Cathay Pacific to fly daily from Delhi to Bangkok

March 6th, 2009 - 7:43 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 6 (IANS) With Thailand exempting the tourist visa fee for three months from Thursday, Hong Kong’s flagship carrier Cathay Pacific Airways has announced the launch of a daily non-stop flight from here to Bangkok from March 30.
“Bangkok is not new to us. It is well known how popular and affordable Bangkok is. We believe that there is untapped potential and this new route promises to serve the unmet needs,” Tom Wright, the airline’s general manager for India, Middle-East, Africa and Pakistan said at a press conference here Friday.

Bangkok has one of the highest inflow of tourists and is considered a short getaway destination. Thailand currently gives Indian citizens visa on arrival for a stay not exceeding 15 days.

The Delhi-Bangkok non-stop flight will take five-and-a-half hours. It will leave New Delhi at 3.30 a.m. and reach Bangkok at 8.55 a.m. The airline will leave Bangkok at 5.25 p.m. and reach New Delhi at 7.45 p.m. (local time).

At present the airlines flies to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore and has almost 44 flights to these cities. It has two daily flights from Delhi to Hong Kong and 10 flights a week from Mumbai.

The airline also intends to strengthen its cargo network. “We are looking at expanding our cargo business in India and we see a huge opportunity here,” said Wright.

The carrier, however, has deferred plans for the construction of a new cargo terminal at the Hong Kong International Airport in order to keep capacity expansion in line with market demand.

Cathay Pacific posted a net loss of HK $663 million ($85.5 billion) in the first half of 2008, against a net profit of HK $2.58 billion (about $333 million) in the same period a year before.

Cathay Pacific’s passenger load factor, or the proportion of seats filled on its flights, fell by 5.3 percentage points in 2008 from a year earlier to 75.5 percent.

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