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Enhanced air service boosts Canada's Pacific gateway

Transportation links between B.C. and the Asia Pacific were further enhanced today during Premier Gordon Campbell's mission to China as Cathay Pacific Airways announced it will add four new flights per week between Vancouver and Hong Kong, beginning March 30, 2008.


"Stronger air connections between B.C and the Asia Pacific are essential to forging economic partnerships, building tourism, and developing Vancouver as the North American centre for Asian commercial airlines," Campbell said. "Cathay Pacific's increased service will help us achieve our targets of 75 per cent growth in passengers and a doubling of air cargo moving through YVR by 2020, and further secure B.C.'s position as Canada's Pacific Gateway."


Today's announcement boosts the number of Cathay Pacific flights between Hong Kong and Vancouver, the airline's Canadian headquarters, to 21 from 17. The four new flights per week will see nearly 1,000 new passenger seats available per week, consistent with the Canada-Hong Kong bi-lateral air agreement.


"We're thrilled to be able to now offer triple-daily service to Vancouver, knowing it will further strengthen ties between Hong Kong and Canada," said Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler. "We look forward to continuing to support the growth of tourism and business development in B.C. and Canada, while providing convenient accessibility to our hub of Hong Kong, the important region of Mainland China and beyond."


This is the second time in less than five months that Cathay Pacific Airways has increased its air service between Hong Kong and Vancouver. Weekly flights were increased to 17 from 14 in July 2007. By March 2008, Cathay Pacific will offer three daily non-stop departures between Hong Kong and Vancouver, the same number as to Los Angeles and New York City, and one more than to San Francisco.


"China is one the fastest-growing sources of arrivals to VancouverInternationalAirport, and also one of the fastest-growing destinations for travellers flying out of YVR," said Tony Gugliotta, Vancouver Airport Authority's senior vice-president of marketing and commercial development. "Increased service between YVR and Hong Kong will mean greater convenience and more choice for thousands of travellers."


Hong Konghas long-established cultural ties with B.C. More than 500,000 people from Hong Kong live in Canada today, many residing in the Greater Vancouver area. Hong Kong is home to the largest Canadian business community in Asia, with more than 250,000 Canadian passport-holders living there. Approximately 150 Canadian companies maintain office branches or subsidies in Hong Kong and a further 450 are represented by distributors, agents, or joint venture partners.


More information on the Pacific Gateway Strategy, the Action Plan and the targets for 2020 is available online at www.pacificgateway.gov.bc.ca/. British Columbia’s Asia Pacific Initiative can be found at www.gov.bc.ca/ecdev. 


More information on Cathay Pacific Airways and details on flights to Hong Kong and beyond can be found at www.cathaypacific.ca.