Hong Kong has a pretty good mascot in Cathay Pacific. The 64-year-old airline (it has been servicing Perth since 1970) is renowned for its courteous staff and focus on comfort, and last month took the gong for Best Transpacific Airline at the UK-based Skytrax awards.
So it comes as no surprise that Cathay will increase flights between the Chinese territory and most major Australian cities from November to meet increasing demand.
Cathay will now offer 10 flights a week from Perth, up from seven, while additional services will also be introduced from Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns.
The new Perth flights will depart at 7.55am on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays - welcome news for travellers who have been hanging out for an alternative to the existing daily red-eye that departs at midnight.
Cathay chief executive Tony Tyler says the additional Australian flights, along with added services to Auckland, Toronto, Osaka and Paris, will see capacity return to pre-global financial crisis levels. Passenger numbers across the airline were up 9.7 per cent year-on-year for August.
The airline also offers transfers to Beijing and Shanghai through its subsidiary DragonAir.
The decision to increase its Perth services was reportedly driven in large part by the escalating demand among
WA's resources industry for services to China's two financial hubs.
More Cathay flights will be particularly good news for business class travellers: Cathay's individual "living areas" fitted in its long-haul aircraft offer the luxury of fully flat-bed flying with all the bells and whistles.
These marvellously comfortable beds have been features of Cathay's aircraft since 2007.
It has also spent the past two years retrofitting new features in economy class, which offer more space to recline seats, across its long-haul fleet.
>> Rachel Donkin flew to Hong Kong as a guest of Cathay Pacific.
>> See www.cathaypacific.com/au.