David Libeau flies aboard Cathay Pacific from Dublin to Hong Kong.

The plane:

A new Airbus A350-900.

Price: Auckland to Dublin return Business Class fares on sale until December 14 from $6109.


My seat: 11G at the front of the Business Class cabin. The seats were comfortable with great storage spaces and really easy to switch from chair to bed. Compared to some other airlines, the seats are private from your fellow passengers.

How full: Business and Premium Economy were full, a few spare seats in Economy Class.

Cathay Pacific has just recently started flying on the Hong Kong-Dublin route and there is an easy connection from Auckland.

Fellow passengers: The usual mix of business travellers, holidaymakers and in our case fans returning (some of us disappointed!) from the All Blacks Ireland Test in Dublin (pictured).

Food and drink: 11am departure from Dublin so time for a leisurely lunch and wines. The food was delicious, a bresaola, feta and piquillo pepper salad for an entree and a choice of four mains. I chose the pan-fried corn-fed chicken with a lemon thyme sauce. This was followed by a cheese course and then a choice of two desserts. I love airlines that allow you to have a cheese course and a dessert course and not make you choose between them. Good on you Cathay. A delicious breakfast with the normal selections was served prior to landing and snacks were available throughout the flight. Piper Heidsieck champagne was on offer (I know this because I had a few) as well as two whites and two red choices. The Elderton Shiraz from the Barossa kept me company while I watched movies. My only small criticism was that Cathay Pacific do not place salt and pepper on their meal trays, nor was it offered by the crew. The food was well-seasoned but it is nice to have the choice.

Entertainment: A decent-sized touch-screen TV with a broad selection of movies and entertainment. The headphones have their own storage cupboard, complete with a small mirror inside the cupboard door, a great idea.

Toilets: The cat would not be happy being swung around in these toilets but they were generally kept clean and tidy throughout the flight.

Airport experience: Very smooth in Dublin and I have to single out the Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge in Hong Kong. They have several lounges and we used The Pier.


Superb — one of the best I have been in.