Monday 12 June 2023

Cathay Pacific resumes Christchurch-Hong Kong service

Hong Kong’s home carrier returns to the garden city with seasonal service

Hong Kong's home carrier, Cathay Pacific says it will restart seasonal service to Christchurch from its home base on 16th December..  The route will be operated three flights per week with the airline’s state-of-the-art Airbus A350-900 aircraft, with a three cabin configuration of Economy, Premium Economy and Business class. Flights will depart Christchurch on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, arriving in Hong Kong the same night.  

The seasonal restart is Cathay Pacific’s first since the pandemic. It will prove a welcome boost to the Christchurch and South Island regions, particularly tourism operators and exporters, as well as those looking to connect with friends and family in Asia, Europe and beyond.  

Cathay Pacific Acting Regional Head of Southwest Pacific Sandeep Pillay welcomed the announcement saying it was great news for those in the region and the airline. He said:  “Cathay Pacific has been flying to New Zealand for 40 years and we are proud to be returning to Christchurch. Resuming our non-stop Christchurch to Hong Kong service is a significant milestone in the rebuilding of Cathay Pacific’s connectivity. We know it’s a popular route and one we really value. In fact, it’s the first seasonal route we’ve reinstated since the pandemic.  

“The connectivity it will provide from the South Island to Hong Kong and beyond will be a huge boost to the region during the peak summer months. We look forward to welcoming passengers back to experience and enjoy flying with Cathay Pacific.” 

The Christchurch flight will bring in visitors to explore the wonders of New Zealand’s South Island, adding economic growth over the summer period. This flight also means Cathay Pacific can proudly transport New Zealand’s finest fresh produce and other cargo, which attracts a premium in the world’s markets. 

Pillay added that should the service prove popular, the airline may look to increase capacity on the route by switching the aircraft from the A350-900 to the larger A350-1000, adding an additional 54 seats per flight.  

Christchurch Airport Chief Executive Justin Watson welcomed news of the service and is very much looking forward to having the world class carrier back. He said: 

“This is another vote of confidence in Christchurch, Canterbury and the wider South Island both as a visitor destination and a producer of quality, high-value goods. It is fantastic news that will have widespread economic benefits – we look forward to seeing the Cathay Pacific tail outside our terminal soon.” 

Having launched in 2017, the service compliments Cathay Pacific’s existing Auckland-Hong Kong service, operated as part of a long-standing and successful Joint Venture Alliance between Cathay Pacific and Air New Zealand. The agreement has been credited with helping grow inbound tourism from Asia and delivers a range of benefits to the travelling public. 

The Cathay Group, comprising passenger airlines Cathay Pacific and HK Express, has been progressively rebuilding its passenger flight capacity and expects to resume 70% of pre-pandemic passenger capacity levels, covering 80 destinations by the end of 2023. Services from Cathay Pacific’s home hub of Hong Kong to Chicago and Johannesburg have recently been announced. 

The company’s latest traffic figures also show continued improvement. Travel sentiment has remained positive since the beginning of the year and as a result, the Group carried almost six million passengers during the first four months of the year. 

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