~ Four weekly nonstop, roundtrip flights estimated to bring $52 million to Virginia ~
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Cathay Pacific Airlines will launch nonstop service between Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Virginia. The newly announced air route, which will offer four nonstop, roundtrip flights per week, is estimated to bring nearly $30 million in direct and $52 million total economic impact annually to Virginia. The service, the longest non-stop air route to Hong Kong, will begin September 16, 2018.
“Today we celebrate a new bridge between Asia and Virginia, and we look forward to welcoming all of the international travelers this new air service will bring to the Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Virginia has made a significant commitment to growing our relationship with Asia in recent years and we are proud to be a new United States market with nonstop service from Hong Kong. With its convenient schedule, this new Cathay Pacific air service provides direct connections to destinations around the globe and will help us continue to grow the new Virginia economy.”
The new route is the most recent of many bridges established under Governor McAuliffe’s administration. In July, Air India launched a new nonstop flight to IAD from New Delhi increasing air connectivity between Asia and Virginia. In July 2014, Governor McAuliffe welcomed Air China’s inaugural nonstop flight to IAD connecting the Commonwealth to one of the top emerging business and tourism markets.
Governor McAuliffe was instrumental in recruiting Cathay Pacific to Dulles, the result of one of 35 trade and marketing missions. The Governor has led numerous missions to Asia, and across the globe, during his administration, to showcase Virginia’s economic strengths, its agriculture, food and beverage assets, and great quality of life to prospective corporate investors and travelers.
“Cathay Pacific’s decision is another victory from our strategic efforts to establish more direct, nonstop international flight options to and from Dulles,” said Todd Haymore, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “Hong Kong plays an important role in global commerce as the world’s largest host and investor of foreign direct investment stock, after the United States. Cathay Pacific’s flights between Hong Kong and Dulles provide Virginia an opportunity to recruit new foreign direct investment opportunities for the new Virginia economy and increase tourist visits from Asia overall.”
International travelers are an important component of Virginia’s economic strategy. In 2016, one million international travelers visited Virginia and spent $1.7 billion in the Commonwealth. Of that, 145,000 were from the Asia Pacific region spending $450 million. China, India, South Korea, Australia and Japan are all top ten markets for Virginia visitation. The Asia Pacific region’s share of international spending in Virginia is expected to grow to 30 percent in 2020, up from 27 percent in 2016.
About Virginia Tourism
Tourism is an instant revenue generator in the Commonwealth. For every dollar invested in tourism marketing, Virginia Tourism returns $7 in state tax revenue. In 2015, visitors spent $23 billion, which supported 223,100 jobs and contributed $1.6 billion in state and local taxes. To learn more about Virginia Tourism Corporation, please visit www.virginia.org.
About Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific Airways offers over 100 flights per week to Hong Kong and beyond, including over 22 destinations in Mainland China, from six cities in the USA and two in Canada: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York (JFK), Newark Liberty, San Francisco, Vancouver and Toronto. For more information, including current fares and availability, visit www.cathaypacific.com/us. For North American reservations, dial toll-free: 1-888-233-ASIA.
About Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority operates Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, the Dulles Airport Access Highway and the Dulles Toll Road and also manages construction of the Silver Line project, a 23-mile extension of the Washington region’s Metrorail public transit system through Fairfax County and into Loudoun County, Virginia. More than 45 million passengers a year pass through the two airports. The Airports Authority generates more than 387,000 jobs in the National Capital Region.