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October 26, 2016 12:43 pm

Citing Israel’s ‘Tremendous Potential for Business, Leisure Travel,’ Top Asian Airline Announces Upcoming Launch of Direct Hong Kong-Tel Aviv Flights

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

A Cathay Pacific Airbus 350-900. Photo: Piper Gu via Wikimedia Commons.

A Cathay Pacific Airbus 350-900. Photo: Piper Gu via Wikimedia Commons.

As part of the growing business and tourism ties between Israel and the Far East, one of Asia’s top airlines announced on Wednesday that it will begin operating a new non-stop service next spring between Tel Aviv and Hong Kong.

“We are excited to be launching a direct link to Tel Aviv, which has established itself as a culturally rich and technologically advanced business capital,” Cathay Pacific CEO Ivan Chu said in a statement. “As an important market in the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, Israel offers tremendous potential for business and leisure travel.”

Starting March 26, Cathay Pacific will offer four flights per week between Ben-Gurion International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport (a route currently served only by El Al as many as six times per week, depending on the time of year).

For the Tel Aviv flights, Cathay Pacific — Hong Kong’s flag carrier — will use its brand-new Airbus 350-900 planes.

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Earlier this year, as reported by The Algemeiner, China’s Hainan Airlines began competing with El Al on the Tel Aviv-Beijing route, with the launch of three weekly flights — a number that is set to rise to four soon, due to high demand.

In light of the ongoing increase in Chinese visitors to the Jewish state, Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, as The Algemeiner reported last month, has been seeking to hire university students to work as Chinese-speaking tour guides.

In May, Israel and China announced they would open talks on a bilateral free-trade agreement.

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