CBS (Boston) – Boston’s string of adding flights to Asia is continuing.

Cathay Pacific Airways will become the third major carrier in three years to begin non-stop service from Logan Airport to Hong Kong, its major hub, on May 2 next year with a 16 hour flight on a Boeing 777 jet.

Japan Airlines began service to Tokyo two years ago and Hainan started service to Beijing this spring, both using the new Boeing Dreamliner jets.

In May next year, there will be more than 5,000 seats available each week on flights going to Asia. Fares from Boston to Hong Kong have not been announced.

Cathay Pacific will offer four flights each week leaving Boston on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 1:45 a.m. This will make it the earliest flight of the day from Terminal E. The late flight will mean that Logan concessions will have to stay open longer to accommodate passengers.

This marks the 12th international non-stop service package added at Logan since Gov. Deval Patrick took office in 2007. As a former director of United Airlines, Patrick has made new air service and tourism one of his major initiatives.

The airline will hire a staff and for their Boston operations, including a new regional sales manager.

“One of the major attractions of coming to Boston is the combination of business and leisure travelers and the number of Asian students studying here,” said Eric Odone, Cathay’s Vice President Of Sales & Marketing in the Americas.

Odone was also optimistic Cathay would build a strong cargo operation at Logan Airport.

Both JAL and Cathay Pacific are members of the oneworld airline alliance that also now includes the combined American Airlines and US Airways that will provide feeder traffic for the new flights.

Passenger statistics for July are expected to be released next week showing nearly 20-percent of Logan’s passengers flying on international routes. For the first six months of the year, international traffic was up 6.6-percent to 2,260,693.

Massport is also committed to expanding their international terminal in the next two years.

Travel Editor Bob Weiss’s reports can also be heard on WBZ News Radio



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