In December 2014, Manchester experienced the resumption of a Cathay Pacific service to Hong Kong – the only direct service from the UK Regions to the Far East. It operated four-times weekly with Boeing 777-300ER equipment.
In October 2015, Manchester secured the first flight from the UK Regions to Beijing with Hainan Airlines. It began in June 2016, four-times weekly with Airbus A330-300 equipment.
Since then, it is fair to say, that both routes have been performing very well for both airlines. In February 2017, Cathay Pacific carried 10,056 passengers on it’s four-weekly MAN-HKG route (according to CAA Provisional Statistics) – based on four-weekly 77W.
Both airlines are in a sort of competition, whereby they are not competing directly, but mirroring what eachother does:
- In December 2016, Cathay Pacific announced an increase to five-weekly from June, operating with new equipment: the A350 XWB.
- In early 2017, Hainan Airlines announced an increase to five-weekly in June
- Also, in early 2017, Cathay Pacific announced that they would go daily from December, operating with the A350 XWB.
- In April 2017, Hainan Airlines also introduced new equipment from May (B787-8/-9) and announced that they would go daily from July through September
“This added frequency shows Hainan Airlines commitment to the UK market and it responds to the increased demand for this route from Manchester Airport. This has been a successful route for Hainan Airlines since its inaugural flight on the 10th of June 2016, and as we approach our 1st year anniversary, an increased frequency is a wonderful way of celebrating such success.”
-Loic Gao, UK General Manager for Hainan Airlines, commenting on the increased frequency
So both airlines are steadily increasing their offering at Manchester. It is great to have daily links to Beijing and Hong Kong and new equipment from both airlines!
Has anybody flown on these flights from Manchester? What do you think about the expanded operation?