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Cathay Pacific: First Class Returns on Flights to London in December

The airline has confirmed that its First Class cabin will be available again on flights to London Heathrow

by Fergus Cole

October 19, 2022

Photo: Courtesy of Mil Amirian / Unsplash

Cathay Pacific’s First Class service is set to resume in December as Hong Kong gradually reopens to foreign visitors after the pandemic. From December 5, passengers flying between Hong Kong and London Heathrow can book First Class tickets for the first time since early 2020.

The Hong Kong flag carrier halted offering First Class service to its passengers after the COVID pandemic began in 2020. Since then, the airline’s Boeing 777 fleet was grounded, removing the airline’s premium cabin from active service.

But after Hong Kong lifted quarantine requirements for inbound travelers last month, Cathay Pacific has confirmed that the Boeing 777-300ER—which includes six First Class suites—will return for the 14-hour London-Hong Kong route. Daily flights between both cities will depart Hong Kong at 10:20 PM and depart London Heathrow at 11:15 AM.

The airline has also confirmed that it will increase capacity on this route, promising an extra 31,500 seats between the financial hubs between November and December, offering up to four flights per day on some dates.

“London Heathrow will see a substantial increase in passenger flights in November and December. On certain days in December, we will be operating four flights a day,” announced Ronald Lam, the airline’s Chief Customer and Commercial Officer.

Passengers flying First Class with Cathay Pacific can expect an enhanced service from the cabin crew and a top-quality dining and drinking experience, according to the carrier. The airline’s First Class suites were first introduced in 2007 and have been upgraded twice in 2013 and 2017.

The six suites on board each 777-300ER feature wide seats that can be converted into flat beds, a personal closet, a private work desk with free WiFi, and an 18.5-inch HD inflight entertainment screen.

However, First Class passengers should be aware that although the airline’s First Class and Business Class lounges at London Heathrow’s Terminal 3 are open, its renowned Pier First Class Lounge in Hong Kong is yet to reopen to the public since the pandemic. 

Passengers should also be aware that anyone flying to Hong Kong in transit will not be able to leave the airport during their short stay.

Cathay Pacific’s Airbus A350-900. Photo: Courtesy of Kevin Bosc / Unsplash

So far, Cathay Pacific has only confirmed that its First Class service will be resumed on the Hong Kong-London route, and it is not yet clear whether this will be expanded to other destinations. Currently, the airline has 113 aircraft in service and continues to keep 60 planes grounded—a figure should change as 21 Boeing 777-300ER planes are brought back into service. 

Since 2020, as a result, the airline has only been operating the Airbus A350 for flights to the U.S. With the Boeing 777 expected to return to service, American passengers can be optimistic that they will be able to fly first class with Cathay Pacific again over the coming months.

Other airlines are also returning to Hong Kong after more than two years, including British Airways in December and United Airlines in JanuaryVirgin Atlantic has confirmed it won’t be returning to Hong Kong, canceling the route altogether.