Cathay Pacific will start flying cargo across the Atlantic for the first time in July when the Hong Kong carrier debuts an around-the-world freighter service.
The twice-a-week Boeing 747-400 freighter service, launching on July 9, will fly from Hong Kong via Anchorage to Chicago. It will then fly onward to Amsterdam and Dubai before returning to its Hong Kong hub.
Cathay Pacific said it had spent months developing the new route, which will operate every Friday and Sunday.
The new service is an extension of the carrier’s existing eight flights a week service to Chicago, and will take 44.5 hours, including ground time to load freight, the carrier said.
“We are very excited about the launch of this new freighter service which will further strengthen our cargo network and also help in the continued development of Hong Kong’s air freight hub role,” said Cathay Pacific Director Cargo Rupert Hogg.
Cathay Pacific recently announced increased freighter frequencies to the southern U.S., with four weekly flights to Houston and a five-times-a-week service to Miami from July 2.
The airline said the new frequencies are part of its bid to strengthen services to and from Hong Kong in response to the recent global upswing in air cargo markets.
Cathay Pacific, which generates about a third of its revenues from cargo, has ordered ten Boeing 747-8F freighters with deliveries starting in January 2011.
The airline is also developing a cargo terminal at Hong Kong International Airport, due to come into operation in 2013.
Separately, Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler said he is confident a planned cargo joint venture with Air Chine would get regulatory approval by the end of the summer.
Cathay Pacific is experiencing strong demand on routes to North America and Europe as consumers buy high tech Asian goods, Tyler said on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association’s annual meeting in Berlin.
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