Today, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) celebrated the launch of Cathay Pacific’s increased service between Vancouver and Hong Kong with the first scheduled Canadian arrival and departure of an Airbus A350-900 aircraft. The state-of-the-art aircraft will service the YVR and Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) route, offering more direct flights and seats than any other airline with 17 flights per week and an additional 87,360 seats annually from YVR.
“I’m thrilled to not only celebrate Cathay Pacific’s increased frequency and continued success at YVR, but also the first Canadian arrival of the fantastic Airbus A350-900,” said Craig Richmond, President & CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. “It is exciting to see the continued growth of this route and opportunities that stem from it as YVR works towards building a world class sustainable gateway between Asia and the Americas.”
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The new increased frequency will provide more opportunities for BC businesses to connect with local markets in Hong Kong and other regions throughout Asia, while providing more options and flexibility for local and international travellers. The three additional flights per week will generate approximately 163 additional jobs in British Columbia both at the airport and in the tourism industry, $5.6 million in wages, $1.6 million in taxes and $8.6 million in Gross Domestic Product.
“As a province that works hard to promote trade and attract investment throughout Asia, we welcome these additional direct flights on Cathay Pacific’s important Vancouver-Hong Kong route,” said the Honourable Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism, Province of British Columbia. “Direct flights connect us easily across the Pacific, opening up new opportunities for business.”
“Vancouver was the airline’s first destination in North America with our then state-of-the-art Being 747-200 aircraft being the first airline to fly non-stop between YVR and Hong Kong so it is fitting that nearly 34 years later, we are the first airline to debut the industry’s newest aircraft, the exciting Airbus A350-900 in North America,” said Philippe Lacamp, Cathay Pacific Senior Vice President, Americas. “Even better, the Airbus A350-900 helps us deliver on our promise of a “Life Well Travelled” with our latest 3-class cabin product, enhanced inflight entertainment system and Wi-Fi connectivity,” he added.
The new Airbus A350-900 is the quietest among the aircraft types in its class and is 25 per cent more fuel efficient, with corresponding reduction in emissions, with the latest generation Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines. The aircraft features a refreshed Business Class cabin and new Premium Economy and Economy Class seats that offer more space and comfort, panoramic windows and LED mood lighting. The Airbus A350-900 has also provided an opportunity for Cathay Pacific to prove itself again as a leader in airline eco-innovation. The cabin carpets and passengers’ blankets are made from recycled plastic and nylon, including plastic bottles and salvaged fishing nets that are otherwise a hazard for marine life.