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Cathay Pacific comes back to Manchester

After leaving Manchester some 15 years ago, Cathay Pacific will serve UK second largest metropolis from this coming winter with a non-stop flight.

HONG KONG- Cathay Pacific Airways announced that it will launch a four-times-weekly service to Manchester in the UK with effect from 8 December 2014 (subject to government approval). Tickets for the service are open for sale.
Located in north-west England, Manchester is a regional transport and business hub that is renowned for its architecture, culture, industrial heritage and sports clubs. Manchester International Airport is ranked third in the UK, after Heathrow and Gatwick, in terms of passenger throughput and has high potential for further growth.
The Manchester service will be operated by Boeing 777-300ER aircraft featuring Cathay Pacific’s acclaimed new cabin products, including its awarding-winning Business Class, Premium Economy Class and the new Economy Class seats. Together with the premium service provided by Cathay Pacific’s cabin crew and a state-of-the-art inflight entertainment system in all classes, passengers will be provided with the best experience when they travel between Hong Kong and Manchester.
Flights will depart from Hong Kong to Manchester every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Departures from Manchester are also on these days.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu said: “We have a deep commitment to the UK market and currently operate five flights a day to London Heathrow. Business ties between the UK and Hong Kong are very strong and we have been seeing an ever-increasing demand for air travel to and from the Asia Pacific region for both business and leisure traffic.”
By providing yet more flights to the UK, and the only non-stop direct service between Hong Kong and Manchester, Cathay Pacific will offer passengers even more choice and flexibility and, at the same time, continue to boost Hong Kong’s standing as an international aviation hub.”
Manchester used to be served by Cathay Pacific in the nineties with a direct service to Hong Kong with a stop-over in Paris. According to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, Manchester-Hoing Kong remains one of the busiest routes out of the UK. The lack of non-stop flights between both cities provided an unbeatable advantage to Emirates. The Dubai-based airline carried an estimated 38% of all passengers on this route in 2013, far ahead of British Airways, which represented 19% of all passengers flows from Manchester to Hong Kong. 
Cathay is likely to attract also passengers towards Australia. The country is the largest destination in Asia-Pacific out of Manchester, generating 23% of the region’s traffic. The airline will then be in competition with Singapore Airlines, so far the only Far East carrier present in Northwest England. Singapore Airlines offers a daily flight, however with a short stop in Munich. 
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Luc Citrinot a French national is a freelance journalist and consultant in tourism and air transport with over 20 years experience. Based in Paris and Bangkok, he works for various travel and air transport trade publications in Europe and Asia.