Cathay Pacific’s regional subsidiary Cathay Dragon is ramping up its network in China with a new four-times-weekly service to the Guangxi province capital, Nanning, set to take off next year.
The new flights to Nanning will begin on January 8, flying on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, though flight times will vary somewhat. Flight KA714 will depart Hong Kong 30 minutes later on Wednesdays than other days, while the return leg KA713 leaves Nanning about 50 minutes earlier than flights the rest of the week.
Full details of the schedule are as follows (all times local):
|KA714||Hong Kong (HKG)||Nanning (NNG)||1540||1740||Mon, Fri, Sat|
|KA713||Nanning (NNG)||Hong Kong (HKG)||1940||2110||Mon|
Nanning acts as a major hub for China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in particular with the hosting of the annual China-ASEAN Expo, and is a destination the carrier has high hopes for.
“The city is becoming an increasingly important business and tourism destination and we are excited to provide our customers with a wider choice of travel options and convenience,” said CEO Algernon Yau.
“The launch of the new route also demonstrates our ongoing commitment to boosting Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s largest international aviation hub.”
Cathay Dragon will fly its Airbus A320-200 on the route – the airline operates an all-Airbus fleet of aircraft – which has 156 economy and eight business class seats. The business class cabin on the A320 is laid out 2-2 and the seats are unfortunately not fully flat, though with this being about a two-hour late afternoon/early evening flight that’s not too likely to be missed. These seats are also different to those used on the carrier’s A330, which Business Traveller reviewed back in July.
It seems likely the A320 that will operate the Nanning flight is the same that currently flies the airline’s Hong Kong-Kota Kinabalu route, which Cathay Dragon confirmed earlier this month it plans to cut on January 8, the same day the Nanning flights are due to launch.
Starting 2020, Cathay Dragon expects to begin replacing much of its current A320 and A321 fleet as it looks to take delivery of 32 new A321neo aircraft by 2023. While details of how these will be laid out have not been officially announced by Cathay, manufacturer Airbus markets the aircraft as up to 50 per cent quieter than the current A321, along with the “most spacious cabin in its class”, according to COO of customers, John Leahy.