Hong Kong based airline Cathay Pacific is to begin direct flights from its home city to Manchester, UK from December this year, the airline has announced on its website.
Starting on December 8, Cathay Pacific will operate the service four times per week, and tickets are now on sale.
The airline noted that Manchester is the third busiest airport in the UK after Heathrow and Gatwick based on passenger throughput figures, and has ‘high potential for further growth.’ It also described the city of Manchester as ‘a regional transport and business hub that is renowned for its architecture, culture, industrial heritage and sports clubs.’
Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will be used to operate the Manchester service, and will include the awarding-winning Business Class, Premium Economy Class and new Economy Class seats. The airline also says that passengers will have the benefit of a state-of-the-art inflight entertainment system in all classes.
Flights will depart from Hong Kong to Manchester every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with Manchester departures on the same days.
Cathay Pacific chief executive, Ivan Chu, said: ‘We have a deep commitment to the UK market and currently operate five flights a day to London Heathrow. Business ties between the UK and Hong Kong are very strong and we have been seeing an ever-increasing demand for air travel to and from the Asia Pacific region for both business and leisure traffic.
‘By providing yet more flights to the UK, and the only non-stop direct service between Hong Kong and Manchester, Cathay Pacific will offer passengers even more choice and flexibility and, at the same time, continue to boost Hong Kong’s standing as an international aviation hub.’
With e-service options constantly developing, Cathay Pacific, a Hong Kong-based airline, has now introduced a mobile boarding pass option for its passengers at London’s Heathrow Airport.
The electronic option, which is intended to make the departure process more convenient for passengers leaving from Heathrow, permits those that check-in using Cathay’s on-line facility to opt for their boarding pass to be sent to a mobile device as an e-mail or text message. The customer benefits from not requiring any paperwork during the check-in procedure.
In addition to the electronic format being accepted as the official boarding document at the airport, other information, including any relevant lounge invitation and airport procedure directions, can also be included.
The service will be available to Cathay Pacific’s passengers on flights from London to Hong Kong, and Heathrow becomes the airline’s 21st destination airport to adopt the format. The mobile boarding pass will also be available to those passengers that check in for flights to Hong Kong and have forward connections to other destinations on arrival.
Cathay Pacific’s head of sales and marketing, Roberto Abbondio, said, ‘We are delighted to bring the Mobile Boarding Pass service to customers in the UK. Offering a smoother experience when on the move, the online booking and online check-in service provides customers with added flexibility and convenience, as well as affording them a truly paperless journey.’
Cathay Pacific operates scheduled passenger and cargo services to 168 destinations in 42 countries around the world, including codeshares and joint ventures, from its hub in Hong Kong.
Australia and Japan claimed a shared first place in Visa’s international travel survey. The countries were consistently ranked as top Asia-Pacific travel destinations, with one-fifth of respondents keen to holiday in either country. The survey polled frequent travellers from the United States and other international destinations, featuring people aged over 18 years who had booked a trip recently.
Residents of Thailand, Hong Kong, and Mainland China favoured Japan for international travel, claiming that its combination of high-tech cities and natural beauty makes it one of Asia’s leading holiday destinations. Australia ranked highly for similar reasons, albeit with a different audience – residents of the United States, New Zealand, and Britain voted for the country in record numbers.
Climbing into third place, China has gained favour from travellers throughout the Pacific. With low accommodation costs and some of the world’s largest cities along its Eastern coastline, the country’s economic growth has contributed to a boom in international tourism. Visitors from within Asia still make up most of China’s international visitor count, although it is gaining momentum in the West.
Travel habits are of great importance to companies within the Pacific region, as the growing income levels in many countries in the region have lead to an increase in international travel. Key sectors of growth include Thailand and Malaysia, where residents can now afford to travel internationally due to the prevalence of low-cost air carriers and online hotel booking services in the region.
These services can make previously unaffordable destinations such as Japan or Australia within the financial reach of families in the region’s many high-growth developing countries. With marketing budgets tight and occupancy rates relatively low, such information on travel intentions is becoming more valuable to marketers and service-driven travel firms in the region.