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Old June 4th, 2008, 08:14 AM   #1121
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I'll be travelling Dragonair/Cathay Pacific on a flight from Wuhan, China, to Hong Kong and then onward to London on the 29th June. I'll be travelling on an A320 and then the A340-300 that Cathay have. I'm quite excited as the long haul planes I have travelled on in my life thus far have only been Boeings and I want to expand my experience!

I want to write a trip report too for Airliners.net but I don't have membership and not having any spare cash at all at the moment, I was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to post the report on airliners.net for me once I have finished writing it.

If anyone can, that'd be fantastic! I spend most of my time on A.net just lurking until I have the cash to pay for membership, but with me doing the Legal Practice Course and borrowing to fund it, money will be tight
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Old June 4th, 2008, 03:36 PM   #1122
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The strategy for CX seems to be flying more medium capacity long haul flights with A340 or 777 between prime destinations such as London, Vancouver, and New York, with multiple flights per day (higher frequency) rather than flying one large capacity flight per day with 744 in the past few years.

And according the airline's 2007 Annual Report, it stated "the Boeing 777-300ER will form the backbone of our long-haul fleet in the coming years." Just in 2007 alone, CX ordered 7 777-300ER, 8 A330-300, and 10 747-8F scheduled to be delivered between 2010 and 2012 excluding those has been ordered which will be delivered in the next few years as well.

So the super sized A380 doesn't seem to be a CX's vision for many years.
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Old June 4th, 2008, 04:34 PM   #1123
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Might Cathay Pacific not succumb to "peer pressure"?

One cannot deny the flexibility of cabin configurations which the Airbus A380 presents compared with any other aircraft.

Even ANA is reportedly still interested in a few A380 because its competitors are going to use the aircraft to Tokyo anyway. Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Air France, Emirates if it ever gets the slots, Lufthansa have all announced intentions.

Hong Kong WILL receive the Airbus A380s, perhaps more so than Tokyo, with Qantas, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines having announced intentions to fly the planes there.
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Old June 4th, 2008, 05:08 PM   #1124
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HKIA has been modified to allow A380 operation, it just won't be a Cathay's aircraft.
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Old June 5th, 2008, 05:50 AM   #1125
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If CX orders A380s at this very moment, when will the airline receive its very first plane?
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Old June 8th, 2008, 06:39 AM   #1126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddes View Post
Might Cathay Pacific not succumb to "peer pressure"?

One cannot deny the flexibility of cabin configurations which the Airbus A380 presents compared with any other aircraft.

Even ANA is reportedly still interested in a few A380 because its competitors are going to use the aircraft to Tokyo anyway. Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Air France, Emirates if it ever gets the slots, Lufthansa have all announced intentions.

Hong Kong WILL receive the Airbus A380s, perhaps more so than Tokyo, with Qantas, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines having announced intentions to fly the planes there.
Don't think there is much peer pressure around for the A380 at the moment, since the existing buyers of that plane are suffering from years of delivery overruns and are not exactly having a very pleasant experience with it. It's not exactly an envious position to be in among airlines when a major fleet purchase goes sour like that and the lawyers are brought in.
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Old June 8th, 2008, 07:32 AM   #1127
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Old June 8th, 2008, 07:50 AM   #1128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddes View Post
It's 2008 now and the A380 will approach its first anniversary for commercial operations in a few months, meaning alot of time to prove itself.

I think its not a matter of if, but when CX will get its A380. Its competitors intend to use it on routes to Hong Kong and beyond.

But personally, I wish CX gets both the B748i and A380.
Airlines are not in the business to fly the largest planes in the sky. That doesn't make economic sense, and especially with fuel at such prices, the business sense is more important than ever nowadays.

The lucrative business traveller wants high frequency service, which is what Cathay is trying to achieve by not flying the largest planes but adding frequencies. As a regular business traveller myself, I'd be quite upset if I missed the only flight a day on a huge plane, and would be far more willing to fly another airline that does several flights a day on smaller planes. After all, business class is not going to change from heaven to hell between plane models. It's the service that matters. Business travellers want high frequency service for the best flexibility.

How about the average leisure traveller? Would flying the biggest passenger plane in the world be a great enticement to pay the premium that SQ is charging to fly the A380? How would they feel if service went from 3x a day on a mid-size plane to 1x a day on a huge plane. What if they miss the flight or want to fly out early and home late? 1 flight a day won't give them that flexibility anymore.

At the end of the day, business sense rules in the airline industry.
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Old June 8th, 2008, 04:30 PM   #1129
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Actually, bigger planes does mean better business sense, especially in today's high fuel prices.

What you may be missing is, getting an A380 or a B748i does not automatically result in dropping frequencies. In fact, it is great for destinations which an airline cannot offer more frequencies on, destinations like London and Tokyo come to mind. You do not see Singapore Airlines decreasing its services to London, Sydney or Tokyo just because they got a bigger aircraft.

From Cathay Pacific's own mouth when they announced that they were retiring the passenger Boeing 747-400s in 2013, they said "the A380 is an option".

One thing I don't understand from people like you is why can't they accept that an airline need not choose frequency over size of plane. This is why I think accepting either Airbus' hub-to-hub or Boeing's point-to-point is flawed. When is a hub a hub, when is a "point" a "point".

From what I see, Cathay Pacific is not specifically ordering B777-300ERs or taking in old B747-400s for the sake of upping frequencies. Cathay has never been a risk taker and is ordering what has been proven so far.

And does Cathay REALLY want to aim at the average leisure traveler, where the yields are the lowest?

And by the way, airlines in America offered tonnes of frequency for the "business" traveller and look at how that industry is fairing now.
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Old June 8th, 2008, 06:19 PM   #1130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddes View Post
Actually, bigger planes does mean better business sense, especially in today's high fuel prices.

What you may be missing is, getting an A380 or a B748i does not automatically result in dropping frequencies. In fact, it is great for destinations which an airline cannot offer more frequencies on, destinations like London and Tokyo come to mind. You do not see Singapore Airlines decreasing its services to London, Sydney or Tokyo just because they got a bigger aircraft.

From Cathay Pacific's own mouth when they announced that they were retiring the passenger Boeing 747-400s in 2013, they said "the A380 is an option".

One thing I don't understand from people like you is why can't they accept that an airline need not choose frequency over size of plane. This is why I think accepting either Airbus' hub-to-hub or Boeing's point-to-point is flawed. When is a hub a hub, when is a "point" a "point".

From what I see, Cathay Pacific is not specifically ordering B777-300ERs or taking in old B747-400s for the sake of upping frequencies. Cathay has never been a risk taker and is ordering what has been proven so far.

And does Cathay REALLY want to aim at the average leisure traveler, where the yields are the lowest?

And by the way, airlines in America offered tonnes of frequency for the "business" traveller and look at how that industry is fairing now.
Expanding capacity by adding larger jets is actually far less flexible and desirable than increasing frequencies and using smaller aircraft. In light of today's economic slowdown, a large increase in capacity doesn't make too much economic sense when the urge to travel, both in the business and leisure sectors, is stuttering.

In fact, assuming the best case scenario that more capacity is added without affecting frequency you have alluded, it doesn't make much economic sense already given the present economic reality.

Now that we've established capacity changes amidst unchanged frequencies is not economically smart, thus, this is a question of whether frequencies need to be adjusted in light of the availability of bigger aircraft. Thus, frequency changes are very much relevant, or else load factor drops, which puts even more pressure on profitability on top of fuel prices.

I don't think aircraft manufacturers think much about whether their clients want to hub or point their traffic. Boeing and Airbus sell to markets where either is practiced, and this is an airline's business model issue, rather than a manufacturer's problem. Large long-haul aircrafts can work on both point and hub systems. The hub system is very common in the US, and not so in the rest of the world.
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Old June 9th, 2008, 10:00 PM   #1131
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I believe 747-8 would be a better choice for CX replacing 744 on a long-term basis.
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Old June 10th, 2008, 03:38 AM   #1132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaitak747 View Post
I believe 747-8 would be a better choice for CX replacing 744 on a long-term basis.
If CX plans to retire all their 744s by 2013, then it the 748s would not be a suitable replacement I guess. Being 20% less efficient than 744s doesn't mean it has a better efficiency than the A380. I think A380 is still the better choice especially for the HKG-LHR run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Expanding capacity by adding larger jets is actually far less flexible and desirable than increasing frequencies and using smaller aircraft. In light of today's economic slowdown, a large increase in capacity doesn't make too much economic sense when the urge to travel, both in the business and leisure sectors, is stuttering.

In fact, assuming the best case scenario that more capacity is added without affecting frequency you have alluded, it doesn't make much economic sense already given the present economic reality.

Now that we've established capacity changes amidst unchanged frequencies is not economically smart, thus, this is a question of whether frequencies need to be adjusted in light of the availability of bigger aircraft. Thus, frequency changes are very much relevant, or else load factor drops, which puts even more pressure on profitability on top of fuel prices.

I don't think aircraft manufacturers think much about whether their clients want to hub or point their traffic. Boeing and Airbus sell to markets where either is practiced, and this is an airline's business model issue, rather than a manufacturer's problem. Large long-haul aircrafts can work on both point and hub systems. The hub system is very common in the US, and not so in the rest of the world.
Actually you really have a point. What if CX operates both "point to point" and "hub to hub"? 4 or 5 A380s would be a good addition to the fleet for the LHR-HKG flights. I still can't think of other destinations for CX to deploy the A380 (aside from LHR and possibly JFK).
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Old June 10th, 2008, 08:09 AM   #1133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a s i a n a View Post
Actually you really have a point. What if CX operates both "point to point" and "hub to hub"? 4 or 5 A380s would be a good addition to the fleet for the LHR-HKG flights. I still can't think of other destinations for CX to deploy the A380 (aside from LHR and possibly JFK).
The two main points to consider would be 1) Whether the passenger density of the routes justify the operation of A380s even with multiple flights a day (something I genuinely don't know), and 2) whether the usage of a small number of A380s (possibly only 2-3, or as you mentioned 4-5) justify the training/maintenance needed for a new line of aircraft (especially if using 777s would suffice)
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Old June 10th, 2008, 12:04 PM   #1134
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Quote:
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Actually you really have a point. What if CX operates both "point to point" and "hub to hub"? 4 or 5 A380s would be a good addition to the fleet for the LHR-HKG flights. I still can't think of other destinations for CX to deploy the A380 (aside from LHR and possibly JFK).
LHR is probably the first route that comes to mind for A380 service, especially when slots at Heathrow are so hard to come by, so naturally adding a bigger plane on top of the 3-4 frequencies a day now would make perfect sense. Other than that even JFK might not be able to sustain A380 service (I don't think it can fly nonstop so far).

The alliances are supposed to create several large hub to hub routes, such as HKG-LHR while passengers will transfer to smaller destinations in Europe by BA, while point to point routes will continue for other markets that are not a major alliance hub. HKG-LHR is a logical choice for the A380, especially now that Oasis is gone and there is enough demand to justify putting in a large plane (right now many 747s already ply that route) without negotiating more expensive Heathrow slots. JFK might not be the next best choice since CX has 5th freedom to fly YVR-JFK (thus, keep that route) and there is only 1 additional nonstop flight a day using the 777. Bangkok gets a lot of traffic from Hong Kong but there are too many competitors on that sector. Actually, there isn't too much choice out there to fill up such a huge plane and add capacity without reducing frequencies and upsetting the business traveller.
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Old June 10th, 2008, 03:47 PM   #1135
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Same thing in the US in terms of the alliance, CX flies into the major international airports (e.g. JFK, LAX and SFO ) and transfer to AA for other local destinations in the States.

CX operates three flights a day between HKG and JFK now. One in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening. The morning and afternoon two are direct flights using 777-300ER and/or A340-600, and the evening one uses 747-400 via YVR.

If A380 is an option, I would think this JFK<>YVR<>HKG can also be a feasible route as well. I flew back and fro between JFK and YVR a few months back by CX, and probably more than a third of the economy class was passengers between YVR and JFK alone, not JFK and HKG. This flight does capture a large portion of JFK/YVR demand since this is the only evening flight available between the two destinations. But this would only be the last alternative for JFK <> HKG traffic instead of the other two driect flights, the inbound to HK via YVR flight time is almost 5-6 hours longer than the direct. Same thing as London, Oasis is gone, the YVR<>HK demand is still there but with less supply now. So this may be possible to fill up YVR<>HK, unload then YVR<>JFK. It almost likes running two routes, rather than one.
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Old June 10th, 2008, 06:33 PM   #1136
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YVR has very little business traffic though, so getting this huge new plane on the route will only be feasible if there is a smaller proportion of business class seats, meaning this aircraft will likely be a dedicated YVR plane - not very flexible at all.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 09:20 AM   #1137
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I must confess I'm not exactly familiar how Cathay Pacific works its fleet...

But doesn't most routes covered by B777-300, (less so for B777-300ERs) and B747-400 whose one-way routing exceeding 5 hours actually qualify the route for the potential to be upgraded to an A380/B748i?

And besides, looking at Cathay's latest configuration of the aircraft, we're probably looking at 480 to 490 on an A380, 450 the most, on a B748i. That shouldn't be too much of an upgrade from the B747-400.

I'm guessing, London, Sydney, Vancouver, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto should definitely be in the running for a VLA route, all served nonstop of course.

Yes, alliance are around for a reason. But one shouldn't let the alliance step all over the airline. Cathay Pacific should first and foremost, always be Cathay Pacific, not Oneworld first.

Last edited by ddes; June 12th, 2008 at 09:28 AM.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 09:58 AM   #1138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddes View Post
I must confess I'm not exactly familiar how Cathay Pacific works its fleet...

But doesn't most routes covered by B777-300, (less so for B777-300ERs) and B747-400 whose one-way routing exceeding 5 hours actually qualify the route for the potential to be upgraded to an A380/B748i?

And besides, looking at Cathay's latest configuration of the aircraft, we're probably looking at 480 to 490 on an A380, 450 the most, on a B748i. That shouldn't be too much of an upgrade from the B747-400.

I'm guessing, London, Sydney, Vancouver, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto should definitely be in the running for a VLA route, all served nonstop of course.

Yes, alliance are around for a reason. But one shouldn't let the alliance step all over the airline. Cathay Pacific should first and foremost, always be Cathay Pacific, not Oneworld first.

777-300ER has 301 seats (57 J class) while the 777-300 has 385 seats (59 J class). The trend is now moving towards the ER model, hence an extra 100 seats is a 1/3 (33%) increase in capacity.

The 747-400 with the new long haul product only has 379 seats (46 J class), and an additional 100 seats will be a 1/4 (25%) increase in capacity. This is a significant jump considering the prevailing trend now is to cut capacity and not increase it.

Yes, busy routes may be able to absorb more seats, but that can be done by increasing frequencies, hence attracting the business traveller with multiple flights per day. It goes back to the business rationale over how capacity increases can be implemented. Cathay prefers adding frequencies to provide more choice to the traveller.

Alliances are meant to optimize revenue management by allowing carriers who would otherwise not fly to a destination because of profitability concerns to get there via an alliance carrier. Obviously, if there is an economic incentive to fly to a destination in the first place, they would fly their planes to it directly. I doubt any alliance would knowingly restrict its partner carriers' expansion concerns. That doesn't make business sense, and alliances are not life-time contracts either. Partner carriers are free to get in and out of them as they please.

Economic feasibility was the primary concern why Air New Zealand decided to stop flying to Singapore altogether and rely on its Star Alliance partner SQ instead. Instead, NZ decided to fly to Hong Kong and China where profit margins and prospects were higher.
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Old June 13th, 2008, 05:58 AM   #1139
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http://malaysia.news.yahoo.com/bnm/2...c-ceeeaba.html

CATHAY PACIFIC SET TO UNVEIL NEW CABIN DESIGNS

Bernama - Friday, June 13KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 (Bernama) -- Hong Kong-based carrier Cathay Pacific Airways plans to retrofit a new cabin design on aircraft flying Malaysia routes similar to those flying on North America, Europe and Australia key routes.



"On the date, I will tell it when the time comes," said its country manager Malaysia and Brunei, Katherine Lo, at the unveiling of the new designs here today.

She said the unveiling of new cabin designs would be in tandem with the airline's plan to upgrade its services.

The new cabin designs are currently featured on 23 Cathay Pacific aircraft flying on key routes to North America, Europe and Australia. -- BERNAMA

PNHH LES THS
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Old June 13th, 2008, 08:47 AM   #1140
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Yes, CX can mitigate the problem by increasing frequencies and therefore pleasing the business traveller. But please ask yourself if CX can realistically add more flights to London, or a 4th or 5 daily to New York?

And what happens if the flight that favours the business travellers the most gets too full? CX is now also tapping the India-US market. Add 2 or 3 more dailies to Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York? It is for these few situations that require a VLA, not just the 773ER.

Yes, I am also conceding that CX's need for A380 are restricted to a few routes where increasing frequencies is not an option. Remember, CX is not in Japan, where the airlines there can afford not to get a VLA. CX is one of the gateways to Asia and China, a region of growth.

If in the end, CX doesn't mind flying B773ERs to London, with BA, VS, QF all using the A380s onwards to London and Australia, happily flying less passengers and happy to yield more passengers to their Oneworld partners on their home turf, I'll raise my case.

And hetfield85's post about introducing CX's new interiors on Malaysia routes is a little un-needed. You don't see me posting Cathay introducing the new interiors on the HKG-SIN route, the HKG-BKK-SIN route, the HKG-SIN-CMB route.
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