Marco Polo Club adds priority restaurant booking to Diamond benefits

Diamond members of Cathay Pacific’s and Cathay Dragon’s frequent-flyer programme, Marco Polo Club, can now get priority booking when reserving a table at Black Sheep Restaurants’ 13 restaurants and bars in Hong Kong.

The benefit came into effect yesterday and is currently set to continue for one year. Diamond members are the top-tier members of the Marco Polo Club, followed by Gold, Silver and entry-level Green.

Among Black Sheep Restaurants’ bars and eateries are Vietnamese kitchen and bar Chom Chom, New York-Italian restaurant Carbone, Parisian bistro Belon, and Argentinean steakhouse Buenos Aires Polo Club.

To see a full list of Black Sheep Restaurants’ F&B offerings, click here.

cathaypacific.com

Cathay Dragon to cut Tokyo Haneda service

Cathay Dragon Airbus 330

Cathay Dragon will be suspending its Hong Kong-Tokyo Haneda service in October, a representative from the company has confirmed with Business Traveller Asia-Pacific.

The airline’s daily KA396/397 Airbus A320 service will be suspended following its last scheduled flights on October 28 and 28, respectively.

That said, Cathay Dragon’s parent airline Cathay Pacific will continue to offer a twice-daily service between Hong Kong and Tokyo Haneda. Cathay Pacific also operates four flights daily between Hong Kong and Tokyo Narita Airport.

According to the representative, the service is being suspended for commercial reasons. “Tokyo has always been and will remain an important travel market as it is a popular destination for both business and leisure travellers… We will also continue to study the latest market situation and adjust our schedule and capacity accordingly.”

cathaypacific.com

Cathay Pacific upgrades online booking system

Cathay Pacific upgrades online booking service

Cathay Pacific has unveiled a new online booking experience on its website, cathaypacific.com, that the airline describes as delivering “a faster experience by streamlining the booking process”.

The new booking system reportedly has been optimised for use across multiple devices, including desktop computers and handheld devices, and has been developed to minimise the amount of resizing, panning and scrolling required. Added features also include an upgraded seat map display that features “realistic aircraft seating layouts”.

“We are always looking for ways to improve our passengers’ experience at every stage of their country, and that includes at the very beginning,” said Toby Smith, the airline’s general manager sales and distribution. “The new system’s improved flow and extra functionality make it simpler for customers to search for flights and make bookings, whether they are at home, at work or on the move.”

Travellers across all of Cathay Pacific’s worldwide markets will be able to use the new online booking system.

Starting March 29, regional subsidiary Cathay Dragon will also be moving its website to cathaypacific.com as part of its rebrand from Dragonair last year. The Cathay Dragon website is currently separately hosted on dragonair.com.

cathaypacific.com

Cathay providing special arrangement to change Sapporo flights

Following heavy snow forecast in the Hokkaido region, Cathay Pacific is advising travellers that its CX580 and CX582 flights to Sapporo along with its CX581 and CX583 return flights to Hong Kong may experience potential delays, diversions or cancellations.

Affected passengers wishing to postpone their travel or change destinations can do so without additional fee when rebooking or rerouting all tickets issued worldwide on or before January 22, 2017 in all fare types.

The arrangement covers all Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights between January 23 and January 26 that involve Sapporo, with revised travel dates required to take place on or before February 28, 2017.

As of Monday morning (January 23), no upcoming CX flights to and from Sapporo have been cancelled, though delays are confirmed on a few flights departing today.

cathaypacific.com

Cathay Dragon launches first seasonal menu since rebrand

Cathay Dragon's first seasonal menu since rebrand

First and business class passengers aboard Cathay Dragon’s flights between Hong Kong and Shanghai and Beijing will be able to try the carrier’s first seasonal menu since it completed its rebrand in November.

Created with the aim of highlighting the regional carrier’s Chinese character, the new menu features creative takes on traditional Chinese dishes typically eaten during the winter months. Premium ingredients such as truffle and goose liver are combined with popular home cooking ingredients, notably Chinese sausages and spare ribs.

Dishes served differ between the two classes, with business class passengers being served items from the menu from now until February 28, and first class travellers receiving these dishes until March 31.

Business Traveller Asia-Pacific was invited to sample the new menu yesterday (January 16) at a media preview held at the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong. Among the standout dishes on the menu are hot pot rice dishes featuring ingredients such as goose liver and beef tenderloin with black truffle, and tiger prawns and pork belly, and traditional “poon choi” (a local dish featuring a variety of seafood, meats and vegetables) cooked in a mini pumpkin. Dishes served as part of the in-flight menus will rotate every ten days.

Speaking about the new menus, Aaron Claxton, the airline’s head of catering, said: “In-flight dining is an extremely important focus for us and we are committed to providing high-quality, great-tasting and healthy dining options. Our signature seasonal menus have in the past been well received by our passengers, and I’m sure that this selection of winter delicacies will once again prove extremely popular onboard.”

Of particular note is the preparation and presentation of the new seasonal menu. Dishes are cooked in clay pots on the ground and are served in these same pots when offered during the flight.

A full list of the new menu is as follows:

First class:

  • Poon choi in mini pumpkin (served until February 15)
  • Steamed rice with conpoy, matsutake mushroom, dried silver fish and spare ribs in hot pot
  • Steamed rice with goose liver, beef tenderloin dices and black truffle in hot pot casserole
  • Steamed rice with tiger prawns, pork belly, porcini mushroom, cordyceps flower and garlic in hot pot

Business class:

  • Steamed rice with minced beef cake, Chinese sausages and soft-boiled egg in hot pot casserole
  • Steamed rice with garoupa, scallop and prawn in hot pot casserole
  • Steamed rice with bamboo pith, chicken and cuttlefish in Guizhou chilli sauce in hot pot casserole

cathaydragon.com

Cathay relaunches Vantage Pass promotion

Cathay Pacific business class

Cathay Pacific and regional subsidiary Cathay Dragon have re-launched their Vantage Pass promotion, enabling travellers from Hong Kong to get reduced rates when booking a combination of two flights in business and premium economy class.

The promotion launched today and is open until January 26, for flights before August 31. A combination of two round-trips per person must be purchased to be eligible for the promotion, with options including: two business class short-haul tickets; one long- and one short-haul business class ticket; or one long-haul business and one long-haul premium economy ticket.

Travellers can book tickets by phone, at the airlines’ Tsim Sha Tsui district ticketing office or via travel agent, while terms and conditions can be viewed on the airlines’ websites.

The latest version of the promotion includes a number of the airlines’ recently launched routes to Europe and the Middle-East. “The Vantage Pass promotion we have offered in the past has been very well received by the Hong Kong travelling public,” said Liza Ng, Cathay Pacific’s general manager sales, Hong Kong & Pearl River Delta. “In our latest edition, we are delighted to extend the number of destinations to include three of our most recent additions – Tel Aviv, Gatwick and Madrid.”

Other prominent long-haul routes included in the promotion are Zurich, Sydney, Vancouver, Toronto, Milan, New York and San Francisco, while notable short-haul destinations include Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok, Singapore, Phuket and Taipei.

“Passengers will have the option to select from a large variety of their preferred travel combinations, exploring with their family and friends the most alluring destinations on the Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon network, while enjoying the comfort and value that the new Vantage Pass promotion provides,” Ng added.

Prices for the Vantage Pass promotion are as follows (per person for two round trips):

CombinationTwo short-haulOne long-haul + one short-haulTwo long-haul
Business classHK$7,200+ (US$923+)HK$22,400+ (US$2,871.8+)HK$37,600+ (US$4,820.5+)
Premium economy class//HK$16,600+ (US$2,128.2+)

cathaypacific.com; cathaydragon.com