Cathay: 3 more Cebu-HK flights

CATHAY Pacific Airways announced it will increase its Cebu-Hong Kong service from seven to 10 flights per week beginning on Dec. 17.

Alan Lui, the airline’s country manager in the Philippines, said the expansion is meant to meet the growing demand of Cebuanos who want to travel abroad, as well as serve balikbayans and foreign tourists headed for Cebu.

“The demand to travel abroad, especially among the leisure and business market, is growing. The younger market, for instance, is now more eager to travel and explore other overseas destinations,” Lui said.

“The increase in frequency between Hong Kong and Cebu is welcome news as this has been long overdue. The market for both leisure and business travel from Cebu has been expanding and we are glad to be able to meet the demand,” he added.

Additional flights will be available every Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Cathay Pacific began non-stop flights between Hong Kong and Cebu in 1992 with two flights weekly. This gradually increased to a daily schedule in the year 2000 and has been maintained until recently, when Cathay Pacific decided it was time to give the route a boost.

Lui said the passengers in Southern Philippines, who expect a quality travel experience, will now have more choices if bound for Hong Kong, as well as have the ability to connect to their network of 188 cities in 46 countries and territories.

With this development, the airline is also offering its Winterfest Sale for travel on the new flights, CX924 and CX925. Roundtrip online promotional fares start at US$115 all-in for economy class, US$315 for premium economy and US$520 for business class,

available only on Dec. 10-11, for travel from Dec. 10, 2014 to March 26, 2015.

Lui cited the increased spending power, competitive airfare rates, aggressive marketing promotions of tourism agencies, social media, improved technology and relaxed visa policies as factors that would drive the tourism and travel industry’s continued growth.

“In 2015, we expect more expansion of operations here to serve more customers, as we see more movement from and within Asia to the United States and Europe,” said Lui. “We expect 50 percent expansion next year from 2014.”

The airline’s move to expand operations in Cebu also coincides with the series of big events scheduled in 2015, which include some of the APEC Ministerial meetings and the

International Eucharistic Congress in 2016.

A private corporation, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp., took over the management and upgrading of the Mactan terminal last Nov. 1, 2014.

By next year, Cathay Pacific also plans to launch a new four-times-weekly non-stop flight from Hong Kong to Boston, Massachusetts on May 2. The new service will provide the first direct link between New England and Hong Kong. The airline said it will also expand its European network with a non-stop daily service from Hong Kong to Zurich, beginning on March 29 next year. Aside from boosting the Cebu-Hong Kong routes, Cathay Pacific will also launch a four-times-weekly service to Manchester in the United Kingdom on Dec. 8 this year.


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