These flights will help boost leisure and business travel between Hong Kong and Ireland, as well as offering customers connections on Cathay Pacific services to and from the likes of Australia, New Zealand, China, and several countries in South East Asia.
“This historic new route brings direct flights from Ireland to Hong Kong for the first time and also offers excellent onward connections via Cathay Pacific’s Hong Kong hub”, Harrison added.
Ireland, Belgium and Denmark will be connected to Hong Kong by air for the first time as Cathay Pacific Airways announced three new European flights for 2018 on Thursday.
And nearly 100 Irish firms have operations in China, employing a total of 100,000 people there.
“This announcement will certainly benefit the wider economy, by creating greater transport links for Irish exporters and indigenous businesses, helping to attract greater levels of Foreign Direct Investment, and facilitating increased levels of tourism from growing markets”, he tells us.
“We’re excited to offer the only direct flights between Hong Kong and Brussels, Dublin and Copenhagen”.
Kicking off on June 2, 2018, the route will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
The new services will launch in the summer of 2018, with the intention of strengthening the airline’s network and providing new trade and tourism opportunities between Asia and Europe.
In contrast to mainland Chinese carriers who have expanded aggressively towards North America, Europe and Australia in recent years, Cathay Pacific will be the first Chinese airline to fly to Dublin and Copenhagen – none of the mainland or Taiwanese carriers now fly to those European destinations, and will join Hainan Airlines which flies to Brussels.
The Hong Kong-based airline will operate four flights a week from Brussels Airport using an Airbus A350, on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. It operates a fleet of 144 aircraft with orders for a further 53 aircraft for delivery until 2024. The return flight will depart Hong Kong at 00.50, arriving in Dublin at 06.45. The return flight will depart Hong Kong at 00.15 and arrive in Dublin at 05.30. The airport set a new traffic record in July when it welcomed more than three million passengers in a single month for the first time ever.
Singapore, which rivals Hong Kong as an global airport destination, scored a major coup as Australia’s national airline Qantas said on Thursday it would resume stopover flights in Singapore instead of Dubai between Australia and Europe.
Earlier:Dublin is to get its first direct flights to Asia from next year.