Airline review: Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class, Sydney to Hong Kong


Airbus A330-300.


Sydney to Hong Kong.


Marco Polo Club, which also links to affiliated Oneworld airlines including Qantas, British Airways and American Airlines.


Seven hours and 25 minutes.


Four flights daily from Sydney and three from Melbourne, 11 flights a week from Brisbane, 10 from Perth, five from Adelaide and four from Cairns.


Business class 20A, a window seat. Cathay's business class begins at the front of the aircraft with one main cabin housing rows 11-18 (excluding 'unlucky' row 13) and a second, smaller cabin with rows 19-21 behind the toilets and galley. These seats are closer to economy, but I don't notice any extra noise and appreciate being near the bathrooms. Being a 1-2-1 layout all business class seats have aisle access, and recline to fully-flat beds that are 51cm wide and 190cm in length. A window seat, however, means I also have maximum privacy, can enjoy the view, and can control the darkness.


Up to 40 kilograms of checked baggage, with an extra 10 kilograms for hand luggage.


With my flight leaving at 2.10pm I don't plan on sleeping, but for maximum comfort I recline my wingback seat three quarters of the way (there are two pre-set settings for sitting and sleeping, and controls for smaller adjustments) and snuggle up with the comfortable duvet and pillow. The warm towel and welcome bubbles is always appreciated, as is the amenity kit filled with Jurlique goodies. Pyjamas aren't provided.


Cathay's StudioCX entertainment system features 40-centimetre touchscreens that pull out and slant towards you. There's an excellent selection of  more than 150 western and Asian films as well as TV shows, music, podcasts, radio, live news and sport, plus digital magazines. I pop on the noise-cancelling headphones stored in the small cabinet to the right of my seat and start watching the brilliant Big Little Lies, which engulfs the entire flight.



Fast, thoughtful and efficient. Perhaps just a little too efficient at one point: when I nod off for an hour, one of the staff puts my jacket away in the storage space next to my seat while I sleep, which I panic about having lost when leaving the aircraft. I'm only alerted to its whereabouts when I'm on my hands and knees searching under my seat.


A four-course lunch is offered. I choose salmon gravlax with pickled cucumber, followed by wok-fried prawns with Asian greens and steamed jasmine rice, and a palette-cleansing selection of cheese and water crackers. It's all near-restaurant quality, my only gripe being that when I ask for extra crackers for my cheese, I'm told they've run out. There's an impressive wine selection from around the world, but I stick to a bottle of Evian water and green tea, accompanied by a few creamy raspberry truffles.


Cathay Pacific offers flights from Hong Kong to Tel Aviv, the route I continue on. In the three hours between flights I make the most of the recently refurbished The Pier business class lounge. The stylish design makes use of natural woods, indoor plants, brass fittings and sexy low lighting for a relaxed atmosphere, and there's a fresh noodle and dumpling bar, tea house, relaxation room, cocktail bar and 14 shower suites to keep guests refreshed and entertained.

See: Step inside Cathay's stylish new lounge


Professional, efficient service, excellent entertainment and cuisine, and a supremely stylish lounge makes Cathay an excellent choice for business travellers.

Tested by Nina Karnikowski who flew as a guest of Cathay Pacific Airways.

Our rating out of five: ★★★★½

See also: Virgin Australia announces new Sydney-Hong Kong route

See also: World's safest, and least safe, airlines named

See also: 11 amazing statistics about air travel

Airline reviews A to Z: Read all Traveller's Flight Tests