On the back of strengthening demand for flights connecting Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, Cathay Pacific has announced that its current four-times-weekly service to Gatwick will become a daily operation from June 2017. In a further boost to the airline’s UK connectivity, Manchester will see the addition of a fifth weekly flight and become an all Airbus A350-900 operation in June.
The airline’s current four-times-weekly Gatwick service, which utilises the Airbus A350-900, will become a daily operation from 1 June, highlighting the popularity of the route since its September launch. Together with the airline’s services to Heathrow, Cathay Pacific will operate up to six daily non-stop flights between Hong Kong and London next year – more than any other carrier.
Manchester, which was launched just two years ago, will receive one additional flight per week from Hong Kong, increasing the operation to a five-times-weekly service from 2 June. At the same time, the A350 will replace the Boeing 777-300ER on all flights to the northern English city, making it the second Cathay Pacific destination in the UK, after Gatwick, to receive the technologically-advanced aircraft.
Featuring the airline’s newest products in Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class, the A350 encapsulates Cathay Pacific’s brand promise of a “Life Well Travelled”. In addition to the latest seats and an enhanced inflight entertainment system, the aircraft is Wi-Fi equipped, meaning passengers can stay connected throughout their journey.
Neil Glenn, Cathay Pacific’s General Manager Europe, said: “We are delighted to be increasing our schedule from Gatwick and Manchester. The additional frequencies coupled with the introduction of the A350 on our Manchester route, underline the deep-rooted commitment we have to providing both business and leisure passengers with increased convenience and superior in-flight products. These enhancements will give travellers even more reasons to choose Cathay Pacific.”
“The UK is a very important market for us, one which we have served for over 35 years. The move to operating a daily flight from Gatwick and five flights a week from Manchester further demonstrates Cathay Pacific’s commitment to serving key long-haul markets around the globe offering customers the widest choice and flexibility.”
Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer, Gatwick Airport, said: “We are thrilled that demand for this exciting new service to Hong Kong has been sufficiently strong for Cathay Pacific to fly daily services. With over 50 long haul destinations served, Gatwick continues to provide the UK with improved connections to the World’s most important markets.
“Large numbers of both business and leisure passengers have chosen to fly the new route and have enjoyed the high quality, modern, in-flight experience that come with the new Airbus 350-900 – one of the quietist and most fuel efficient aircraft of its kind.”
Stephen Turner, Commercial Director at Manchester Airport, said: “We are pleased to see Cathay Pacific increase frequency on its popular Hong Kong route from Manchester Airport, and bring into service the A350 which is an incredible product. Manchester is the only airport outside of London with a direct route to Hong Kong, and to now have five services a week is a great achievement for the UK's third biggest airport.
“Since launching two years ago, Cathay Pacific’s service has not only been popular with the leisure market, but it has also stimulated trade and investment opportunities between the two locations.
“This news will be welcomed by the 22 million people in our catchment area and is testament to the fact Manchester Airport is the UK’s Global Gateway for the North.”
Cathay Pacific currently operates 43 non-stop flights to the United Kingdom per week, including five daily services to Heathrow and four-times-weekly services to Gatwick and Manchester. It has expanded its Europe network considerably in recent years, launching services to Zurich and Dusseldorf in 2015 followed by Madrid and Gatwick this year. The airline currently operates 93 direct flights to 10 European cities each week and will launch a new four-times-weekly service between Hong Kong and Tel Aviv in March next year.
Cathay Pacific has also reopened its newly renovated lounge at Heathrow – the only lounge on its expanding global network outside of Hong Kong to offer separate First and Business Class areas – to wide acclaim.