Cathay Pacific adds HK-NJ direct flights
Cathay Pacific Airways (Cathay) has added a direct flight trip between Hong Kong International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport, a move the airline said underscores its growing presence in the New York area and China.
“Last year, 59 million people flew through Hong Kong International Airport and [Cathay] carried 29 million,” said Rupert Hogg, COO for Cathay. “Clearly, aviation is incredibly important to Hong Kong and we’ve grown in lockstep with the Hong Kong hub.”
Hogg called New York City “a very large gateway for us, and we now have five flights a day into New York”.
Hogg, who was appointed COO on March 14, made his comments on Thursday at an event hosted by HSBC Bank USA and the Hong Kong Association of New York ( HKANY). His address touched on the outlook for Cathay’s global business model, the role of Hong Kong as a global aviation hub and Cathay’s position as the largest Asian airline operating out of the New York area.
Hogg said that the airline’s geographic advantage, worldclass infrastructure and being a strong and expansive home-base carrier will help bolster the efforts to “generate acceptable levels of profit”.
“By the middle of the year we will have four flights a day between Hong Kong and Los Angeles, two a day to San Francisco and 10 flights a week to Chicago. We have invested heavily in joining America and Hong Kong,” he said.
Cathay — the international flag carrier of Hong Kong — and its subsidiary Dragonair operate both scheduled passenger and cargo services to more than 150 destinations in more than 40 countries.
Cathay is also a founding member of Oneworld, one of the three largest airline alliances in the world.
China accounted for almost 1.5 million visitors to the US in 2012, according to the latest full-year data from the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI). A 35 percent increase in Chinese visitor volume was the largest among the top 10 international visitation markets.
Air travel between the world’s two largest economies, US and China, has become increasingly profitable in recent years, and other airlines have increased or will increase the number of flights offered.
Hainan Airlines, China’s fourth-largest airline company, has made several successful overtures to expand in the US.
Earlier this year Hainan Airlines doubled its direct weekly flights between Beijing and Chicago to four.
In De c ember, Hainan also secured federal approval for nonstop roundtrip service at Boston’s Logan International Airport, which could begin as early as June. Until recently, Boston was the largest US airline market without nonstop service to China.
Mike Boyd — president of Boyd Group International, an aviation consulting firm based in Evergreen, Colorado — said there’s going to be “a lot of Chinese demand over to the US,” but the main issue facing Cathay is the traffic that airlines have seen in northern China.
“Cathay Pacific is in southern China but the action is happening is northern China, and that puts the ball in the court of Hainan, Air China, China Southern etc,” Boyd said Thursday in an interview with China Daily. “It will still be a strong move for Cathay, but we tend to think of Hong Kong as yesterday’s destination.”