Cathay Pacific will introduce significant improvements to its Australian schedules from early next year with a raft of adjustments that increases the number of nonstop services and capacity between Australian and Hong Kong.
Under the new schedules Cathay Pacific will serve Melbourne three times daily and Brisbane daily, and will make all Adelaide and Cairns flights to and from Hong Kong nonstop. The adjustments lifts the total number of Hong Kong-Australia flights each week from 70 to 74. It will also result in an increase of six per cent in the number of seats available for sale from Australia. The introduction of nonstop services will also enable Cathay Pacific to further improve the service it offers the inbound tourism market, particularly from China, all year round.
There are no changes currently planned to schedules for Sydney (four times daily) or Perth (10 times weekly).
Timings of flights is also being adjusted to improve connections in Hong Kong to onward destinations in Asia and Europe as Cathay Pacific manoeuvres itself against growing competition from other Asian carriers and the Emirates-Qantas and Virgin-Etihad alliances.
Dominic Perret, Cathay Pacific’s general manager, Southwest Pacific, said that until now some of flights have been shared between two cities. “Many Adelaide flights, for example, also stopped in Melbourne to pick up or drop off passengers.”
He added Cathay Pacific was well positioned to serve the growing demand from the Chinese market. “Our network, together with our sister airline Dragonair, currently serves 22 cities on the mainland with hundreds of flights each week to Hong Kong and onto the six major cities in Australia.
“However, by introducing more nonstop and better connecting flights, we will be able to make it even more attractive for Chinese tourists to come to Australia with Cathay Pacific.”
The airline will deploy A330-300s on all nonstop direct flights to and from Australia in three-class configuration.