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Look forward to a CX A350 flight soon and no doubt the service will be good. Its more productive and efficient (and more comfortable) to replace a number of B777s with a lesser number of A380s in the way BA does on major routes. Btw. LON – HKG is the biggest OW route in pax/kms and capacity enough for another daily A380.
But I think you’re missing the point. CX don’t want A380s, it doesn’t fit their business model.
1) I have mentioned the mixed freight/pax issue above and the fact that an A380 simply can’t carry a sufficiently high proportion of freight to pax for Cathay. I understand that Bloomberg recently issued a report stating that CX would have to sell 124% of their seat capacity in order to break even on passenger costs – which is, of course, impossible. Freight’s importance to CX is borne out by airfreight statistics, the latest of which that I can find indicates that it is the fourth largest airfreight carrier in the world, with FedEx and UPS taking first and third spots respectively. The only other mixed (freight and pax) carrier with higher cargo volume is Emirates (and incidentally, a very few years ago CX was the world’s largest airfreight carrier)
2) CX have clearly opted for frequency as their USP on the HKG-LON route, with five flights a day to LHR and five flights a week to LGW. Their competition for nonstop if Virgin (one a day) and BA (two a day). VS and BA flights are all quite close in timing.
So while there might be capacity for a large aircraft, it just doesn’t seem to make sense for CX to go the A380 route. Much as I like the airframe, I anticipate my only flights on it will be on other carriers for the foreseeable future!
I think that’s right, Ian – and CX not only offer many more daily flights HKG-LON-HKG, they also offer their convenient and popular daytime (arrive the same day) HKG-LON flights as well as late night flights (VS and BA do not offer same day flights).
Gentlemen I agree, and was sad that CX did not buy some A380s to compete, however their idea to operate more frequent B777s doesn’t work since the fares have to be very low to compete with the airlines operating more efficient A380s. They have plenty of freight capacity with B748Fs and good service ‘though not a lot of comfort in B777s!