Cathay Pacific launches Dublin – a new low-tax Avios route to Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific announced three new European routes to Hong Kong yesterday, including Dublin.

As Cathay Pacific is a member of the oneworld alliance, you can earn and spend Avios points on its flights.  This means that you now have far more opportunities to get to Asia.  These new routes will also save you substantial amounts in taxes and charges.

The new routes are:

Brussels – launching 25th March, 4 x weekly

Dublin – launching 2nd June, 4 x weekly

Copenhagen – launching 2nd May, Summer only, 3 x weekly

Cathay A350-900

All of these routes will be served by new Airbus A350-900 aircraft.   The airline currently has 18 of these aircraft with another four on the way this year.  Next year, 26 of the larger A350-1000 planes will begin to arrive.

In Business Class, you will get an updated version of the current Cathay Pacific seat.  It is a 1-2-1 layout with additional storage, additional knee room, a concealed water bottle holder and a second video screen (a 4 inch screen is built into the remote control).  The planes also have wi-fi.

Cathay A350 business class

In terms of Avios redemption, this is how it prices up in Business Class return:

Brussels – 180,000 Avios + £95.80

Dublin – 180,000 Avios + £81.80

Copenhagen – 150,000 Avios + £91.40

Note that Copenhagen is 30,000 Avios cheaper because it falls into a different pricing band, being nearer to Hong Kong than Brussels and Dublin.

Cathay Pacific appears to be releasing three Business Class seats per flight for Avios.  Availability is currently wide open.

Remember that Cathay Pacific also flies to Hong Kong from Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester if you don’t want to start outside the UK, although taxes are higher and you may not get the new A350 seat.

It is about time we did a Cathay Pacific business class review on Head for Points …. let’s see what can be arranged.

You can find out more about timings etc on the Cathay Pacific website.  There is a special section discussing the new A350 aircraft which is here.

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Comments

  1. Really good news. Just did MXP – DPS return with tickets purchased last year. These were a very good deal and I saw nothing close in terms of pricing after bought them. CX is having issues but it did not affect the service. Great flights, good food and fabulous lounges in HKG.

  2. Only flown Cathay once from LHR to HKG and it was the worst, oldest plane I have ever been on. Never again. They even refunded some of the fare

  3. The Original Nick says:

    Excellent news.

  4. I flew Business Class with CP from NZ up to Paris and it’s so much better than the BA first class cabin; the food and service were fantastic. I would definitely fly with them again over BA any day and the lounges in Hong Kong are amazing!

  5. The main problem with their schedule of afternoon Europe departures is that you really need to spend a night at the origin, or get a 0600 flight out of the UK to ensure you don’t miss the long-haul. Copenhagen and Dublin have very expensive hotels too. Further, you arrive in HKG at midnight European time.

    Out of these new routes, CPH seems the most attractive from an Avios perspective as they are all 4000/4500 Avios from LHR and the 15k avios saving each way would pay for a hotel. But if you live within easy access of St Pancras then Eurostar to Brussels and BRU may be easier.

    The return is easy since CX will interline baggage and it’s a morning arrival.

    • I don’t get this. BRU is only 70-75 mins from LHR and so you can also take the 08.25 service which arrives at 10.35 local time. That gives you tons of leeway. It’s only if you wanted to guard against outright cancellation that you would need the earlier flight.

      BRU has cheap hotels to choose from also (if you wanted to overnight it).

  6. Given the low tax out of Hong Kong, presumably it makes sense to book it as two one ways and returning on BA or CX to London/Manchester. (I think BA loads tax on Hong Kong redemptions if you don’t start there l.

  7. Sussex Bantam says:

    This is a really Noddy question – but how do you actually book these ? On the BA web-site I only seem to get offered DUB-LON-HKG. I’m clearly being a bit dense this morning – can someone help me out ?

    • Having the same problem searching CPH-HKG/HKG-CPH. I think it’s just a matter of working through each page. Happy for someone to show the quick route 🙂

      • Actually wondering if we are too fast off the mark – when do Cathay’s redemption’s get loaded on BA’s website, should we be looking on Cathay’s website?? Do they have peak/off peak times?

        • The flights are there for Avios. How do you think I got the taxes figure?!

          Remember that they don’t start until next year and only fly 3-4 days per week.

          • Sussex Bantam says:

            I’m quite clearly doing something wrong then as all I can see on any route goes via London.

            Please could someone tell me a date / destination combo that works for them so I can try and replicate…

            Ta

          • Sorry Rob but I can’t find anything for next year. Are these direct flights because I’m find the same as Sussex Bantam i.e. you have to come back to the UK on BA metal.

    • CPH-HKG brings this up for me (on E.g. 2nd May)
      But I confess that I can’t get DUB-HKG to show.
      It does sometimes show DUB-LHR, LGW-HKG on CX.
      Are they already booked? Seems unlikely?
      Or maybe they haven’t loaded them yet?

      Is this part of a more general issue with the BA website?
      Before Air Berlin went bankrupt, TXL-ORD would include the direct AB option, but TXL-DFW would offer via LHR (so on BA metal) but never via ORD on AB and AA metal.
      Is there a website where one can do such searches?

      • DUB may not be loaded yet, they have only just done BRU and CPH. You could maybe call BA see if they can do it for you. Seems unlikely all avios sets are gone already…

        Cate, you do have to trawl page after page, am afraid, as usual.

  8. As a comparison BA’s (one way) pricing from LHR is:
    PEAK: 90,000 Avios + £355.97
    OFF PEAK: 75,000 Avios + £355.97

    So basically – is the 15,000 Avios extra on CX (compared to BA off peak) worth ~£260?

    • 1.7p per avios is an excellent redemption rate for most.

    • Mcol..l think it’s definitely worth the extra avios minus the cost too. Esp if avios rich. Very good redemption value. We use CX a lot between HKG and DPS. Always nice seats and service, esp to get to use their Pier and Wing lounges. Best in the world alongside the JFK BA First lounge.

      • JFK BA first lounge is best in the world…?
        also, mkcol, youre comparing flights from dub/bru/cph to flights from lhr.
        so taxes will be much less but will need to pay for a flight (4000 avios +£17) +/- hotel.

        if i could, i woukd rather the hassle amd extra time to connect and fly on cathay rather than spend all those avios for a BA flight

  9. What’s the wisdom of dropping the last leg of a journey? Can see availability HKG-CPH but it stops at LGW where we live. Given we’re only on hand luggage can we just get off the plane and go home?

    • Yes Cate you can. Should be ok. It’s only those chasing TPs that usually complete the last leg.

      • Thank you Polly. Happily that’s just made our BA companion voucher redundant again 🙂

      • Whoa,
        This has been much discussed.
        I found http://www.headforpoints.com/2015/08/17/british-airways-dublin-dropping-last-leg/ but I think Rob wrote something more recently too?

        • Plenty discussed here. Always advised that you book such flights via BA direct, as a travel agent OTA could get stung for the ticket balance. This has happened last year. You are usually ok if you fly into e.g. LHR then book final leg out of LGW or LCY. Your luggage is then tagged to LHR ONLY.
          People then get stuck in transit and fail to make their last leg. It’s happened to us a few times.. awful queues on the M25, as for London Underground, you can never make it to LCY on time!
          Please please read between the lines here and don’t get a huge discussion going…the solution is clearly stated here….

          • Thanks Polly. Fortunately for me I will only be taking hand luggage so I should make my connecting flight…..

        • It was good read – thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    • Think you might be getting confused here. You’d book HKG-LGW-CPH and skip the last leg on a cash fare because the CPH cash fare is lower than HKG-LGW. But on an avios redemption HKG-LGW-CPH costs more than HKG-LGW so why wouldn’t you just book the flight you want. (The outbound is different as you are avoiding APD/fuel-surcharges.)

  10. Flew HKG-MAN yesterday in J and it’s more QR than BA. The service and soft product is generally good although some of the J seats were already looking a bit tired. Afaik all the MAN flights use the A350-900.

    • There are known issues with cabin quality on the Cathay A350’s which Cathay and Airbus are in discussions over “fixing”

  11. Flew HKG to LHR in F and it was best flight i have had. Great service at the airport, great lounges, and the service on board was very good (2 cabin crew, and the cabin crew director looking after 6 pax in First!). I even had an apology that my champagne hadnt been topped up for the caviar, and would i like more caviar!

    • At DPS one time, they had a plane change. I happened to express concern about it, as the J cabin was worse. They immediately upgraded us to F and it really was a great experience. Shame it was only a 4.5 hr sector into HKG but got into their arrivals lounge for dinner, superb.all on avios, which made it even better fun..

      • On the same flight they also apologised that the ice cream (Haagen Daaz) was frozen solid, so gave me a small wicker basket of snacks to keep me going whilst i waited on the ice cream defrosting! Contrasts to the frozen ball of ice cream (size and hardness of a golf ball) that BA gave me in F, where the crew apologised with a take it or leave it approach.

  12. The 2 Cathay flights I took last year in J, from HKG to ICN and back, were by far the best redemptions I’ve ever made, both in terms of cost and experience. Just wish the flights has been longer.

  13. I flew HKG to LHR in F on Wednesday. Incredible lounges, fabulous flight, wonderful crew, amazingly spacious and comfy seat (with a massage button), amazing food and a 2008 Pauillac that kept me hiccuping all the way home! And they gave me the guided tour of the cockpit and the tree house! It was beyond awesome!

    For those that wanted more details, and gave up when they weren’t forthcoming within 24 hours, I did eventually reply. It’s on Wednesday’s mattress run article.

  14. Great stuff. I’m based on the continent so the routing from CPH or BRU is a cinch to me, and vastly preferable to LHR as the taxes are lower too.

    Even though OW isn’t my main program, I have started to build up a stock of Avios thanks to sites like HFP and J class in CX is starting to look seriously tempting as an aspirational target to aim for. Normally I’m stuck with the LH (Lufthansa) group airlines and they’re the worst for everything – earnings, redemptions, status recognition and benefits, discounted fares. Travel hacking basically gets you nowhere with LH.

    • If you have many * or miles and more miles, check out EVA Airways J class for redemptions. CDG, AMS and VIE will have lower tax than LHR.
      Their lounges are not as good CX. However, the seat are very similar to CX J (reverse herringbone), and the soft product are usually very good.