Government and travel industry leaders from Hong Kong and across the Washington, D.C., region gathered at Washington Dulles International Airport Tuesday to celebrate the launch of Cathay Pacific Airways’ nonstop service between Dulles and Hong Kong International Airport, the airline’s longest route and the longest route from either airport.
The flight, which began operations on September 15 with all-new state-of-the-art Airbus A350-1000 wide-body jetliners, covers 8,153 miles and operates four times a week, providing a new travel option for passengers traveling between the United States and Cathay Pacific’s Asian destinations.
The colorful airport celebration featured traditional Chinese lion dancers and refreshments including a ceremonial roast pig, symbolizing good luck and prosperity in Chinese culture. Guests at the event included Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine, District of Columbia Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner, Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer Rupert Hogg and Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority President and CEO Jack Potter.
“The United States is a key market for Cathay Pacific, and this route will cater to the growing demand for travel to the U.S. Capital Region while providing U.S.-based passengers with more convenient access to key destinations in Asia and beyond through the airline’s home in Hong Kong,” said Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer Rupert Hogg. “We have been encouraged by the market response so far. 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.”
Dulles International is Cathay Pacific’s seventh passenger service gateway in the U.S. and ninth in North America, providing business travelers and tourists with easy access to the entirety of the D.C. metropolitan area. Hong Kong is Dulles International’s fifth destination in Asia, following Beijing, New Delhi, Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo.
“Washington, D.C., is pleased to welcome Cathay Pacific and its passengers to the Nation’s Capital. These flights represent new opportunities to connect cultures, to welcome more visitors and trade opportunities to the District, and to build on international ties with our friends in Hong Kong,” said Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
Since 2013, the local travel market to Hong Kong has grown 29 percent. Additionally, Asian travelers now account for 32 percent of the District’s overseas visitors, according to Destination DC, the official marketing organization for Washington, D.C.
“As the international gateway to the region, Dulles International Airport is proud to welcome Cathay Pacific and the more than 100,000 passengers they will carry between the U.S. capital region and Hong Kong annually,” said Jack Potter, president and Chief Executive Officer for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. “Their reputation for exceptional service offer travelers through Dulles International a valuable, new nonstop link to the entirety of the Asia-Pacific region.”
Departing from Dulles International overnight, the flight arrives in Hong Kong early enough to provide passengers full access to connect through Asia’s largest international aviation hub—including Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights to Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and more than 20 gateways in mainland China.
“Today, we celebrate the global connection this new route represents. Cathay Pacific’s new flights open the door for increased tourism, allowing us to extend a warm welcome to those visiting from Hong Kong and around the globe,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. “We look forward to introducing a new generation of travelers to our incredibly diverse tourism offerings, from the Blue Ridge Mountains to our 28 miles of warm sunny beaches. Combined with the added potential for increased business and trade investment, this new service is a big win for all.”
The first aircraft of its type to touchdown in the Washington, D.C., region, the Airbus A350-1000 brings together the latest in aerodynamics, efficiency and advanced design to connect new destinations while providing passengers a state-of-the-art travel experience.
Cathay Pacific’s extra wide-body, twin-aisle A350-1000s carry a total of 334 passengers in a three class configuration, comprised of a refreshed Business Class cabin as well as new Premium Economy Class and Economy Class seats. With its extra wide body, the aircraft offers more space and comfort, panoramic windows and LED mood lighting, contributing to a more relaxing journey. A higher cabin pressure, which supplies more oxygen to lower the effective cabin cruising altitude to 6000 feet, paired with a 50 percent reduction in cabin noise also reduce passenger fatigue and improves overall comfort.
Powered by ultra-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines, the A350-1000 also has considerable freight capacity, providing businesses and manufacturers in the region direct access to the world’s largest cargo hub.
Flight details for the four weekly nonstop flights operating between Dulles International and Hong Kong International Airport are:
|Flight No.||From||To||Departure / Arrival||Days of Operation|
|CX 869||IAD||HKG||01:20 / 05:15+1||Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday|
|CX 860||HKG||IAD||17:55 / 21:45||Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday|
For more information on Cathay Pacific Airways and to purchase tickets, visit CathayPacific.com.
About the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority operates the U.S. Capital Region’s gateways to the nation and the world, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, as well as the Dulles Airport Access Highway, the Dulles Toll Road and construction of the Silver Line project, a 23-mile extension of the Metrorail public transit system through northern Virginia. A record 46.6 million passengers passed through the two airports in 2017.
About Cathay Pacific Airways
Cathay Pacific Airways offers more than 100 flights per week from North America to Hong Kong and beyond, including more than 20 destinations in Mainland China, from seven cities in the USA and two in Canada: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York (JFK), Newark Liberty, San Francisco, Vancouver and Toronto. For more information, including current fares and availability, visit www.cathaypacific.com/us and follow @CathayPacificUS on Twitter and Instagram. For North American reservations, dial toll-free: 1-888-233-ASIA.