Cathay Pacific‘s inaugural flight from Dublin to Hong Kong was a special day for one person in particular – its Irish pilot. Flight CX306, an Airbus A350-900 aircraft with the registration B-LRI, had a full load of 280 passengers, departing just before noon on Saturday.
The flight’s commander, Senior Captain Ian McGuinness, said: “I’m happy to be able to operate this very first service between my between my home town of Ireland and my adopted city of Hong Kong. I grew up in Ireland and have lived in Hong Kong for the past 17 years. Both places are vibrant and dynamic, and I’m pleased that customers can now enjoy a direct link to explore the beauty and culture of my abodes that I have grown to know and love.”
The new route is the airline’s third European service to inaugurate in 2018, following direct flights from Brussels and Copenhagen in March and May respectively. The Hong Kong-based airline operates to 15 destinations in Europe.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Europe James Ginns said: “We’re delighted that Ireland’s first and only non-stop flight to Hong Kong has been well-received by our customers. Our team is thrilled to be able have a role in fostering bilateral tourism and economic growth between Ireland and Asia. We feel confident that this new route will continue to bring more convenience and choice to the Irish public and optimise opportunities for Irish businesses.”
Departing passengers enjoyed a special gate ceremony to celebrate the launch with refreshments and a traditional Chinese lion dance performance. Passengers also received a personalised flight certificate to commemorate their support for the first flight, as well as a gift pack filled with exclusively selected items to help business and leisure travellers embark on a journey of a Life Well Travelled.
Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison said: “This is a historic and momentous day for Dublin Airport. We are delighted to welcome Cathay Pacific to Dublin Airport and to Ireland. Today is result of collaboration of many years work with a wide range of other bodies such as Irish Embassy in China, the Consulate in Hong Kong, our colleagues at Tourism Ireland and other key stakeholders such as IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and Bord Bia.”
Cathay Pacific’s Dublin to Hong Kong direct service operates on a four-times-weekly basis, departing Dublin every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, arriving in Hong Kong at 7am the next day. The schedule helps customers to maximise their business day as well as optimising the options for onward connections to more than 80 destinations in Asia-Pacific via the Hong Kong hub.
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