Hong Kong to Tokyo Narita Business Class: Cathay A330 or Japan Airlines 767?

There are several airlines from Hong Kong to the City of Lots of Sushi, and the two most competitive airlines to these places are Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines. Here we compare the best of these two airlines.

So which is better? Look at our comparison below.

Price

This was not a close call as airlines normally have. While Japan Airlines came in with a price of HK$9713 (US$1253), Cathay Pacific came with a rather expensive HK$16329 (US$2106), a couple thousand Hong Kong Dollars short of twice the price.

Conclusion: Japan Airlines is in the lead for budget travellers, but Cathay may be worth the extra money. Read on.

Timetables

There are four Cathay Pacific flights to Tokyo Narita, but only two of them are internationally configured: the red-eye CX 524 (01:05 – 06:15) and the daytime CX 520 (10:20 – 15:15). They come back as CX 509 (09:10 – 13:25) and CX 521 (16:15 – 20:35). The other two run on aircraft with the new regional business class.

That still beats Japan Airlines’ lone JL 736 (10:30 – 15:25) and JL 735 (18:10 – 22:30), but the time there is good as well.

Conclusion: There is a wider variety on Cathay Pacific, but since both airlines cover the hot spot for Hong Kong travellers, the conclusion to this lies on a draw.

Lounge

You can’t compare Hong Kong’s CX lounges to the lone JL Plaza Premium lounge: the Cathay Pacific lounges are more chic, let in more light, and feature the brand new Solus chair. The Bridge Lounge gives an example.

CX_TheBridge_SolusChairs

CX_TheBridge_LongBar

CX-Bridge-The-Bakery

The noodle bars are splendid. JAL’s Plaza Premium doesn’t really compare.

images-1

Cathay’s Tokyo Narita lounge has better views, but we’re assuming that JAL’s is better because it’s the home city of the airline. We have yet to try them out.

ConclusionIn the Hong Kong Market Cathay totally wins, but in the Japan market we can’t be sure. Overall, by the pictures, Cathay’s HK lounge kind of pushes the JAL Tokyo lounge out of the water.

Cabin

The cabin of Cathay’s A330 is split into two, with eight at the front and three at the back. It’s quite small, especially the back cabin, and is quite comfortable.

Of course, even smaller is JAL’s business class cabin of 6 rows, even though they have 2-2-2 as opposed to Cathay’s 1-2-1.

Conclusion: It’s a draw – Cathay’s seems quite massive, but holds less people (8 x 4 < 6 x 6 but Japan Airlines has more people abreast).

Seat

Japan Airlines’ recliner seat is okay for a short hop into Japan – the recliners aren’t the best thing in the world but it’s not a long flight.

3787616307_9815f8f7eb_z

pek72

0836083

Of course this beats not the award winning Cathay new business class which somehow is internationally configured on these two flights.

4dd1d1a244b44d3d8674271d767f1341-best-seats-cathy-pacific-a330- 3579

Cathay New Business

Conclusion: Until Japan Airlines ups its game, Cathay wins by a long streak.

In-flight entertainment

We’ve tried Cathay’s long-lasting but still hot AVOD system StudioCX – it’s one of the best IFE systems in the world, falling only behind Emirates. However JAL’s MAGIC III can’t be faulted too – it’s also one of the leading entertainment systems, and one way to prove this is the so advanced technology that Japan holds these days.

Conclusion: This conclusion may be MAGIC, but it’s a draw.

Food

Cathay’s food isn’t really the best when it comes to these domestic flights – although they’re not bad, they can’t beat the international .

meal

Japan Airlines doesn’t lack its sushi on these flights, so you can still smack your lips on this four hour flight.

800px-JAL_Executive_Class_meal

37974_1289065278R1g2

Conclusion: Japan Airlines takes the trophy this round.

Service

Both airlines are really stable with their inflight service – on one Skytrax review on Japan Airlines, in the ratings bar all categories were marked with one star only (really bad) except staff service which still appeared to have three stars (that doesn’t normally happen to someone who is completely in the downs). Cathay struggles, especially in long haul 747 or A340 economy, in seat comfort, but not service.

Conclusion: It’s a draw between the two airlines – some may prefer one or the other.

Conclusion of Conclusions

Cathay Pacific should take the win for the long haul seats – but otherwise it is a draw today and always will be. Will it ever change? Not unless one goes bankrupt. These two airlines are competitive, but are still “allied enemies” of the oneworld alliance, and hopefully they will always be.

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Hong Kong to Tokyo Narita Business Class: Cathay A330 or Japan Airlines 767?”

  1. You can go to the CX lounge if you are traveling JL as it is a member of oneworld, and Magic3 I am 85.367% sure is NOT on those old 747s…. StudioCX should win by a mile.

  2. Has anyone flown CX 520 from HKG to NRT recently? In business class, is it still the angle/recliner seats and not the lie flat seats that Cathay has on the newer A330’s? Has JAL improved their business class seat on their 767 flights (JL 736) or is it still the recliner seats as shown above?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s