Cathay Pacific Airways celebrated the launch of its latest destination on Tuesday (July 13) with a new three-times-weekly service to Russia’s capital city, Moscow. Flights to and from Domodedovo International Airport (DME), Moscow’s preferred international airport, are operated using an Airbus A340-300 aircraft fitted with the airline’s innovative new cabins.
Speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Domodedovo International Airport, Cathay Pacific’s Director Corporate Affairs, Quince Chong, said: “We believe the new service will bring closer business, tourism, culture and personal ties of friendship between Moscow and Hong Kong.”
Ms Chong told the media that the airline has been looking for opportunities to enter the Russian market for many years and regards the new service as a real milestone in its operations. “We have long recognised the huge potential associated with Russia. The new service underscores our long-term commitment to growing our already extensive network, offering quality services to our customers, and helping to boost the status of Hong Kong as Asia’s premier aviation hub,” she added.
Ms Chong and the crew on the first flight into Moscow were warmly welcomed upon their arrival with the Russian “Bread & Salt” tradition. This tradition is to welcome respected and valued guests and involves a loaf of bread being placed on a rushnik, an embroidered towel. A salt cellar is placed on top of the bread and presented by young women dressed in national costume as a gesture of the host country’s hospitality.
The new service means that Cathay Pacific now offers the fastest and most convenient service from New Zealand to the Russian capital. Passengers can depart Auckland every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1320 and after a short stopover in Hong Kong, will arrive at Domodedovo Airport at 0705 the next morning.
Commenting on the new destination, Cathay Pacific New Zealand Country Manager, David Figgins, said: “We expect that our new service to Moscow will prove incredibly popular with both the growing Russian community in New Zealand, New Zealanders seeking new destinations to travel to and the increasing number of Russian tourists that are coming to the South West Pacific.”
All passengers on board the first flights from both Hong Kong and Moscow were presented with souvenirs to mark the service launch.
Source = Cathay Pacific