Cathay Pacific has resumed daily services to Perth Airport for the first time since the pandemic.
The Hong Kong-based carrier is now flying 294-seat Boeing 777-300ER aircraft into Perth. This is an upgrade from its five-days-weekly A350-900 service, which offered 280 seats each way as of 6 December, up from the previous three flights per week.
The daily Cathay Pacific flights arrive in Perth as CX171 at 10:50pm and depart as CX140 at 12:10am. Perth Airport’s chief commercial & aviation officer, Kate Holsgrove, said the return to a daily service is an important step in Perth’s recovery from COVID-19.
“Business travellers, students, tourists and those visiting family and friends are key focus sectors between Perth and Hong Kong,” Holsgrove said, adding that the carrier had been an “important airline partner” to Perth for more than 50 years.
“Cathay Pacific now provides more than 214,000 seats to the Perth market and also provides local exporters with crucial cargo capacity between Perth and Hong Kong and North Asia.
“Cathay Pacific has excellent connections to 200 destinations worldwide including Asia, Europe and North America, offering Western Australians access to a range of travel destinations.”
Only two carriers currently offer flights from Perth to China, with China Eastern last month beginning a seasonal A330-200 service to Shanghai over the four-week Lunar New Year period until 18 February.
Announcing the China Eastern service in November, then-acting CEO Holsgrove said the pandemic and lack of direct flights to mainland China had been a major blow to WA’s Chinese tourism market, which fell to 19,000 visitors and $78 million in expenditure in 2023.
“Back in 2019, Western Australia catered for 67,000 Chinese visitors who spent $283 million in our economy – including our important tourism and retail businesses,” Holsgrove said.
“If we can further grow the number of visitors to WA, the flow-on benefits for tourism operators, hotels, hospitality and retail outlets could be enormous. A direct aviation connection to China offers great potential for both tourism and business in Western Australia.”