Cathay Pa­cific adds HK-NJ di­rect flights

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICAS - By JACK FREIFELDER In New York jack­freifelder@chi­nadai­lyusa. com

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.”

Ru­pert Hogg,

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