Cathay Pacific has been teasing customers lately with a little guesswork on what their next non-stop destination in the USA would be, however this morning they have confirmed that 4x weekly non-stop flights between Hong Kong and Seattle will commence in March 2019.
The route will be served by the Airbus A350-900 aircraft with 280 seats in 3-class configuration with 38 Business Class seats in 1-2-1 configuration, 28 Premium Economy Class seats in 2-3-2 configuration and 214 Economy Class seats in 3-3-3 configuration.
The airline recently announced a non-stop A350-1000 flight from Hong Kong to Washington DC starting on 15th September 2018, and this announcement means Seattle will be the 8th destination in the USA for Cathay Pacific and their 10th gateway in North America.
We reviewed the A350 Business Class seat in November 2017, it’s a very good flat-bed business class product which should provide excellent comfort on a long flight like this.
This 4 times weekly service will depart Hong Kong just before midnight on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, landing into Seattle at 9pm the same calendar day after a 12 hour flight.
On the return sector departure is shortly after 1am on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, touching down in Hong Kong in the early hours the following calendar day after a flight time of 13 hours 20 minutes.
The full Cathay Pacific press release is available here.
From 31st March 2019 (SEA-HKG from 1st April 2019)
|Flight||From / To||Aircraft||Days|
|CX858||HKG2355 – SEA2100||359||·2·4·67|
|CX857||SEA0105 – HKG0525*||359||1·3·5·7|
* One day later
Timings for this service meet Cathay Pacific connections to and from Singapore with a comfortable 1 hour 50 minute connection time in Hong Kong heading to Seattle (from CX716) and a 2 hour 45 minute connection in the other direction (onto CX691).
This means total journey time from Singapore to Seattle of 17 hours 55 minutes and 19 hours 50 minutes in the other direction.
These are the miles rates you’ll pay to secure an award redemption ticket on one of these new flights using some of the popular frequent flyer programs.
|Cathay redemption Hong Kong – Seattle|
|FFP used||Economy||Premium Economy||Business|
|Cathay redemption Singapore – Seattle|
|FFP used||Economy||Premium Economy||Business|
Notice how Alaska Mileage Plan really shines again here, with the same redemption rates to and from the USA on Cathay Pacific regardless of whether you start or end your journey in Singapore or Hong Kong. You can even add a free stopover in the USA when using Alaska miles and as Seattle is an Alaska Airlines hub there are plenty of connection options across the country.
50,000 miles one-way in Cathay Business Class for nearly 20 hours is an excellent rate. Remember there are no Singapore issued credit cards allowing transfers into Alaska miles so you either need to pick them up in one of their sales or through a transfer of SPG points.
There’s still a 35% discount on SPG points offer running until 11:59am on Saturday 21st July Singapore Time, though be aware there’s a 30,000 miles cap on annual miles purchases per member per calendar year and your account must be at least 14 days old to be eligible for points purchase.
If you still qualify even after considering those factors a purchase with a transfer to Alaska is a good value proposition with 25,000 miles credited for every block of 20,000 points converted.
Unfortunately the recent Alaska Mileage Plan sale has ended but they do pop up every so often. Stay tuned, as we’ll certainly be announcing the next one.
We found plenty of availability for these new flights on the Asia Miles and British Airways Avios portals.
There are generally four Business Class redemption tickets on each flight, with even higher numbers of Economy and Premium Economy award seats available.
Will Singapore Airlines follow?
Much speculation has surrounded a new Singapore Airlines non-stop route to the USA coming in 2019 and growing tech hub Seattle is certainly one of the options.
As we noted in our Los Angeles A350ULR route announcement there is no longer capacity on the 7 SIA A350ULRs to support a new daily USA route (without some schedule trimming), however cities like Vancouver and Seattle are well within the range of the baseline A350-900 so such a route could easily be added without the need for the ULR.
Seattle is therefore still very much on the radar for SIA next year.
Some great award availability on this new route to the USA next year with Cathay Pacific, whether you’re looking to make an Asia Miles redemption or especially if you have a good number of Alaska miles.
We recently passed through Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific and the lounge experience there is certainly a step above the Singapore Airlines offerings at Changi. Connections are seamless and so this is a good route to the USA.
Time will tell whether this announcement will impact Singapore Airlines’ decision on a new non-stop USA connection in 2019.