Every cloud has a silver lining, and the passing of something old is always complemented by the arrival of something new. With the retirement of Cathay’s passenger 747-400’s comes the launch of their A350’s. While I do not think this is a fair trade-off, at least 2016 won’t be a year of only sadness as Cathay retires their 744’s and 343’s. Cathay’s first A350, a -900 variant, will be delivered late April 2016. I believe the original date was set for February, however the delivery was delayed due to issues with the seat manufacturing. As is common whenever an airline takes delivery of a new aircraft type, Cathay plans to operate their first few A350’s on short-haul intra-Asia flights for crew familiarization before setting them off to fly the long-haul routes to Europe and the Middle East that they were meant for.  The first Cathay A350 revenue flight is set for May 1st 2016 and will be the morning flight CX900 from Hong Kong (HKG) to Manila (MNL). The aircraft will return to Hong Kong around noon as CX901 and later in the day fly to Taipei (TPE) and back as CX400/401. CX900/901 to MNL is a daily flight and CX400/401 to TPE will be operated 5-6 times a week. Afterwards, from July 1st 2016, the A350 will be deployed on several flights to and from Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City, and weekly flights to Singapore will begin to be operated by the A350 two days later. Cathay will continue flying the A359 on this routes until it is ready for deployment on long-haul routes. The exact flight schedule is shown below (taken from AHKGAP.net).

Starting May 1st 2016
Hong Kong to Manila:
CX901 – HKG-MNL – 0900/1110 – A359 – Daily
CX900 – HKG-MNL – 1220/1445 – A359 – Daily
Hong Kong to Taipei:
CX400 – HKG-TPE – 1635/1825 – A359 – 5-6 per week
CX401 – TPE-HKG – 1930/2130 – A359 – 5-6 per week

Starting July 1st 2016

Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City

CX767 – HKG-SGN – 0845/1025 – A359 – Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri
CX766 – SGN-HKG – 1130/1510 – A359 – Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri

CX799 – HKG-SGN – 1650/1830 – A359 – Except Sat
CX764 – SGN-HKG – 1935/2310 – A359 – Except Sat

Hong Kong to Bangkok

CX705 – HKG-BKK – 0840/1040 – A359 – Tue, Sun
CX750 – BKK-HKG – 1140/1535 – A359 – Tue, Sun

CX755 – HKG-BKK – 0935/1125 – A359 – Sat
CX754 – BKK-HKG – 1240/1605 – A359 – Sat

CX751 – HKG-BKK – 1425/1635 – A359 – Except Sunday
CX750 – BKK-HKG – 1740/2120 – A359 – Except Sunday

Starting July 3rd 2016

Hong Kong to Singapore

CX635 – HKG-SIN – 1515/1910 – A359 – Sunday
CX636 – SIN-HKG 2015/0005+1 – A359 – Sunday