Cathay Pacific will serve Washington Dulles International Airport from Hong Kong for the first time in 2018. It will fly the route four times per week starting in September, complementing existing US routes to cities like Boston, New York-JFK, and Newark Liberty. The route will be operated by the A350-1000 and will be the carrier’s longest route at 7,085 nautical miles (13,122 kilometers), as well as the longest route offered from either Hong Kong or Dulles.
Hong Kong will be the fourth Asian destination from Dulles, the largest international airport serving Washington, D.C. See below for the flight schedule.
“Our customers have told us they want greater options and increased flexibility – and we’ve listened,” said Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg. “Much like Hong Kong, Washington D.C. is a vibrant and dynamic destination and we are thrilled to soon be providing the only direct flights between these two great cities. 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 an ideal destination for our next US gateway, with its ease of access to the D.C. Metropolitan area. Cathay Pacific is pleased to be the first air carrier offering nonstop flights from Washington, D.C. to Hong Kong,” said Philippe Lacamp, Senior Vice President, Americas at Cathay Pacific. “Washington, D.C. has special meaning for Cathay Pacific. When the airline was co-founded over 71 years ago by American Roy Farrell and his Australian partner, Sydney de Kantzow, they had dreams of growing beyond a regional Asian airline, even including ‘Pacific’ in the name in the hopes that one day it would expand across the ocean. Farrell would have been proud to see the airline serve his country’s capital.”
“Today we celebrate a new bridge between Asia and Virginia, and we look forward to welcoming all of the international travelers this new air service will bring to the Commonwealth,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia. “Virginia has made a significant commitment to growing our relationship with Asia in recent years and we are proud to be a new United States market with nonstop service from Hong Kong. With its convenient schedule, this new Cathay Pacific air service provides connections to destinations around the globe and will help us continue to grow the new Virginia economy.”
According to Destination D.C., a marketing organization for Washington D.C., Asian visitation to the area increased 6% in 2016 over 2015. Visitors from the region account for ~32% of the District’s foreign visitors.
“As the international gateway to Washington, D.C., Dulles International Airport is excited to welcome Cathay Pacific and its passengers to the capital,” said Jerome L. Davis, executive vice president and Chief Revenue Officer for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. “Cathay Pacific’s reputation for quality service and an exceptional passenger experience offer travelers through Dulles International a valuable, new nonstop link to Hong Kong and the growing Asia-Pacific region.”
“In Washington, D.C., we are happy to host millions of tourists every year, and with the addition of these nonstop flights, we look forward to welcoming more travelers and business from Hong Kong and across Asia,” said Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Tourism plays a vital role in supporting local businesses and creating jobs for our residents, and it has helped make D.C.’s economy one of the strongest local economies in the country. These flights are a tremendous opportunity to build on our progress and expand our reputation as the greatest city in the world.”
Flight CX860 will depart Hong Kong at 18:35 (local time) on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. It will arrive at Dulles at 22:20 the same day. The return flight, CX861, will leave Dulles at 1:15 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The flight will arrive in Hong Kong at 5:10 the next day. This early morning arrival allows passengers to connect to every Cathay Pacific flight across Asia—including flights to Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and 22 other gateways in mainland China—without a lengthy layover in Hong Kong.
Cathay will fly its A350-1000s in a three-class configuration featuring Business, Premium Economy, and Economy classes. Business class features full lie-flat beds, easy-reach stowage space, and personal service including “Do Not Disturb” and “Wake-up Call” functions. Premium Economy seats include a fully integrated leg rest. All three classes include personal power outlets and USB ports.
Cathay’s in-flight entertainment system is newly updated, contemporary, and sharp. It features new interactive features and a wider screen in all classes, giving passengers even more choice than before. Passengers can also browse the internet, though some may be required to pay a fee for access to sites besides the Cathay Pacific website, a number of partner sites, and three live TV news channels, which will be free for all.
This route is still pending government approval.
Cathay Pacific is setting 2018 up to be a big year in terms of network expansion and capacity growth. Besides the US Capital, Cathay has already announced the addition of year-round services to Brussels and Dublin, a seasonal route to Copenhagen, and mainland China via its regional carrier, Cathay Dragon. Frequencies on Cathay’s most popular existing routes, such as Barcelona and Tel Aviv, will be increased in 2018.
Cathay began flying non-stop service to North America in 1983. Today, its North American destinations include Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark, New York-JFK, San Fransisco, Toronto, and Vancouver.
The A350 XWB features the latest advances in aerodynamics and efficiency, providing state-of-the-art travel for customers. The A350 is one of the quietest planes of its class. Cathay Pacific has taken the environmental aspect of the aircraft to a new level by creating carpeting and passenger blankets out of recycled plastic, including salvaged fishing nets and plastic bottles.
Featured image by Airbus