The comments come after the airline re-instated its seasonal service to Christchurch late last year – the first seasonal service the airline has introduced globally since Covid.
At the same time, Hong Kong Tourism Board reports growing enthusiasm for the destination from Kiwi business events organisers.
“For the New Zealand market, we find that future planning of events in Asia and Hong Kong is generally positive and picking up at a steady pace,” HKTB says in a statement.
“Discussions with various event organisers have shown a great interest for visiting Hong Kong in 2024 to get updated information on the newest venues and offerings.”
The Cathay Pacific three times a week (Thursday, Saturday and Monday) Christchurch service runs through to the end of February and is in addition to the six times a week (excluding Tuesdays) from Auckland. Cathay utilises fuel efficient A350-1000s and 900s on New Zealand services.
Cathay has also just marked the 10-year anniversary of its codeshare service on the daily Air New Zealand Auckland to Hong Kong service – unique in that frequent flyers of both airlines can earn points in their respective loyalty programmes on the route.
Heather Gallagher, corporate sales manager NZ with Cathay Pacific, says Hong Kong is definitely back on the agenda for Kiwi travel trade and their clients.
“The destination is vibrant again, the tourism numbers are back, attractions are up and running and there are exciting new developments in places like West Kowloon. The Hong Kong Tourism Board’s (HKTB’s) Hello Hong Kong campaign also worked well.”
Gallagher says the airline ran three trade famils last year and will be looking at more in 2024.
“Last year was about getting our route integrity back and we have definitely done that, including when it comes to stop-overs and transit.”
News beyond Hong Kong includes Cathay Pacific’s return to Barcelona on 17 June and an increase in services to Milan and Zurich.
Gallagher also emphasises the strength of the network in the south-west Pacific region as a whole.
‘We have four flights a day out of Sydney and Melbourne and also flights from Brisbane and Perth.’
(Source: TRAVELinc Memo)