Cathay Pacific Airways is launching daily nonstop passenger service between Hong Kong and Chicago on September 1, 2011. The airline is also adding a...

Cathay Pacific Airways is launching daily nonstop passenger service between Hong Kong and Chicago on September 1, 2011.

The airline is also adding a third New York-Hong Kong nonstop flight on March 27, the service becoming daily on May 2.

Cathay Pacific Airways
will operate its new Hong Kong-Chicago route with Boeing 777-300ERs. Chicago will be the airline’s first new American destination since 1998. Cathay Pacific already serves Los Angeles, New York JFK and San Francisco with more than 50 flights per week.

“Chicago is a global city with an international vibe that works hard to show its influence beyond its borders and is an international gateway for cargo and passengers,” says Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. “We’ve worked hard to attract new businesses and industries to Chicago and our position as a transportation hub and our efforts to rebound from a global recession is being noticed on an international level. Establishing additional daily air service between Chicago and Hong Kong helps continue to expand economic relations for these cities.”

Chicago will be Cathay Pacific’s first passenger destination in America’s heartland. The airline already operates a successful all-freighter cargo operation to and from Chicago, with transpacific service to Hong Kong via Anchorage and transatlantic service to Hong Kong via Amsterdam and Dubai.

“We are extremely pleased to be launching passenger service to one of America’s greatest cities,” says Scott Mowrer, senior vice president, Americas, for Cathay Pacific Airways. “We will be tapping into the inherent commerce and trade of a metropolitan area of more than 9 million people and, through the O’Hare hub operations of our oneworld alliance partner American Airlines, we will be providing people throughout the Midwest with a more robust gateway to Asia – especially mainland China – through the growing network of Cathay Pacific and our sister airline, Dragonair.”

The Boeing 777-300ER forms the backbone of Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways' long-haul fleet. The airline has 36 of the type in service and on order

Cathay Pacific intends to launch codeshare services with American Airlines from its new Chicago gateway and expects to announce details in the near future.

The airline’s flight CX807 will depart Chicago daily at 3:25 p.m. Central time and arrive in Hong Kong at 8:00 p.m. local time the next day. Flight CX806 will depart Hong Kong at 11:45 a.m. local time and arrive Chicago at 1:45 p.m. Central time the same day.

Flights will be available for sale later this month.

Cathay Pacific currently employs 16 staff in Chicago. Its cargo team has 12 employees while engineering and passenger sales both have two. With the addition of regularly scheduled passenger service, the airline expects its Chicago staff to grow throughout 2011.

“We will be looking to expand our local sales team and we will be building an airport services team that embodies our ‘Service Straight from the Heart’ philosophy,” says Mowrer. “I anticipate we’ll even see some growth in our cargo and engineering teams as well.”

Cathay Pacific will announce Chicago-based staff openings via the “Careers” link on its Web site,

On March 27, 2011, well before it launches its new Chicago passenger flight, Cathay Pacific will add a third nonstop flight from New York’s JFK International Airport to Hong Kong. The flight will initially operate on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays but will increase to daily frequency on May 2.

Currently, Cathay Pacific operates two nonstop flights a day from New York JFK to Hong Kong and one flight to Hong Kong via Vancouver in Western Canada. All of these services will continue when the new flights are added.

In signing a letter of intent for 30 Airbus A350-900s, Cathay Pacific Airways became the first Chinese customer for the A350 XWB family. The A350-900 will form the backbone of the airline's future mid-size widebody fleet

“We are striving to ensure we always remain the most convenient option to Hong Kong and beyond,” says Eric Odone, Cathay Pacific’s vice president, sales and marketing. “By offering morning, afternoon and late evening nonstops from New York, we provide the broadest possible array of connections via Hong Kong to mainland China and southeast Asia.”

Cathay Pacific will maintain its one-stop service to Hong Kong from JFK, which also offers year-round travel between New York and Vancouver, British Columbia.

The new New York JFK-Hong Kong flight – CX 845 – will depart at 1:20 a.m. Eastern time and arrive in Hong Kong at 5:15 a.m. the next day local time. Return service via CX 846, which will initially operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, will depart Hong Kong at 6:30 p.m. local time and arrive JFK at 10:25 p.m. Eastern time the same day.

Cathay Pacific Airways’ additional New York flight will be flown by Boeing 777-300ERs.

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