australian aviation logo

Qantas, Cathay Pacific forge codeshare agreement

written by australianaviation.com.au | September 21, 2018

A file image of Cathay Pacific and Qantas aircraft at Sydney Airport. (Rob Finlayson)
Cathay Pacific and Qantas A330s cross paths at Sydney Airport. (Rob Finlayson)

Qantas and Cathay Pacific have announced a codeshare agreement that covers 13 Australian domestic routes, two Australia-Hong Kong routes and 10 routes from Hong Kong to India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

Under the new arrangements, Qantas will add its QF airline code on Cathay Pacific-operated flights from Cairns and Perth to Hong Kong, as well as from Hong Kong to Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai in India, Colombo in Sri Lanka, Yangon in Myanmar and Danang, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.

In turn, Cathay Pacific will add its CX airline code on select Qantas domestic services from Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. (The full list of codeshares is below.)

Cathay Pacific flies the A350-900 to a number of Australian ports. (Rob Finlayson)
Cathay Pacific flies the A350-900 to a number of Australian ports. (Rob Finlayson)

Cathay Pacific chief customer and commercial officer Paul Loo described the codeshares as a win-win for travellers.

“As one of the founding members of the oneworld alliance, we are delighted to work with our oneworld partner, Qantas, to offer our customers with more travel options within Australia,” Loo said in a joint statement on Friday.


“This new cooperation enables us to strengthen our connectivity across our Southwest Pacific network as well as grow the oneworld alliance.

“Australia has been a key destination for Cathay Pacific ever since we launched our first commercial operations to the country nearly half a century ago, and we look forward to welcoming guests from Qantas onto our flights soon.”

Cathay Pacific serves six destinations in Australia from its Hong Kong hub – Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney – with a mix of Airbus A330-300s, A350-900s and Boeing 777-300ERs offering business, premium economy and economy.

From October, it will be the only Hong Kong-based carrier offering nonstop flights to Australia, with Hong Kong Airlines announcing earlier in 2018 it was withdrawing from Cairns and the Gold Coast.

Meanwhile, Qantas offers nonstop flights from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to Hong Kong with a mix of Airbus A330s, A380s and Boeing 747s. It will also deploy the newest aircraft in its fleet the 787-9 to Hong Kong on select services from December.

Qantas does not fly to Hong Kong from Cairns or Perth. Further, it does not serve any of those destinations in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Vietnam with its own aircraft out of Australia.

However, its low-cost carrier unit Jetstar flies nonstop from Melbourne and Sydney to Ho Chi Minh City, while Jetstar Asia offers nonstop flights to Ho Chi Minh City and Danang from its Singapore hub and its Vietnam affiliate Jetstar Pacific serves Hong Kong from both Danang and Hanoi.

Further, it offers QF-coded options from Australia to India and Sri Lanka via Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong with Jet Airways and SriLankan, respectively.

The codeshare agreement with Cathay Pacific follows similar arrangements with airlines such as Air France, El Al and others to offer its passengers more Qantas-coded options in its network.

“Building on the relationship we have with Cathay Pacific through oneworld, we’ll offer customers travelling from Australia more connections across Asia via Hong Kong, with the added benefit of a codeshare service.” Qantas international chief executive Alison Webster said.

“This new codeshare partnership also forms part of our growth strategy for the broader Asia region, with strong demand for travel between Australia and Asia. It’s good news for Qantas customers who will have more travel options, greater opportunities to earn frequent flyer points, and a premium experience onboard both home carriers.”

Under the Qantas frequent flyer program, members earn more points and status credits when travelling on QF-coded flights.

There is a similar arrangement for Cathay Pacific’s frequent flyer program, with members earning more club points when flying on a CX-coded service.

Qantas will soon fly the Boeing 787-9 between Australia and Hong Kong. (Victor Pody)
Qantas will soon fly the Boeing 787-9 between Australia and Hong Kong. (Victor Pody)

Qantas used to codeshare with Cathay Pacific to Europe

This is not the first time Qantas has had its QF airline code on Cathay Pacific services.

Prior to Qantas’s global alliance with Emirates that was struck in 2013 and recently reauthorised, Qantas did codeshare on Cathay Pacific flights from Hong Kong to Rome.

However, there has been little, if any, cooperation on Australia-Hong Kong routes previously.

And while some aviation watchers have noted in the past the two carriers have been fierce competitors with little incentive or motivation to work together, Cathay Pacific chief executive Rupert Hogg has cast the current state of the relationship in a different light.

Speaking at a CAPA – Centre for Aviation conference in Sydney in June, Hogg said he got on well with Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce.

“Actually, we do have good relationships with Qantas,” Hogg said during a question and answer session.

“I’ve known Alan now for a bit of time and get on well.

“I think it is important to get on well and the CEOs of oneworld all get on very well.”

Currently, Cathay Pacific uses the all available capacity for Hong Kong flag carriers to Australia’s four major gateways of Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney under the current bilateral air services agreement between the two countries.

As a result, Cathay Pacific has sought to expand in Australia through upgauging to larger equipment, which in recent times has meant swapping out 251-seat Airbus A330-300s with either 280-seat A350-900s or 340-seat Boeing 777-300ERs.

Hogg said in June the airline was focused on continuing to deploy larger aircraft on its existing services to Australia.

“The strategy that we are adopting in order to bring more people to Australia and service the Australian market is really to upgauge,” he said.

“We will continue to grow in Australia in that manner.”

Another link between the two carriers was announced at the end of August, when Qantas named former Cathay Pacific chief executive and aviation veteran Tony Tyler as a non-executive director. Tyler was scheduled to officially join the board following the airline’s annual general meeting due to be held in Brisbane on October 26.

Codeshare flights will be available for sale from October 22, for travel from October 28, the airlines said.

A file image of Cathay Pacific and Qantas aircraft at Adelaide Airport. (Rob Finlayson)
A file image of Cathay Pacific and Qantas aircraft at Adelaide Airport. (Rob Finlayson)

Qantas codeshare on Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon routes

Hong Kong – Bangalore, India
Hong Kong – Mumbai, India
Hong Kong – Calcutta, India
Hong Kong – Delhi, India
Hong Kong – Chennai, India
Hong Kong – Colombo, Sri Lanka
Hong Kong – Danang, Vietnam
Hong Kong – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Hong Kong – Hanoi, Vietnam
Hong Kong – Yangon, Myanmar
Hong Kong – Cairns
Hong Kong – Perth

Cathay Pacific codeshare on Qantas routes

Alice Springs-Sydney
Brisbane – Townsville

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member today!

Comments (5)

  • Rhino


    Why no codeshare on ADL – HKG? Qantas aren’t using own metal on this route…..

  • Paule


    @rhino. I agree completely. This would have been a ‘get out of jail free’ card for Qantas. It could have been a way of providing the service Adelaide is wanting without the need for any extra heavy metal. So… why Perth but not Adelaide?

  • John Reid


    What would be good is an A330 op-Cathay with QF codeshare to fly from Canberra, if necessary with “technical stop” in Sydney like Qatar are doing (thus gaming the bilateral air services agreement’s capacity limits)?
    Better yet, but seemingly beyond imagination of anybody in Qantas, how about a real QF A330 CBR-HKG or -SIN? As a Canberran who is sick of transfers in SYD or MEL, I’d be aboard like a shot, even if I have to choose my day-of-week to fit available flights.

  • Craigy


    @ John Reid Given the current relationship between Qantas the the airport owner, you are lucky they aren’t reducing services!!!

  • John Reid


    Craigy, actually QF do seem to be reducing Canberra flights a bit, in the interests of punctuality and service reliability (they say). But with ACT government dead keen on more internationals here, it may yet happen, whether with real QF metal or some code-share.

Comments are closed.

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.