Disappearing Cathay pacific flight

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  • Kopite
    Participant

    I recently booked a trip for next week on Cathay Pacific SIN-BKK-SIN.

    Interestingly I note that they use a different aircraft on the outbound and the inbound sectors so it’s not the same plane stopping off in BKK while on route HKG – SIN & VV.

    Now comes the problem – outbound from SIN the flight is OK CX712.

    On the return Cathay bumped me off my preferred return date of May 10 & moved me to May 6 so I lose four days in BKK because Cathay now say that my return flight CX 717 will not operate at all after May 6 and if I want a later date the routing to get back to Singapore has to be BKK-HKG-SIN Because the direct flight CX 717 is just not operating after that date of May 6.

    I can’t get anyone to confirm this that CX717 is being abruptly stopped from operating from May 6 onwards ?

    So let me turn to the expert ! @cwoodward
    Any ideas why this happened ?


    cwoodward
    Participant

    I am not sure that I have a complete answer –

    Bangkok is a Cathay hub with often several aircraft at the airport – hence aircraft changes.

    I seems that correct that CX717 will not operate on the 10th or in the following at least 3 weeks -beyond -further I have not checked

    There are however 5 other CX flights operating on the 10th – 714 658 690 734 & 636 – all look to have availability in all classes. As do flights on the presiding days and those beyond the 10th.

    Why they pushed your flight date back to 6th May is very odd -and this I am sure can be changed with a call to Cathay.

    That is unless you you are travelling on a non-revenue ticket -in which case it may be a question of availability of redemption seats -again call Cathay for a date change if possible.

    CXs low cost airline HK Express is now also flying the route and take some traffic which could be why CX has cancelled CX717 for at least a few weeks.
    I hope that this is of some assistance


    AndrewinHK
    Participant

    Cwoodward I think Kopite is referring to the Bangkok to Singapore leg of the routing being cancelled, so CX/HK express are not able to route him directly to Singapore from Bangkok (HK express do not fly BKK-SIN) it may be that the bookings on the route which is only just restarting have either been poor, or operationally they need the aircraft/crew elsewhere. CX should reroute you with a competitor if they cancelled, but unlike in Europe they have no requirement to do so, it seems wholly unreasonable to expect you to fly BKK-HKG-SIN.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Kopite
    Participant

    The 5 flights listed by cwoodward are all HKG-SIN direct. Meanwhile I’m sitting in BKK having flown up SIN-BKK on CX712 and I am trying to get back to Singapore – direct. For some reason Cathay have just cancelled CX717 altogether from May 6 (the last flight out on that route).

    Cathay can’t help much & won’t switch carriers because I bought a cheap Y ticket in a sale that has all sorts of restrictions attached to it so I’m kind of stuck with it.

    My reason for raising it was not to try and resolve things but just to get confirmation that from May 6 Cathay seem to be dropping BKK-SIN-BKK from their schedules.

    It’s partly my fault for not properly checking my (very cheap) booking before pressing the payment button. Lesson learned !


    Kopite
    Participant

    After delving into some very hidden info on the CX website in the small fine print it does say buried in the detail …CX717

    Note that this service does not operate on:
    8-10 April
    20-26 April
    7-31 May

    So that’s my answer but it was very difficult to see this at time of booking.

    It’s weird to just drop a service on such random dates though isn’t it?


    cwoodward
    Participant

    Hi Kopite
    Apologies for misunderstanding your need.
    There is a Malaysian/CX code share that carries a CX flight number -perhaps worth a try. Am relying on my memory as cannot check further at the moment as out of office.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    tomyam42
    Participant

    Cathay appears to have eyes that are larger than its stomach as my mother used to say. It wants to use slots to retain them. It wants to restore the flights it used to have. It enjoys the publicity of re-opening suspended services. All while still rebuilding its crew, both cockpit and cabin, and having reduced the number of aircraft in its fleet both through retirements and taking a few out of service for upgrades plus a handful still parked. This problem will persist. They are adding a few A321s in the coming couple of years but are under pressure to restore flights to China. Who knows when the 777-900s will arrive. Cathay projects 2 in 2025 but in my opinion are overoptimistic. They are way down the production list and Emirates, right at the top, have expressed doubts about any delivery before 2026. Almost every competitor I can think of has ordered a significant number of new widebody craft, 787s if they are gamblers, A350s if the want quality and latest technology, and A330-900s if they are LCCs. Cathay has only recently started studies for an order. Guess what they are likely to select.


    cwoodward
    Participant

    I disagree with most of your aboveTomyam42 .

    Below is my I believe informed take-

    Most CX flights around Asia and to Europe and particularly UK are running at 90%+ occupancy. Some restarted recently routes take time to regain previous passenger numbers and some of these look to be running currently in the low 70s

    The airline already has more than enough crew to man flights deep into the current year.

    I am not sure what you consider to be ‘a few’ new aircraft but most would believe that the presently 70+ now on order with a new order for 40 more about to be placed. You go on to mention a ‘supposed’ shortage of pilots with the airline new flying about 76% of the previous schedule with 88% of the previous pilot numbers and with more joining (and re-joining (many still from AU and NZ) there is no shortage of pilots or for that matter cabin crew now that the airline can again recruit across Asia there are few current impediments to to resuming the schedule per the published intention.
    It seems that there are now only 5 aircraft long term parked ( according to an Australian aviation journalist who I had dinner with last week) and 3 of them are 23+yo A330s that likely will never re-join the fleet.
    With a major aircraft refurbishment program under-way it looks like short term aircraft availability perhaps will be the major challenge. However I did hear a HK rumour this week that Cathay were close to leasing 10 additional A330s -correct or not time will tell
    You mention the B777-9 of which the first 2 were last month confirmed by both Boeing and Cathay to arrive September 2025 or before.

    BTW all Cathay flights to China have already been restored and new ones added (on-going)


    Kopite
    Participant


    @cwoodward

    When you say “ there is no shortage of pilots or for that matter cabin crew now that the airline can again recruit across Asia” was there a ban on recruitment of cabin crew outside of Hong Kong / China ?

    If that ban is lifted can we look forward again to cabin service that like the 70s and 80s represents “the grace and beauty of 9 Asian lands” ©️

    I hope so as that’s the main reason I have been flying Cathay Pacific for 40 years!


    cwoodward
    Participant

    Yes there was a problem with the HK c.crew union who were fairly militant (at that time) the persuaded the government that locals were able and needed the job. This effectively prevented the airline from recruiting from across Asia for as I recall about 10 years and perhaps longer -fortunately the pandemic changed all of that and the airline (much to the benefit of passengers) can now hire crew from across Asia.
    An increasing number of Japanese, Thai and Filipinas are now gracing Cathay cabins once again and service levels and interaction is increasing – as are the smiles!
    As far as I know there was never any ban on pilot recruitment and I did not intend to give that impression.


    Kopite
    Participant

    Lovely the best service and best crews generally were always the 3 nationalities you mentioned anyway = Filipina, Thai, Japanese!


    tomyam42
    Participant

    In March 2024 Cathay systemwide passenger load factor was 83.7%. ASK to China was 52.9% of the ASK in March 2019. One can do whatever maths one wishes with that and make a comment.

    The orderbook consists of 21 777-9s, A350 freighters and dozens of A321S. The deliveries anticipated for CX in 2024 are 4 A321s and the 2 777-9s that I mentioned in 2025. I hate the A321 and will avoid flying in it wherever possible which fortunately is still possible in East Asia. I continue to have doubts about Boeing. Doubts. We shall see how they perform.

    I know you love Cathay and Swire and I assure you that I wish for Cathay to recover quickly from some harsh blows so that it can deliver the high quality service that used to be its consistent offering. However without at least the extra rather dated A330s you mention I expect Cathay to have trouble restoring its 2019 capacity.

    If everything is so wonderful, why have they not done so already. There would seem to be plenty of PAX, at least regionally.


    cwoodward
    Participant

    I certainly do not ‘love Cathay’ but I know them will and their order book. They have looked after me over and above what can be reasonably expected for over 50 years’ Also I have many close friends who work for or are retired from the airline and a son who will become a pilot for them. Plus i of course live in HK and have done for the past 46 years.
    But all that aside I believe that they are one of the better of the best world airlines and private rather than government owned. Sure they like any business make mistakes. Remember the terrible coffin seat – that CEO did not last very long !

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