Cathay Pacific’s newest aircraft, the Airbus A350-1000, appears set to take over the airline’s non-stop flights between Hong Kong and Madrid at the end of this month, ahead of a frequency boost next summer that will see flights on the route increased to once per day.

The new widebody is currently scheduled to take over the five weekly flights on Cathay Pacific’s Madrid route from October 28 onwards, replacing the Boeing 777-300ER that currently operating on the service, according to the airline’s online schedule.

Cathay Pacific was the second airline to take delivery of the A350-1000 – a longer version of its predecessor the A350-900 – back in June, after launch customer Qatar Airways. 

Business Traveller was on the delivery flight from Airbus’s headquarters in Toulouse to Hong Kong back in June.


Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific recently announced it is giving its non-stop service to Madrid a seasonal boost next summer with the addition of two additional weekly flights that will see the service increased to a daily schedule.

The extra flights will give travellers the added option of flying on Monday and Wednesday from June 3 until October 23, 2019. Currently, Cathay Pacific only operates flights on the route five times per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

All seven of the daily flights will operate on the same schedule, with CX315 departing Hong Kong after midnight for a morning arrival in Madrid, and the return CX320 leaving around noon and landing back in Hong Kong the following morning.

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
CX315 Hong Kong (HKG) Madrid (MAD) 0050 0845 Daily
CX320 Madrid (MAD) Hong Kong (HKG) 1230 0705+1 Daily

However unlike the current flights, the two additional daily services on Monday and Wednesday will be operated by the airline’s A350-900 and not the -1000.

What does this mean for passengers?

Cathay Pacific outfits its A350-1000s, A350-900s and 777-300ERs with the same business class seat – a fully flat bed that is laid out in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration.

However the A350-1000 does feature more seats in the business class cabin than its predecessor – 46 versus 38. There is also a new seat in the economy class cabin.

A major difference between the Airbus and Boeing aircraft, meanwhile, can also be seen in the economy class cabin. Earlier this year, Cathay Pacific began transitioning its 777 fleet to a less spacious 10-across seating plan using a new, thinner seat product.

The airline had previously been one of the few carriers to still offer a nine-across set up in its 777s, which became increasingly uncommon as the industry moves towards 10-across as standard.

The A350s, meanwhile, still offer a nine-across set up in economy, with each seat offering more width than their 777 counterparts.

Cathay Pacific’s A350-1000 debuted last month on the airline’s new non-stop flights to Washington DC, the longest flight in its network.

The airline’s frequency boost on to Madrid next year joins a number of other planned service increases across Cathay Pacific’s network, including Frankfurt, Tokyo and Adelaide.