Guy Stephenson, CCO of London Gatwick Airport and Neil Glenn, GM Europe, Cathay Pacific Airways were on hand to celebrate the arrival on 2 September of Cathay Pacific’s return to the airport, which it last served in 1993. There was a ribbon cutting ceremony, a cake and a photo opportunity for the flight and cabin crew. One of anna.aero’s data elves happened to be passing through Gatwick that morning and snapped the flight information board which showed that the inaugural inbound flight arrived a minute early. The route will be flown by the airline’s newest aircraft, the A350-900, and complements its five times daily service to London Heathrow and four weekly flights to Manchester.
- Cathay Pacific Airways has returned to London Gatwick (LGW) after an absence of almost 23 years. The oneworld carrier resumed service on the 9,629-kilometre route from Hong Kong (HKG) on 1 September using its new A350-900s. It will operate the route four times weekly, complementing its five times daily service to London Heathrow (which is also served by British Airways with double-daily flights and Virgin Atlantic Airways with daily flights). Cathay Pacific’s General Manager Europe, Neil Glenn, said: “We are committed to providing our passengers with greater choice and flexibility, and this new non-stop service from Gatwick to Hong Kong is testament to this. With 2016 marking Cathay Pacific’s 70th anniversary, we are proud to now offer passengers three non-stop routes from the UK to Hong Kong, and then beyond. Meeting the increasing demand from both business and leisure travellers, we are delighted that this route will be served by our newest aircraft – the Airbus A350.” Guy Stephenson, CCO, Gatwick Airport, said: “Hong Kong is the premier gateway to China and we are delighted to welcome Cathay Pacific – one of the world’s premier airlines – to Gatwick. The new flights mark an important milestone in the growth of the Gatwick long-haul network, which now more than ever provides the UK economy with vital routes into the world’s most important markets.” In the last decade two other carriers have operated non-stop between Hong Kong and Gatwick. Between October 2006 and April 2008 Oasis Hong Kong Airlines operated between the two airports and then Hong Kong Airlines flew the route between March 2012 and September 2012.