|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||22 July 2009|
Cathay Pacific Airways today announced that it will launch flights to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia's second major commercial city, with effect from 25 October. The four-times-weekly service will operate through Dubai on the way to and from Hong Kong.
The new service, to be operated by an Airbus A330-300 aircraft in a two-class configuration, will increase the airline's presence in the increasingly important Middle Eastern market, connecting business and leisure passengers to Cathay Pacific's extensive international network through the Hong Kong hub.
Cathay Pacific launched its service to the Saudi Arabia capital, Riyadh, in 2001 and the number of flights per week to and from that city will also be increased from five times a week to daily from 1 August 2009 in response to sustained demand. The new service to Jeddah, located in the west of the country on the coast of the Red Sea, will offer Saudi Arabian travellers more flexibility and convenience when travelling to the Far East and beyond.
Jeddah will become Cathay Pacific's 46th online passenger destination when flights begin and will mark the airline's latest destination launch since Chennai in June 2008.
Cathay Pacific Director Corporate Development Ian Shiu said: "We are pleased to be able to add Jeddah to our extensive worldwide network. Demand to and from Saudi Arabia, and the Middle East in general, has held up remarkably well despite the impact of the current global economic downturn. We expect a good response to the launch of our latest destination."
The airline has maintained its network integrity during the current downturn though overall capacity has been reduced and services have been adjusted according to demand. The latest changes are temporary reductions in flights to Brisbane and San Francisco. The former will move from 10 flights per week to daily between 1 September and 17 November while the latter will drop from 14 to 11 flights a week in September and October. Cathay Pacific will also reduce its services to Paris from 10 flights a week to daily from 1 September and throughout the winter schedule except there will be 10 flights a week between 18 December 2009 and 6 January 2010.
Details of the Jeddah service are as follows:
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