Cathay Pacific has given Australians a new one-stop option for trips to London with a return to Gatwick Airport from September 2016.
The Hong Kong-based carrier will fly four times a week to London Gatwick with three-class Airbus A350-900s offering 38 business, 28 premium economy and 214 economy class seats.
The new flight lifts Cathay’s schedule to the UK capital to 39 flights a week, given it flies five times a day between Hong Kong and London Heathrow. The oneworld alliance member also offers a four times weekly service to Manchester in England’s north.
Cathay chief executive Ivan Chu said the new Gatwick service underscored the airline’s strong commitment to the UK market. The airline last served Gatwick in 1993.
“We are delighted to launch a non-stop service to Gatwick, using our new state-of-the-art A350 aircraft, which will help meet increasing demand for both business and leisure travel between the Asia Pacific region and the UK,” Chu said in a statement.
“These additional flights to London will provide our passengers with greater choice and flexibility and, at the same time, continue to boost Hong Kong’s standing as an international aviation hub.”
Cathay has 48 A350s on order, comprising 22 A350-900s and 26 of the larger A350-1000s. First delivery, an A350-900, is expected to occur in February 2016.
Following several months of short-haul operations around Asia to get crews up to speed with the new aircraft type, Cathay was expected to deploy the A350-900 to Auckland as its first long-haul route from May.
Cathay flies to Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney from its Hong Kong hub.
Emirates also offers a one-stop option from Australia to Gatwick, located in the south of London, via Dubai. And Garuda Indonesia has a two-stop alternative via Jakarta and Amsterdam.