Cathay Pacific Adding Newark Service, and Award Space is Amazing

Cathay Pacific’s new route is Hong Kong – Newark. The flight will be operated by a 777 with 3 classes of service — business, premium economy, and economy.

There’s no first class on the Newark route, but Cathay Pacific has my absolute favorite business class, reasonable people can make the case that EVA Airways is better with a very similar seat and as the only airline that serves Dom Perignon in (long haul) business.

The flight times are:

  • Depart Hong Kong 5pm, Arrive Newark 9pm (same day)
  • Depart Newark 1:50a, Arrive Hong Kong 540am (next day)

These are well timed for connections from other Asian destinations enroute to Newark, and for connections on both ends for the Newark – Hong Kong flight. This won’t really allow for any connections beyond Newark when arriving from Hong Kong so the flight will predominantly serce the New York area.

Cathay doesn’t have much feed at Newark, anyway, since it’s not a oneworld hub. Star Alliance customers will likely take the United Newark – Hong Kong flight, oneworld customers will probably take the JFK flight or connect to Cathay’s O’Hare flight (or on the West Coast, Los Angeles). And Skyteam customers will likely self-immolate fly Delta and connect.

The key thing here is that the flight, which starts March 2, is offering extremely good award availability. Of course it’s also one more flight in the New York area so I expect that it helps JFK award availability as well just as a result of greater capacity. And Cathay has good award availability, generally, both when booking far into the future and at the very last minute (Cathay is among the most reliable airlines in releasing unsold seats as awards at the last minute).

Here’s a month-long search for 2 business class seats in March (the new flight begins March 2) from Newark to Hong Kong.

And in the other direction, from Hong Kong to Newark.

As you can see in these award calendars (produced with the help of Award Nexus), Newark-Hong Kong and reverse is available almost every single day for two passengers in business class. JFK space is good as well.

A roundtrip between the US and Asia can be booked with:

  • 100,000 Alaska Airlines miles
  • 110,000 American miles (Anywhere in the US / Anywhere in “Asia 2”)
  • 140,000 British Airways points (Newark-Hong Kong non-stops, beyond flights are extra)
  • 145,000 Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles (distance-based)

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. It seems Gary has figured out a way to never age. Just travel back and forth between Newark and Hong Kong. It’s always the same day!

  2. Hey fellow View from the Wingers – Does any know how to do those month searches on Award Nexus that Gary did on this post? Love the way they lay out all the info!

  3. wow this is awesome! i hate the united flight times to/from HK out of newark and i always feel like i am wasting so much time when ever i fly it. now it’ll just be a question of prices when choosing cathay or united out of newark for my family. this is wonderful! i can’t wait to try it out.

  4. Great news. However, the best part of the post was the red lined “self-immolate.” My belly laugh for the day!

  5. What are the coach mileage levels? I have a good amount of miles but not enough to be flying business class just yet

  6. “Cathay Pacific has my absolute favorite business class.” Really? Gary, I’m very surprised a fat pig like you could be truly comfortable in their narrow
    J seats. Oh by the way, there no way in hell I’ll be using any of your links to apply for credit cards.

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