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21 Apr 2008
Further Boost for Hong Kong Hub as Cathay Pacific Launches Two More Freighter Destinations

Cathay Pacific Airways today announced it will further expand its network in September with the launch of freighter services to two new destinations in the United States: Houston, Texas, and Miami, Florida.

On 2 September the airline will, subject to final government approval, begin a thrice-weekly service, departing Hong Kong every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, that will fly to Miami, via Anchorage, and then on to Houston. The flight will then head back to Hong Kong, again routed through Anchorage. A Boeing 747-400F freighter will be used for the new service.

With the addition of Miami and Houston, Cathay Pacific will serve a total of eight major cargo hubs in the United States. Dallas and Atlanta were added to the network in November 2005 and the number of flights to those cities has quickly grown from three per week to daily due to a strong response from the market.

Cathay Pacific Director & General Manager Cargo Ron Mathison said: "Miami is the leading gateway to South and Central America while Houston is an important centre for the oil business. Both cities will boost our network and provide better access and connectivity for our customers between Asia and North America via our home hub in Hong Kong."

Cathay Pacific is committed to developing Hong Kong's position as a leading airfreight hub and the airline announced last month that its wholly owned subsidiary, Cathay Pacific Services Ltd, had won the franchise to design, construct and operate a new cargo terminal at Hong Kong International Airport. The common-use terminal, designed to handle 2.6 million tons of freight a year, will be ready for operation in mid-2011.

The airline is also expanding its freighter fleet, and next month will receive the first of six Boeing 747-400ERF "Extended Range Freighters" on firm order. In 2009 it will begin to take delivery of a new fleet of 10 new-generation Boeing 747-8F freighters.

At the same time, Cathay Pacific's fleet of seven older, less fuel-efficient Boeing 747-200F "Classic" freighters is being phased out. The first to go was B-HVY, which had served the airline for 26 years flying an average of 12 hours a day. Four more will be retired next year and the last two will leave the fleet in 2012.