Cathay Pacific launches flights from Gatwick this morning as the Hong Kong-based carrier returns to the airport for the first time since 1993 and begins the first scheduled A350 service from Gatwick.
Cathay will fly to Hong Kong four times a week, departing Gatwick South at 12:40 to arrive at 07:00 the next day.
The new service is in addition to Cathay’s five flights a day to Hong Kong from Heathrow.
Asked why the airline had expanded to Gatwick when it already operates such a dense schedule from London, Neil Glenn, Cathay Pacific general manager for Europe, said: “This is about providing increased choice and convenience to UK passengers.
“The UK is a very important market for Cathay, and London and the south have different catchment areas. We felt a Gatwick service would complement the Heathrow flights.
“Gatwick has its own catchment area. It will be more convenient for some people. We’re confident it will be a success.”
Glenn added: “So far the bookings bear that out. We’re confident about the demand for Hong Kong and beyond, and keen to develop the UK business.
“We see it as appealing to a broad section of travellers – mid-cap corporate clients, meetings and incentives, leisure and visiting friends and relatives. There is also an important student market.”
He said the frequency of Gatwick services could increase once the route is established, but “It is sufficient to start with”.
Glenn confirmed that flights from Heathrow and Gatwick “will be priced the same”.
He described the deployment of Cathay’s first Airbus A350 on the route as “highly appropriate to Gatwick”, saying: “It offers the latest in passenger comfort and entertainment. We’re confident passengers will enjoy it.
“People will be interested in the fact we’re starting a new route with a new aircraft.”
The flight’s scheduled arrival into Hong Kong at 07:00 will enable UK passengers to connect with onward Cathay services across China, Southeast Asia and to Australia and New Zealand.
Glenn said: “We expect to see demand for Vietnam and the Philippines.”
Gatwick chief commercial officer Guy Stephenson said: “The flights mark an important milestone in the growth of Gatwick’s long-haul network. Hong Kong is the premier gateway to China.”
This is a community-moderated forum.
All post are the individual views of the respective commenter and are not the expressed views of Travel Weekly.
By posting your comments you agree to accept our Terms & Conditions.