Cathay Pacific Airways today announced that it will launch a four-times-weekly service between Manchester and Hong Kong with effect from 8 December 2014 (subject to government approval). Tickets for the service are now open for sale.
Manchester Airport is the UK’s third biggest airport, the international gateway to the North of England, with over 20.8 million passengers per year, serving 200 plus destinations. Coupled with the £800m Airport City development on site, it is a powerful international transport and business hub.
The Manchester service will be operated by Boeing 777-300ER aircraft featuring Cathay Pacific’s acclaimed new cabin products, including the awarding-winning Business Class, Premium Economy Class and the new Economy Class seats. Together with the premium service provided by Cathay Pacific’s cabin crew and a state-of-the-art inflight entertainment system in all classes, passengers will be provided with the best experience when they travel between Manchester and Hong Kong.
Inbound flights will arrive in Manchester from Hong Kong at 0620, every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Flights will depart from Manchester the same day, departing at 1200 and will arrive in Hong Kong at 0755 every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
General Manager Europe at Cathay Pacific Angus Barclay commented: “We are committed to forging stronger links between the UK and China. We already currently operate five flights a day from London Heathrow to Hong Kong and the addition of the Manchester route provides a real opportunity to help stimulate economic growth in the North West. We continue to see an ever-increasing demand for air travel to and from the Asia Pacific region for both business and leisure traffic.
“This will be the only non-stop direct service from Manchester to Hong Kong; Cathay Pacific offers passengers even more choice and flexibility and, at the same time, will boost Manchester’s standing as an International hub.”
Charlie Cornish, CEO of Manchester Airports Group (MAG) said: “We are delighted to welcome Cathay Pacific scheduled passenger services to Manchester Airport. This announcement follows lengthy discussions with airlines regarding direct flights from Manchester to Hong Kong and mainland China. It is therefore satisfying to see Cathay Pacific recognise the potential of Manchester Airport’s business, leisure and ethnic catchment strength by providing direct services from here. We know that more than 100,000 passengers currently begin their journey in the North West and travel to Hong Kong so we are keen to serve that demand direct. The government wants to see the best use of existing airport capacity in the short term and we believe we are well placed to play our part in the process as the largest airport in the North.
“A direct route to Hong Kong will also support our Airport City development, providing additional connectivity for companies that will be based on site in the future. We are sure the route will be successful and we welcome the reduction in Air Passenger Duty in the recent budget, which we envisage will encourage other airlines to announce long-haul routes from Manchester that are currently being actively considered.”
The £800m Airport City Manchester development already has Chinese businesses based on site with the new route set to provide easy, direct and year round access from the North West. Mr Wang Weibo, Executive Director, Beijing Construction Engineering Group International UK Ltd, (BCEGI) who are already based on site said:
“All of BCEGI is looking forward to the new route coming to Manchester Airport. Not only will our colleagues be able to benefit from it, but it will be advantageous and attractive to other Chinese businesses who are thinking about re-locating to Airport City Manchester, which is progressing at a great speed. The route further adds to Airport City’s USP of unrivalled connectivity and we firmly believe that the demand is there from the North West of England, mainland China and Hong Kong to use it. Plus knowledge of the route coming will be a huge asset for us, as part of Airport City’s international road show when we visit the nearby city of Shenzhen in June.”
Tickets will be available to buy from April 10th and can be booked via www.cathaypacific.co.uk