After more than two and a half years Milan Malpensa Airport in Italy has welcomed the return of Cathay Pacific’s service between the Italian hub and Hong Kong. The restored route is the only direct connection between the two destinations.
The return of the air link marks a historic moment for the Hong-Kong based airline as it symbolises a further step towards the full resumption of operations in Europe, which were interrupted in January 2020 as a result of COVID-19 but are gradually being restored thanks to the gradual relaxation of regulations for travel to the East.
Andrea Tucci, Vice President Aviation Business Development at SEA, said: “The carrier’s decision to restart connections to Italy, as soon as regulatory and business conditions allowed and the decision to focus on Malpensa as a priority to reactivate connections from Italy on its network, confirms the strategic role of our infrastructure in particular for long-haul connections. The combination of a strong and rapidly recovering market measured by the size of the catchment area served and the attractiveness of the area for all travel segments and motivations is the founding element in Cathay’s investment decision.”
Tucci also noted that Milan’s connectivity to Cathay’s network via Hong Kong will ensure the development of the regional hub’s connectivity to Asia and Oceania by increasing the quality of commercial offerings at Malpensa. “Currently the traffic recovery at our airport is 97% of pre-COVID thanks to the contribution of 75 airlines on a network of 195 destinations, in particular the overall recovery on long-haul expected for winter is 88%, further confirming the importance of our infrastructure for the air transport industry.”
Flights from Italy will be operated with new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, the flagship of the company’s fleet, which in recent years has intensified its efforts to offer passengers a superior flying experience within the perimeter of increasingly sustainable aviation. Well suited for long-haul and ultra-long-haul flights the A350-1000 will have a three-class configuration and a total of 334 available seats.