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Cathay Pacific firms Washington Dulles plans

Cathay Pacific Airways will add Washington Dulles International airport to its network in 2018, confirming reports that the US capital would be its next new destination.

The Oneworld Alliance carrier will offer four-times weekly service to Dulles from its Hong Kong base with an Airbus A350-1000 from 16 September 2018, it says today. The route was first reported by the South China Morning Post earlier in December.

"Dulles International is an ideal destination for our next US gateway," says Philippe Lacamp, senior vice-president of the Americas at Cathay Pacific, in a statement. "Cathay Pacific is pleased to be the first air carrier offering nonstop flights from Washington DC to Hong Kong."

Washington Dulles will be the airline's longest route from Hong Kong at 7,085nm (13,121km) when it begins.

Hong Kong will be the fourth destination in Asia from Dulles, the main international airport serving Washington DC.

“Cathay Pacific’s new service between Washington DC and Hong Kong continues to improve the diversity of choice [and] worldwide connectivity at Dulles International Airport,” says Mike Stewart, manager of Dulles airport at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA).

MWAA said earlier in December that destinations in China were at the top of its list for route expansion from Dulles. Beijing, served by both Air China and United Airlines, is the only destination in China from the airport currently.

Washington DC is also home to fellow Oneworld carrier American Airlines' hub at Ronald Reagan Washington National airport.

Cathay Pacific informed MWAA that it was interested in serving Washington Dulles in 2016, documents obtained by FlightGlobal showed. However, the airline told the operator that service was not likely until 2019, when it expected to have an aircraft with the necessary range.

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