THIS year has seen Cathay Pacific continuing to grow its network by launching pioneering non-stop routes.
On Sept 15, the airline commenced its first non-stop service from Hong Kong to Washington DC, the longest on the Cathay Pacific network at 13,122 kilometres.
This four-times-a-week service to the capital of the United States of America adds to Cathay Pacific’s existing routes to North America, which include Boston, New York’s two main international airports – John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver.
The service to Washington DC’s Dulles International Airport is operated by the all-new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft.
Cathay Pacific chief executive officer Rupert Hogg said the new service will cater to the growing demand for travel to the US’ capital region while, at the same time, provide US-based passengers with more convenient access to key destinations in Asia and beyond through the airline’s home in Hong Kong.
“Our customers have told us they want greater options and increased flexibility – and we’ve listened,” said Hogg. “Much like Hong Kong, Washington DC is a vibrant and dynamic destination and we are thrilled to be providing the only direct flights between these two great cities.”
Hogg added that establishing new direct air links to destinations that aren’t already served from Hong Kong “enhances our city’s status as Asia’s largest international hub and allows us to secure new and important sources of revenue”.
The airline is also looking at commencing a new non-stop four-times-a-week service to Seattle at the end of March next year, becoming the only airline that will directly link Hong Kong with the fastest-growing city on the US’ West Coast. The Seattle route will be operated by the airline’s state-of-the-art Airbus A350-900 aircraft.
This year, in addition to Washington DC, the airline has also launched year-round services to Brussels in March and Dublin in June.
A seasonal service to Copenhagen commenced in May, while Cathay Dragon – the regional carrier of the Cathay Pacific Group – started its inaugural four times’ weekly operations to Nanning in mainland China in January.
That’s not all. The airline also has plans to launch a seasonal non-stop service to Cape Town, directly linking this business and tourism destination in South Africa with Hong Kong for the very first time.
The thrice-weekly service, from Nov 13 to Feb 18 next year, will complement Cathay Pacific’s existing daily non-stop flights to Johannesburg, and will be operated by its Airbus A350-900 aircraft.
Hogg said this new service will meet demand for travel to the scenic Western Cape in the peak summer months in the southern hemisphere.
Closer to home, the Cathay Pacific Group intends to introduce a scheduled seasonal service from Hong Kong to Tokushima in Japan, the 10th route that the group will have launched in 2018.
Cathay Dragon has operated charter flights to Tokushima at peak holiday periods in the past. But the new twice-weekly service to this gateway to the island destination of Shikoku underlines the group’s commitment to this increasingly popular region.
The route will be operated by Cathay Dragon from Dec 19 to March 30 next year using Airbus A320 aircraft.
Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon currently fly to six destinations in Japan, and the addition of Tokushima gives customers a new region of the country to explore.
Open-jaw tickets are available through www.cathaypacific.com, meaning customers can also choose to fly to Tokushima and return to Hong Kong from another Japanese gateway (or vice versa).
Cathay Pacific chief customer and commercial officer Paul Loo said: “Our routes to Japan are performing extremely well for us and we are very pleased to be able to offer our customers with a new destination in this most beautiful, dynamic and culturally-rich of countries.”
For more, visit the Cathay Pacific website.