Ireland will be connected to Hong Kong by air for the first time as Cathay Pacific Airways is to begin direct flights to and from China. Hong Kong's flagship airline will begin the Dublin-Hong Kong route from next June and will operate the service four times per week.
The Dublin flight will arrive in Hong Kong early in the morning local time, providing a wide range of connecting options with flights to mainland China, Japan, Korea, South-East Asia and Australia on the Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon networks.
The airline will operate the service with an Airbus A350-900 aircraft in a three-class configuration. Starting June 2nd, 2018, the route will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Currently about 40,000 people per year travel between Dublin and Hong Kong, but this is expected to grow with the opening of the new direct service. An estimated 4,000 Irish people live in Hong Kong, according to the Irish Embassy in China.
Dublin Chamber said there was “very strong interest” from Asian firms seeking to explore business opportunities in and with Ireland. “We’ve experienced a five-fold increase in the number of delegations from China over the past eight months,” said Ms Burke. “We’ve welcomed 10 delegations from China so far this year, versus two in the same period last year.”
Dublin Airport managing director Vincent Harrison also cited the benefits for Irish business in his statement. “Dublin Airport is competing for routes like this with other major European airports, so winning this new business is hugely positive news for Ireland, for foreign direct investment, for Irish exporters, and for inbound tourism,” he said.