Cathay Pacific will move quickly to boost its new Seattle service to daily flights in 2019 as it responds to “thriving demand”.
The new service will launch on March 31 as a four-times weekly operation but the response has been such that Cathay will add Monday, Wednesday and Friday flights from Hong Kong from July 1.
They will return from Seattle, the home of Boeing as well as technology companies Microsoft and Amazon, to the Asian financial hub the following day. Seattle, set in the scenic Pacific Northwest, is also a popular tourist attraction and cruise port.
The airline will use its growing fleet of A350-900 aircraft on the route, which is its eighth to the US. Cathay also flies to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York (JFK), New York (Newark), San Francisco and Washington DC.
The Seattle boost is among a number announced for next year’s northern summer
Cathay Pacific announced in October it would boost frequencies to Frankfurt and Madrid in response to feedback from customers.
The increases from Cathay’s Hong Kong hub see Frankfurt moving to 10 times weekly — an additional three flights a week from March 31, 2019, leaving Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Madrid moves to daily Cathay flights between June and October 2019 with two additional flights on Mondays and Wednesday using A350-900s.
The Hong Kong carrier announced a record nine new destinations in 2018 with new routes to Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, Nanning, Jinan and Washington D.C., Cape Town, Davao City and Medan.
Expanded business class menus, an aggressive roll-out of inflight wi-fi and new economy seating are among the changes Cathay Pacific passengers have been seeing as the airline battles increased competition and restructures its operations.
The Hong Kong-based carrier has a three-year transformation program underway as it moves to recover from two years of losses, including an $HK1.25 billion ($US160 million) net loss for the 2017 financial year.
It has been affected by fundamental changes that saw increased competition in many of its markets, including an aggressive expansion by mainland Chinese carriers.
Cathay’s October group traffic figures showed an increase in both the number of passengers and cargo compared to the same month in 2017.
Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon carried a total of 2,950,532 passengers in October, an increase of 0.9 percent compared to October 2017.
In the first ten months of 2018, the number of passengers carried grew by 1.9 percent while capacity increased by 3.1 percent.
Although load factors increased, Cathay commercial and cargo director Ronald Lam said economy class yields remained under pressure due to unfavorable currency trends and an increased mix of lower fares.