Cathay Pacific are ceasing Cairns operations from October 2019

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LouiseLorna

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Just completed in J HKG/JFK/HKG on 777 and then HKG/CNS on A330, seat was a tad hard, little room for feet, plane was hot then cold, food very ordinary, staff Ok and no banter. And why they serve dinner at 10.30pm on the CNS sector beats me, then before arrival served up an awful small muffin and a jam pastry no taste in "J" for breakfast. The flights in and out of Cairns are full and CX are not cheap, Qantas are you listening to FNQ?, we need you back on the CNS/HKG sector.
You probably know but looks like Cathay are going to stop flying into Cairns after mid October. The main reason they came was because of the freight to HK (live fish). Very disappointing as even though the service has gone downhill recently you could still get to Europe easily, worse that I’ve just transferred Amex points to them!,,
 

AIRwin

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Both Aus and HK get 70 flights a week. QF and VA are nowhere near the 70 flight cap. CX has maxed out the HKG 70 though so no other HKG airlines can start service.

Did that include HX's previous services to OOL and CNS before they pulled out? Wonder if CX will replace CNS with another destination?
 

Limewood

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Come on Qantas we need you take it back and make us Cairns travellers happy :)
 

docjames

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Would an A321/321LR have the legs for HKG-CNS and vv? Could be a longer term option for QF or a shorter term option for JQ.....
 
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2infinity

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Cairns appears to have become a LCC city. Cathay Pacific was the last international full service airline flying out of Cairns, which gave connections all over the world. Now we can only suffer JQ inferior product to Japan and even worse to Bali and SilkAir to Singapore. Qantas used to fly 747's out of Cairns. Malaysian also used to fly to Kuala Lumper. What happened?
 

amaroo

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That CX flight was ok ex BNE, but was definitely one to avoid for the flight back..... assuming you won't getting off at CNS.
 

tm.smile

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Cairns appears to have become a LCC city. Cathay Pacific was the last international full service airline flying out of Cairns, which gave connections all over the world. Now we can only suffer JQ inferior product to Japan and even worse to Bali and SilkAir to Singapore. Qantas used to fly 747's out of Cairns. Malaysian also used to fly to Kuala Lumper. What happened?

The population and economics simply don’t support direct services.

FYI Silkair is full service... there is also seasonal MU service to PVG and twice weekly HU service to SZX.

I can see how as a leisure destination, it doesn’t really do well for CX to keep flying there if the aircraft could be used more profitably elsewhere. Their focus is currently definitely on more lucrative routes as part of their cost cutting focus.
 

2infinity

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The population and economics simply don’t support direct services.

FYI Silkair is full service... there is also seasonal MU service to PVG and twice weekly HU service to SZX.

I can see how as a leisure destination, it doesn’t really do well for CX to keep flying there if the aircraft could be used more profitably elsewhere. Their focus is currently definitely on more lucrative routes as part of their cost cutting focus.

Cairns has only grown and quite quickly in the last 25 years, so if the population supported the flights 25 years ago, the current population would more than support it, but you are right about the economics of it. Although the route is no doubt profitable, there are probably more profitable routes the plane could be used on. Money money money......sigh

I thought SilkAir was Singapore Airlines LCC. Maybe i am wrong

I know there are the couple of Chinese routes on offer, but i am quite dubious about the Chinese operators and believe their planes are not top tier. I certainly won't be flying with them and looks like travelling to Brisbane or Sydney from now on.
 

tm.smile

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Cairns has only grown and quite quickly in the last 25 years, so if the population supported the flights 25 years ago, the current population would more than support it, but you are right about the economics of it. Although the route is no doubt profitable, there are probably more profitable routes the plane could be used on. Money money money......sigh

I thought SilkAir was Singapore Airlines LCC. Maybe i am wrong

I know there are the couple of Chinese routes on offer, but i am quite dubious about the Chinese operators and believe their planes are not top tier. I certainly won't be flying with them and looks like travelling to Brisbane or Sydney from now on.

Silkair are being folded into Singapore Mainline. They are def not LCC. The experience on Hainan (having flown them multiple times this year) is quite good.

Cairns at the end of the day is a leisure route which doesn’t support high value fliers. Perhaps Cathay may one day return with HK Express once they have completed the acquisition of it.
 
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An update on this story...

From the Cairns Post (paywall)

"CATHAY Pacific’s withdrawal opens an opportunity for a bigger and better international airline to fly into Cairns — but it comes with a warning that disunity is death.
The Cairns Post yesterday revealed the Cathay goose was cooked unless taxpayers coughed up an unreasonable $70,000-a-flight ransom.
Cairns Chamber of Commerce president Nick Loukas said turning down the offer was a no-brainer."

What was it, 3X flights a week? (assuming they don't mean the $70k in each direction) , so a bit over $10m pa subsidy required from the council if they wanted to keep the service going, which they were never going to pay.
 

PineappleSkip

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Just pulled into the Reef Lounge off CX147 and asked what heppens to them when Cathay pulls out. They tell me that the lounge will close at the end of July, 3 months before CX ceases flying into CNS.

Not sure what will happen then. Can't see QF picking it up just for POM and a bunch of Jetstar services.

cheers skip.
 

serfty

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Not sure what will happen then. Can't see QF picking it up just for POM and a bunch of Jetstar services.
It'll be like ADL ... with a walk.

Use the QP domestic before heading to the other terminal.
 

Quickstatus

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Cairns appears to have become a LCC city. Cathay Pacific was the last international full service airline flying out of Cairns, which gave connections all over the world. Now we can only suffer JQ inferior product to Japan and even worse to Bali and SilkAir to Singapore. Qantas used to fly 747's out of Cairns. Malaysian also used to fly to Kuala Lumper. What happened?
CNS has never been a significant international airport. That mainlines such as QF used to operate large aircraft in the past did not mean that it was better in the past.
CNS featured in the QF international routings back in the 80s only as twice weekly QF25/26 SYD-BNE-CNS-HNL-YVR.
Its proximity to leisure destinations such as the GBReef meant that CNS was more of a destination. However natural attractions such as the GBR doesnt really cut it because such destinations drawer fewer international visitors than the big cities. You can see this in the Las Vegas-Grand Canyon dichotomy

The population of Cairns is about 150000. Its just too small - about the same as Darwin and Townsville. Canberra population is 3x that and it struggles to get international services. Then there is PER with a population of 2 million and it also does not have the greatest international routes.
 
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PineappleSkip

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Interesting. Here’s the ‘press release’ of the unexpected - a link to the Cairns Post story.

PX already sells tickets CNS-POM-HKG with 3 flights weekly, and the connections are reasonable, so it wouldn’t seem to make sense to fly an almost empty 737 or 767 to CNS just to provide a direct connection CNS-HKG. It would make sense for them to market the existing option, and this might be one way of doing it.

But then it’s not far POM-CNS, their larger aircraft sometimes spend much of the day on the tarmac in POM, and CNS-HKG would be a lot more marketable than CNS-POM-HKG, so yeah.

Then again announcements out of PNG often make no sense, and often disappear without trace. Not holding my breath.

Cheers skip
 

docjames

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Must be plenty of money in the freight to make that worthwhile.
 

Isochronous

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That's very unexpected - I'll be pleasantly surprised if this happens.
 
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