Airlines are adding three new nonstop flights to Asia from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport this spring in response to rising air travel demand and the Puget Sound region’s growing stature as a global business and leisure destination.
Two international carriers began flying from Sea-Tac Airport yesterday and today: Japan Airlines launched nonstop service to Tokyo-Narita on March 31 and Cathay Pacific Airways launched Hong Kong service on April 1. These services feature the latest generation of fuel-efficient and quieter aircraft with the use of a Boeing 787-8 by Japan Airlines and an Airbus A350-900 by Cathay Pacific. Delta Air Lines also launched a new seasonal Asia service today to Osaka, Japan.
“The growth of the greater Seattle metropolitan community is spurring unprecedented demand for business travel and leisure tourism,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Stephanie Bowman. "Puget Sound’s diverse economy and inclusive culture make us a natural point for Asia, and we are delighted to help local businesses and individuals seize these opportunities to expand their horizons.”
Since 2016, 11 new international airlines jumped in to serve Sea-Tac with 12 new international services, which illustrates the demand for travel to and from the Puget Sound area. In 2020 the Port expects to open the new International Arrivals Facility, the most complex capital development project in the history of the airport, which will dramatically improve connection time, efficiency, and service to millions of annual international travelers. The facility will increase the number of gates capable of serving international wide body airplanes from 12 to 20.
Each new international route brings approximately $74 million in economic activity to the region. Moreover, international travelers tend to stay longer in our region and spend more money, making global travel one of the most powerful sources of economic activity.
Beyond the economic benefits, whether a business or leisure traveler, these new routes to Asia bolster opportunities for convenient intercontinental networks that strengthen the gateways, relationships, and industries that sustain our economy and high quality of life in this region.
Japan Airlines – Daily service beginning March 31, 2019
Japan Airlines (JAL) and its Pacific Joint Business partner American Airlines begin daily nonstop service on March 31, between Tokyo-Narita (NRT) and Sea-Tac Airport (SEA). The new daily service will operate with Boeing 787-8 aircraft. JAL also strengthened its regional partnership with Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, including providing customers with an expanded network through an increase of codeshare flights via Sea-Tac Airport (SEA).
“We are pleased to launch daily Seattle – Narita service, together with American Airlines, which will offer customers a new choice for travel to destinations throughout Japan and Asia on JAL’s network,” said Hideki Kikuyama, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Managing Division Route Marketing for Japan Airlines. “Customers can experience the comfort of our JAL SKY SUITE 787 aircraft featuring our latest seats and inflight services, and they can also enjoy the benefits from our regional partnership with Alaska Airlines."
Cathay Pacific – Service beginning April 1, 2019
Cathay Pacific brings nonstop service four times per week between Hong Kong (HKG) and Sea-Tac starting on April 1 with the airline’s Airbus A350-900 aircraft. From July 2019, Cathay Pacific will operate the route with daily service. Cathay Pacific is part of the oneworld alliance and offers codeshares with Alaska Airlines.
“We are very pleased to be introducing Seattle and to provide more convenience and choice to our customers. There are strong business, trade and cultural ties between Hong Kong and Seattle and we believe there will be considerable demand for both business and leisure travel on this new route. We have developed a significant presence in the United States, and the launch of Seattle not only reaffirms our commitment to the important North American market but also to strengthen Hong Kong’s status as Asia’s largest international aviation hub,” said Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg.
Delta Air Lines – Seasonal service beginning April 1, 2019
Bringing a new route between Osaka, Japan and Sea-Tac, Delta Air Lines is launching seasonal daily service to Kansai International Airport (KIX) on April 1. Passengers will travel on Boeing 767-300ER (extended range) aircraft and service runs seasonally from April through late October. Sea-Tac Airport is Delta’s West Coast hub, where the global airline operates more than 150 peak-day departures to more than 50 destinations.
“Connecting the world is our mission, and in Seattle, Delta and our joint venture partners bring the world closer each day with flights to 15 international destinations and even more throughout the United States,” said Tony Gonchar, Delta’s Vice President – Seattle. “Our Osaka service continues that mission, giving Seattleites direct access to one of the largest cities and business centers in Japan and the opportunity to explore our nearby Seattle sister city – Kobe, Japan!”
International Service at Sea-Tac
Sea-Tac Airport has seen a rapid expansion of international service in recent years. In addition to the three services that launched yesterday and today, Singapore Airlines will launch nonstop service to Singapore in September 2019. Sea-Tac added three new international airlines in 2018 (Air France, Aer Lingus, Thomas Cook (seasonal); three in 2017 (Virgin Atlantic, AeroMexico, and Norwegian (seasonal); and two in 2016 (Volaris and Xiamen).
Kate Hudson | Sea-Tac Airport
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