If you happen to be at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport this weekend, you might be surprised to find a conspicuous celebration as Cathay Pacific launches its nonstop service between Seattle and Hong Kong.
Passengers will arrive from Hong Kong at 9 p.m. PDT, on Sunday, March 31, disembarking a wide-body Airbus A35-900 jet large enough for 280 people. Four hours later, passengers en route to Hong Kong will board the aircraft and embark on Cathay Pacific’s inaugural nonstop service from Seattle to Hong Kong— having witnessed a ceremonial lion dance, enjoyed nibbles such as slices of cake and whole roasted pig, and passed through a gate brightened by balloons.
“Seattle has been on our radar for a long time,” said Philippe Lacamp, Senior Vice President, Americas at Cathay Pacific. “I have been at the airline for 27 years, and I can tell you we have been looking at it, to my knowledge, for at least two decades.”
It’s not the first time a major airline has offered nonstop service between the two Pacific Rim capitals.
Five years ago, Delta began to offer nonstop flights between Seattle and Hong Kong but discontinued the service last year.
“Clearly, it was something that, as we were looking at this, I can tell you, from a local and regional team, we were going, ‘Hang on a second. If Delta can’t make it work, then why are we so sure we can?’” said Lacamp. He noted Cathay Pacific’s edge is its strong connectivity from Hong Kong to Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, and Taipei, with dozens of flights per day between Hong Kong and these connecting cities.
Cathay Pacific plans to operate four flights per week this spring before ramping up its service to daily this summer.
“That’s the confidence that we’ve got in this market,” added Lacamp.
The airline will offer Business, Premium Economy, and Economy class tickets, with round-trip fares (including tax and fuel surcharge) starting from $571 (Economy), $2,033 (Premium Economy), and $5,496 (Business).
Amenities such as adjustable flat-bed seats, personal TV sets, full-length leg rests, and roomier seating configurations will be available depending on the ticket class. Wi-Fi service, USB ports, power outlets, and in-flight entertainment will be available in all seating classes.
A nonstop flight between Seattle and Hong Kong lasts approximately 13 hours.
Founded more than 70 years ago, Cathay Pacific pilots a fleet of approximately 200 airplanes between 232 cities in 53 countries or territories around the world.