RICHMOND, B.C. — Earlier this week, Cathay Pacific made history when it debuted the industry’s newest aircraft – the Airbus A350-900 – in North America for the very first time.
On March 28, the airline launched increased service between Vancouver and Hong Kong with the first scheduled Canadian arrival and departure of the A350-900. The state-of-the-art aircraft will service the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) route, offering more direct flights and seats than any other airline with 17 flights per week and an additional 87,360 seats annually from YVR.
“Vancouver was the airline’s first destination in North America with our then state-of-the-art Boeing 747-200 aircraft being the first airline to fly nonstop between YVR and Hong Kong, so it is fitting that nearly 34 years later, we are the first airline to debut the industry’s newest aircraft, the exciting Airbus A350-900 in North America,” said Philippe Lacamp, Cathay Pacific Senior Vice President, Americas.
The new Airbus A350-900 is the quietest among the aircraft types in its class and is 25% more fuel-efficient. It features a refreshed Business Class cabin and new Premium Economy and Economy Class seats that offer more space and comfort, plus panoramic windows and LED mood lighting. In an eco-friendly move, cabin carpets and passengers’ blankets are made from recycled plastic and nylon, including plastic bottles and salvaged fishing nets that are otherwise a hazard for marine life.
Craig Richmond, President and CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority, said he’s thrilled to welcome the first Canadian arrival of the Airbus A350-900. “It is exciting to see the continued growth of this route and opportunities that stem from it as YVR works towards building a world class sustainable gateway between Asia and the Americas.”
The three additional flights per week is expected to generate approximately 163 additional jobs in British Columbia, both at the airport and in the tourism industry, $5.6 million in wages, $1.6 million in taxes, and $8.6 million in Gross Domestic Product.