Cathay Pacific Airways has announced that it will begin a four-times-weekly nonstop service from Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. to Hong Kong on September 16, 2018. It will be the longest nonstop air route to both Hong Kong and the Washington, D.C. region, and the longest flight in Cathay Pacific’s global network, at 7,085 nautical miles (8,153 miles). This service will bring Cathay Pacific’s first Airbus A350-1000 to the region (the airline’s A350-900 began service to San Francisco and Newark on October 28, 2017).
Washington, D.C. will become Cathay Pacific’s seventh passenger service gateway in the U.S. and ninth in North America. The airline, which launched nonstop service from North America in 1983, flies to Hong Kong and beyond over 100 times per week from Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark, New York (JFK), San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver. This is the latest gateway for Cathay Pacific in the Americas since its launch of nonstop service from Boston to Hong Kong in 2015 – upgraded from a four-times-weekly to a daily operation in March 2017.
“Dulles International is an ideal destination for our next US gateway, with its ease of access to the D.C. Metropolitan area. Cathay Pacific is pleased to be the first air carrier offering nonstop flights from Washington, D.C. to Hong Kong,” said Philippe Lacamp, Senior Vice President, Americas, Cathay Pacific. “Washington, D.C. has special meaning for Cathay Pacific. When the airline was co-founded over 71 years ago by American Roy Farrell and his Australian partner, Sydney de Kantzow, they had dreams of growing beyond a regional Asian airline, even including ‘Pacific’ in the name in the hopes that one day it would expand across the ocean. Farrell would have been proud to see the airline serve his country’s capital.”
“Today we celebrate a new bridge between Asia and Virginia, and we look forward to welcoming all of the international travelers this new air service will bring to the Commonwealth,” said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. “Virginia has made a significant commitment to growing our relationship with Asia in recent years and we are proud to be a new United States market with nonstop service from Hong Kong. With its convenient schedule, this new Cathay Pacific air service provides connections to destinations around the globe and will help us continue to grow the new Virginia economy.”
“In Washington, D.C., we are happy to host millions of tourists every year, and with the addition of these nonstop flights, we look forward to welcoming more travelers and business from Hong Kong and across Asia,” said Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Tourism plays a vital role in supporting local businesses and creating jobs for our residents, and it has helped make D.C.’s economy one of the strongest local economies in the country. These flights are a tremendous opportunity to build on our progress and expand our reputation as the greatest city in the world.”
According to Destination DC, the official marketing organization for Washington, D.C., Asian visitation to the District increased six percent in 2016 over the previous year, accounting for 32 percent of the District’s overseas visitors (source: Travel Market Insights Inc).
“As the international gateway to Washington, D.C., Dulles International Airport is excited to welcome Cathay Pacific and its passengers to the capital,” said Jerome L. Davis, executive vice president and Chief Revenue Officer for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. “Cathay Pacific’s reputation for quality service and an exceptional passenger experience offer travelers through Dulles International a valuable, new nonstop link to Hong Kong and the growing Asia-Pacific region.”
CX861 will depart Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings at 1:15 a.m., arriving in Hong Kong the following day at 5:10 a.m. This early morning arrival allows passengers to connect with every Cathay Pacific flight across Asia – including Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and over 22 gateways in mainland China – without a lengthy layover in Hong Kong. The return flight, CX860, will depart Hong Kong at 6:35 p.m. (local time) on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, arriving in Washington, D.C. at 10:20 p.m. (same day).
The wide body, twin-aisle Airbus A350-1000 brings together the very latest in aerodynamics, design and advanced technologies to provide improved fuel efficiency and a state-of-the-art travel experience for customers. Quietest among the aircraft types in its class, Cathay Pacific has taken this environmentally-friendly aircraft a step further, with its in-flight carpets and passengers’ blankets made from recycled plastic, including salvaged fishing nets and plastic bottles.
Cathay Pacific already has one of the youngest long-haul fleets in the sky – and with the arrival of the first of its 20 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft in the spring of next year, the fleet is only going to get younger.
Like the A350-900, the longer A350-1000 takes the passenger travel experience to a new level. The design of many of the cabin features has been carefully considered to give passengers the best sleeping experience, the best entertainment and even more control over how they want to use their individual space, whether for working or relaxation. With its extra wide body, the aircraft offers more space and comfort, panoramic windows and LED mood lighting, contributing to a more comfortable and relaxing journey in all cabin classes.
The Cathay Pacific A350-1000 will feature a three-class cabin comprising a refreshed Business Class cabin as well as new Premium Economy Class and Economy Class seats. The A350 Business Class seats build on the success of the airline’s award-winning long-haul Business Class product to create a memorable experience. Alongside a fully-flat bed, new features includes extra stowage space within easy reach and the personal service offered by a “Do Not Disturb” and “Wake-up Call” function in the entertainment system. The Premium Economy Class and Economy Class seats also come with exclusive power outlets and USB ports for every passenger. Each Premium Economy Class seat has a fully integrated leg rest, which, together with the ergonomically designed seat, allows more flexibility to adjust for optimal comfort.
The new A350 inflight entertainment system is inspired by the airline’s latest design philosophy. The interactive user interface is contemporary and sharp. It is equipped with some impressive new interactive features, which gives passengers even more choice than before, as well as a wider screen in all classes. Connectivity is installed, allowing passengers, for a fee, to browse the internet, send and receive emails and connect on social media. Access to the Cathay Pacific website, a number of partner websites and three live TV news channels are available free of charge.