Cathay Pacific Cargo today announced an expansion of its freighter network with the launch of a new twice-weekly freighter service to Milan starting 4 August 2002. It will be the first Cathay Pacific service of any kind to serve Italy`s industrial capital.
The new service, operated with a Boeing 747-400F, will depart Hong Kong every Wednesday and Sunday, stopping in Delhi and London. It will return to Hong Kong non-stop from Milan every Thursday and Monday, arriving the following morning.
Cathay Pacific`s freighter network currently serves 23 destinations in Asia, Middle East, Europe and North America. The airline currently has four B747-200 and five B747-400 freighters in its fleet, plus 66 passenger aircraft that also ship cargo in belly holds. In the year 2001 Cathay Pacific carried 704,000 tonnes of cargo.
From 1 July, two Boeing 747-200 freighters leased to Air Hong Kong will be returned to Cathay Pacific, boosting the freighter fleet to 11 aircraft. Air Hong Kong is a 100%-owned Cathay Pacific subsidiary.
Cathay Pacific will, also from 1 July, take over operation of former Air Hong Kong freighter services to Brussels and Manchester as part of a previously announced restructuring of operations within the Group in which Air Hong Kong will focus on developing a network in Asia. Manchester will be served by six flights a week via Dubai, and Brussels by five flights via Dubai and Manchester.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Kenny Tang said: “Cathay Pacific`s new Milan service meets a clear market-led opportunity. Italy is already Hong Kong`s twelfth-largest trading partner with business last year worth almost US$5 billion. This service will enhance trade flows between the two places and strengthen Hong Kong`s position as the world`s busiest international cargo airport.
He added: “Cathay Pacific taking over Air Hong Kong`s flights to Brussels and Manchester will enable both airlines to build on their strengths and, overall, make more cost-effective use of Group resources.”