Cathay Pacific to add sixth Adelaide flight

A Cathay Pacific A330 at Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific has announced it is adding a sixth weekly Hong Kong-Adelaide flight from October.

The new flight will commence from October 28, with a split schedule seeing early afternoon departures from Adelaide on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and evening departures on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, all operated by Airbus A330-300s.

The additional flight will add 26,000 seats a year to the Adelaide-Hong Kong market, Cathay says.

Cathay Pacific Adelaide-Hong services with effect Oct 28 2018

Flight No. Days of operation Departure Arrival
CX174 Wed/Fri/Sun 14.15 20.30
CX176 Tue/Thu/Sat 22.15 05.00+1
Flight No. Days of operation Departure Arrival
CX173 Wed/Fri/Sun 00.20 11.35
CX175 Tue/Thu/Sat 09.15 20.30



  1. bdash 77 says

    excuse me?

    Can’t handle that CX THRASHES QF on all routes it directly competes in?!!!

  2. Dash says

    I like the scheduling, HKG to ADL day time flights, nice. @David, I wouldn’t choose Qantas even if they flew from Adelaide.

  3. Arbeysix says


    Yes, its a comprehensively better airline than QF which has relegated itself to being essentially a domestic airline serving a few only international trunk routes. It has therefore become irrelevant to many needing a serious network in our home region (ie. Asia).

  4. Hutch says

    @David – Cathay flies passengers from Adelaide to their main hub at Hong Kong. It can then distribute them throughout Asia, Europe and North America, as well as O&D traffic.

    Qantas flies passengers from Adelaide, to its main hub at Sydney. As well, as other secondary hubs throughout Australia.

    If Qantas wants to fly Adelaide to Hong Kong, it would primarily only have O&D traffic and some interlining throughout Asia (competing with other airlines that can offer one-stop and direct on their own metal) to fill their planes with.

    Congrats to Cathay!

    @bdash 77 – while I love Cathay, Qantas is smashing Cathay on the most important measure, being profitable. Cathay has some turbulence ahead of it.

  5. Arbeysix says


    You have a valid point about O&D traffic. However the fact remains that despite: (i) Australia being a global top 15 country by GDP; (ii) Australia and Asia having enjoyed an unprecedented run of economic growth, peace and stability; (iii) the linkages between Australia and Asia (business, migration, tourism etc); (iv) enormous changes in aircraft technology and efficiency; (v) continuing enormous potential in the Asian market; Qantas’ network in Asia and its international connectivity out of Australian cities other than Sydney is very poor. The question is why?

  6. Hutch says


    Thanks for your response.

    i) I do not agree that GDP is that big a factor in determining air links between countries. Australia’s GDP Is higher than the UAE’s… the UAE is home to Emirates.

    ii) Are you arguing that for this reason, QF would be successful in launching ADL-HKG flights?

    iii) As you have stated, the linkages between Australia and Asia. Both ‘Australia’ and ‘Asia’ are pretty broad statements. Qantas serves Australia and Asia, through its primary hub being Sydney. Cathay serves Australia and Asia through its primary hub in Hong Kong. Given Australia is a large and relatively lightly populated country, there is not the economies of scale to offer direct flights from every city (and I say every city, because there are plenty of people who seem to think they can sustain a QFi flight to a whole bunch of places).

    If we compare Australia to the US (a larger population with bigger GDP), airlines there do not fly to London (also a massive city & a country with a large GDP) from every major US city. They hub in certain cities to build up networks and scale. You then have situations where BA flies to heaps of US cities, which do not have US airlines service to Europe.

    iiii) Not sure what this has to do with ADL-HKG? You could argue that Qantas could obtain a long range narrowbody to fly from ADL-HKG (if the the A321LR even has the range). But why would you want to fly that over a CX wide-body? And if QF obtained slots at HKG, why waste them on the smaller Adelaide market rather the bigger business markets of Sydney / Melbourne? A more efficient aircraft which may make certain Asian markets more profitable, may also make other make other markets, which QF considers provides better yield, even more profitable.

    v) There is heaps of potential in the Asian market. But does that mean, every medium to large city in Australia obtains a QFi service? I don’t believe that this is good business sense. Each route has to assessed individually for O&D traffic, connections, plus the impact it would have on other services and yield. If QF starts routes out of Adelaide to Asia, it has relatively poor connections on the Asian end (compared with Asian based competitors) and would likely result in a reduction in connecting traffic through QFi via other ports, decreasing loads and impacting on yield.

    There are holes in QF’s international Asian network. But those holes, like India and Korea are probably best served through bigger markets.

  7. Arbeysix says


    Yes, I did stray somewhat off the strict topic of international ex-Adelaide (which is a small city by most standards). I am MEL based and do 175k+ miles per year none of which are on QF metal and that surprises me. I acknowledge the points you make but nonetheless find it odd that QF does not have more city pairs and frequencies out of Australia (and in particular out of SYD and MEL) to Asia and beyond taking all of the circumstances into account.

  8. Bob says

    I’m wondering how they’re going to find space. EK, QR, FJ, CX and the domestics too!

  9. Hutch says


    I am certainly in agreement that there are a few gaps in QF’s Asian offering. Having said that, there has been a fair bit of improvement over the last few years with BNE/MEL – NRT flights, SYD-KIX, PEK and then extra SIN capacity. Hopefully we will see a few more route pairings in the coming years – as mentioned, India and Korea seem odd omissions to me.

  10. Craigy says

    @David How is Qantas giving up capacity if there is insufficient demand for wide body Qantas services?

    @Bdash 77 . Name says it all really. QF and CX only compete on the Hong Kong route from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. What’s your measure for thrashing? Seat count? Yield?

    @Arbeysix. QF has poor Asian connectivity? Brisbane – Singapore, Hong Kong, Narita; Melbourne – Singapore, Hong Kong, Narita, bali plus the routes Jetstar operate on. Good Jetstar connections out of Singapore and Japan for other destinations. None out of Hong Kong because CX did it’s best to torpedo the Jetstar Hong Kong operation and succeeded.

    Qantas like most businesses have limited resources. It is a matter of allocating those resources to achieve maximum return. Now that Qantas is on an excellent profit trajectory and importantly return on capital, means that Qantas has the balance sheet to invest in expansion. But Qantas will always be like ANZ and end of line carrier, the ULH is one method to avoid the Asia/Middle East hubs and open new markets. Other direct flights to Asia will come with the right aircraft being available to match demand. The Jetstar A321lr order opens that window and Alan Joyce’s suggestion that the NMA offers Qantas into Asia suggests that’s the future for route expansion.

    As for Adelaide, I have been told previously by a person in this forum that there are moves to get Qantas to fly to Singapore at least. That was at least 18 months ago and yet still no announced Qantas services which suggests there is currently no business case based on the current aircraft in the Qantas inventory. Nor does there seem to be a business case for Jetstar beyond Bali.

  11. franz chong says

    a good move.great thing with the overnight services if one is connecting onto china it gives them more options.the current daytime flight only gives one connection onto BEIJING TO USE AN EXAMPLE.

  12. Ian B says

    As an ADL resident, I agree that the big news here isn’t the extra flight in the week – it’s the timing. The present very early morning arrival and return doesn’t offer good connections to their european destinations – MAN for example. And who wants to arrive home tired at 5am or worse start a long journey from home with a 6.30am departure. Well done CX.

    I agree with ‘Bob’ – ADL international facilities will be busy on these three nights!

  13. Philip says

    Great move Cathay.
    Like flying at night and then having the full day in Honkers.
    How much longer before someone at at Qantas wakes up to the number of international travelers using direct flights from Adelaide.

  14. John says

    Essentially QF has been a very lazy airline in terms of an innovative approach to routes and services beyond SYD/MEL. Crazy ideas like leaving Gold Coast to Jetstar ignored the high end spenders who are locals. They eventually woke up. When EK and SQ have half a dozen flights north a day out of BNE and QF offers one you have to wonder. So why not ADL to LAX via CNS ? Similarly PER? Gamble a bit, develop and protect the future of possibilities!

  15. franz chong says

    I would give this a Go on the coming home sectors but would fly up using VA via Sydney and change planes to get a full day to myself at Hong Kong.It’s a great airline none the less.To China and A lot of Asia and even to London it is a great schedule.