Airlines miles to book a round-trip business class award from either Brussels or Copenhagen while round-trip in business class from Dublin will cost 85,000 miles.
Even better, when you transfer blocks of 20,000 SPG Starpoints, you'll receive a 5,000-mile bonus. This means you can transfer 65,000 SPG points and receive 80,000 Japan Airlines miles for the Brussels and Copenhagen routes or 70,000 SPG points to fly from Dublin.
Alaska Airlines will charge your 85,000 miles roundtrip in business class on each route. For many, it will be easier to earn these miles as Bank of America provides business and personal co-branded credit cards which can be topped off by transferring SPG Starpoints.
If you don't have SPG Starpoints or Alaska miles, your next best option will be using the American Airlines AAdvantage program. The mileage cost from all three cities will be 150,000 American miles for a round-trip (75,000 for a one-way) award ticket in business class.
I love seeing airlines expand to new markets. Just living close to a new route can make it easier for you to find award space or better cash fares if you can find a cheap positioning flight to get you there.
*Featured image courtesy of Australian Business Traveller