Cathay Pacific vs. Dragonair

Mon, Apr 2, 2012


Cathay Pacific and Dragonair are major airlines based in Asia. Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Limited operates flights as Dragonair. It was founded in 1985. The airline’s parent company is Cathay Pacific. Dragonair and Cathay Pacific are both headquartered in Hong Kong. Dragonair became a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific in 2006. Founded in 1946, Cathay Pacific is Hong Kong’s international flag carrier and one of Asia’s leading airlines. Both airlines are members of the Marco Polo Club and Asia Miles loyalty programmes, allowing passengers to earn and claim miles with both airlines. Cathay Pacific and Dragonair are also members of Oneworld, with Cathay Pacific being one of the airline alliance’s founding members.


While Cathay Pacific operates international flights to various countries within and outside Asia, Dragonair concentrates its operations primarily within Asia. Both airlines operate hubs at Hong Kong International Airport, one of Asia’s busiest airports. In addition to its hub in Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific also focuses its operations from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, and Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei. Cathay Pacific operates passenger flights to 168 destinations in 42 countries, including flights operated through codeshare and joint venture agreements with partner airlines. Dragonair’s network is significantly smaller than Cathay Pacific. The airline flies to 37 destinations in 13 countries and territories throughout Asia. Together, both airlines operate over 138,000 flights and carry approximately 27 million passengers each year, and transport over 1.8 billion kilograms of cargo and mail annually.

Aircraft Fleet

Dragonair and Cathay Pacific operate Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Dragonair’s fleet consists of 39 aircraft, as of March 2013. All aircraft in the airline’s fleet are manufactured by Airbus. Aircraft include the A320-200, A321-200 and A330-300. Cathay Pacific operates a larger fleet of 112 aircraft, as of March 2013. The airline’s fleet consists of Airbus (A330-300 and A340-330) and Boeing (B747-400, B777-200, B777-300, and B777-300ER) airliners. Cathay Pacific is also slated to be a future operator of the Airbus A350-900 and A350-1000 aircraft. The airline also operates 23 Boeing 747 cargo aircraft to destinations around the world.


Most aircraft in Dragonair’s feel are configured with Business class and Economy class. Some of Dragonair’s A330-300 aircraft also feature First class. Similarly, Cathay Pacific also offers three classes of service. Some Cathay Pacific aircraft are also configured with a fourth class, Premium Economy class. First Class is only offered on Cathay Pacific’s B777-300ER and B747-400 aircraft. Eligible passengers on Dragonair and Cathay Pacific can access the same airport lounges, including the G16 Lounge, The Wing, The Pier, The Cabin and The Arrival lounges.

Cathay Pacific and Dragonair provide complimentary meals, including free meals in Economy class for most flights. Both airlines also provide free in-flight entertainment systems with video and audio channels. Cathay Pacific’s fleet is fitted with personal seat-back televisions, although some aircraft in Dragonair’s fleet are not yet equipped with the same technology. Both airlines accept bookings online, by telephone or through travel agents using all major credit cards.

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