Cathay Pacific Airways has announced it will introduce the brand new Airbus A350-900 into Melbourne on one of its three daily flights from 1 February 2017, making it the first city in Australia to see the award-winning airline’s newest, most comfortable and fuel efficient aircraft and the first to offer WiFi.
One month later, on 1 March 2017, Cathay Pacific will introduce the popular Boeing 777-300ER onto its second daily flight from Melbourne to Hong Kong.
Together, the two new larger aircraft will take weekly passenger numbers in and out of Melbourne to 12,194, an increase in capacity of 15.7 per cent.
The Airbus A350 will be deployed on the daily CX104 which currently departs Melbourne at 1420 and arrives into Hong Kong at 2150 and the return flight CX105. The modern aircraft comes with a raft of new features including new Premium Economy seats, enhancements to Business and Economy Class, new screens for inflight entertainment and Wi-Fi, as well as lower cabin pressure and greater humidity so passengers will feel better after their flight.
With 40 seats in Business, 32 seats in Premium Economy and 268 in Economy Class, the Boeing 777-300ER will be deployed on the daily CX178 flight which currently departs Melbourne at 2330 and arrives into Hong Kong at 0515 and the return flight CX163 which departs Hong Kong at 1035 and arrives into Melbourne at 2155.
Cathay Pacific’s General Manager Southwest Pacific, Nelson Chin, said: “We’ve been flying into Melbourne for 40 years and in that time we’ve grown to 21 flights a week.
“It is really exciting to be introducing the Airbus A350 into Melbourne. I know people are going to love the quieter, more comfortable inflight experience with larger windows, new seats and a spacious aesthetically-pleasing cabin with LED mood lighting.
“The introduction of the Boeing 777-300ER onto CX178, which departs daily at 2330, not only adds more Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class seats, but it also provides better payload which will help facilitate cargo uplift,” he said.
Simon Gandy, Chief of Aviation, Melbourne Airport added: “Melbourne Airport is delighted by this important announcement, and we look forward to welcoming thousands of new Cathay Pacific passengers through our doors next year.
“Melbourne is the perfect destination for the new Airbus A350-900 and we are honoured to be the first Australian airport to receive the latest addition to the Cathay Pacific fleet,” he said.
Cathay Pacific currently operates 74 passenger flights a week between Hong Kong and Australia, with over 23 years of continuous services to all six major Australian cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide, and Perth. The airline will celebrate its 70th year of operation this year.