Cathay Pacific to launch new Hong Kong, Boston route

Updated: 2014-08-25 11:17

By Amy He in New York(China Daily USA)

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Cathay Pacific Airways will be launching non-stop service between Hong Kong and Boston in 2015, connecting the two cities for the first time.

Cathay Pacific and the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) announced on Friday that the new route will be offered four-times a week between Boston's Logan International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport beginning on May 3 of next year, pending government approval.

The new route will be Cathay Pacific's sixth gateway into the US and its eighth in North America. Cathay Pacific currently connects Hong Kong with Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Newark, New Jersey, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver.

"The doors of Massachusetts are open to the world, and we are eager both to strengthen existing global relationships and to build new ones," said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in a statement. "This new service will allow us to continue to expand on these efforts and more easily connect and collaborate with innovators, inventors and investors in the Asian market."

Pending regulatory approval, the 16-hour flights from Boston to Hong Kong will depart Boston on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday every week. Flights from Hong Kong will depart on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday every week. Service will be provided on Boeing 777-300ER aircrafts, which can carry up to 275 passengers. Ticket prices are not available yet.

"Boston right now is one of the largest under-served frequencies between the US and Hong Kong. There are no flights on that route right now," Tom Owen, Cathay Pacific senior vice- president of the Americas, told China Daily. "It's been growing over the years, and we thought given our connections over Hong Kong to Asia and China, and given the growth just in the Boston-Hong Kong market, it was about time we put a service on that, so we did."

Cathay Pacific is the second Asian airline this year to operate new direct flights between China and Boston as Hainan Airlines began its Beijing-to-Boston service in June.

"We've heard from both the business and tourism communities that Hong Kong is a high-priority destination, so we're going to serve both," said Tom Glynn, CEO of Massport. "I would say China is probably the most important market for Boston. It's growing the fastest, it's the biggest, and there's so much vitality and energy in the Chinese economy that people want to be a part of it. They want to know what are the lessons we can learn from Chinese success."

Massport, which manages three airports in Massachusetts, has been eager to connect Boston with other global cities. This year new Istanbul-Boston and Dubai-Boston direct flights were launched. Panama City and Boston were connected for the first time last July.

Figures released last month show that passengers arriving and departing Logan International Airport grew 4.4 percent for the first six months year-on-year. The number of international travelers grew 6.6 percent.

For Chinese travelers, Massachusetts is becoming one of the top US destinations, with close to 150,000 tourists traveling to the Bay State in 2012, according to information from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.

"It comes as no surprise that another airline is connected with Boston, and it's very exciting that it's Hong Kong, such a valuable and important destination. It not only provides access to all of Asia, but a lot of China and especially cities south of Beijing," said Evan Saunders, CEO of Attract China, a tourism-marketing firm based in Boston.

"This route is coming at a time when it's really needed. I imagine every flight will be full when the route starts," he said.

 Cathay Pacific to launch new Hong Kong, Boston route

Cathay Airlines' new direct route connecting Hong Kong and Boston will use a Boeing 777 that carries about 275 people. Provided to China Daily

(China Daily USA 08/25/2014 page1)