Christchurch Airport is preparing for the very welcome return of Cathay Pacific direct flights between Christchurch and Hong Kong.
The first flight of the summer season will land early afternoon on Saturday December 16, to begin the service of three return flights a week until February 29 next year.
Airport Chief Executive Justin Watson says the connection to Christchurch is the airline’s first seasonal service reinstated since the pandemic.
“This is another historic date for the relationship between the airline and the airport. The first seasonal service between the two cities began in December 2017. The service was paused during the pandemic, but when its return was announced the demand led to the airline deciding to put on a larger aircraft to meet the need,” he says.
“Over the years of the service, more than 64,000 passengers have flown on 275 flights. The return of the direct service reflects the fact that South Islanders have always enjoyed flying on this airline, whether to explore Hong Kong, or to stop there on the way to family, friends and adventures further afield,” he says.
“The airline has one of the most modern long-haul fleets in the sky. On the Christchurch-Hong Kong route, they will fly their state-of-the-art A350, which uses 25% less fuel than other aircraft models.”
Cathay Pacific Regional General Manager Frosti Lau says the return of the seasonal service is a sign of the airline’s commitment to the region.
“This is our first seasonal service to return post-pandemic, so is proof of our dedication to the route, people and businesses of the South Island.
“We hope the service will provide a welcome economic boost to everyone, whether you’re an exporter, have an interest or stake in the tourism industry, or are keen to explore the world via Hong Kong and beyond. Whatever your interest, I can assure you the service onboard a Cathay Pacific flight is exceptional and you will not be disappointed.”
Lau also thanked Cathay Pacific’s partners in New Zealand.
“Since the route started in 2017, the support we’ve had from our partners Air New Zealand, Christchurch Airport and Christchurch City Council has been fantastic and they’ve been instrumental in helping us return. I look forward to a fruitful and lasting partnership in the years to come.”
As Hong Kong’s home airline, Cathay Pacific has more than 76 years of history and is very well connected. It flies to more than 200 destinations in 52 countries, which give South Islanders even more connection to people and places the world over.