Cathay Pacific to add SFO-Hong Kong flight; Carrier's second daily nonstop will begin in October

Cathay Pacific Airlines said Friday it will add a second daily nonstop flight between San Francisco International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport, beginning Oct. 18.

The largest airline in Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific has operated a daily overnight flight between SFO and Hong Kong since late 1998. That flight leaves SFO at 1:20 a.m., arriving in Hong Kong in early morning Hong Kong time.

The airline, which has its administrative headquarters for the Americas in San Francisco, will fly the new daily departure from SFO at 1:35 p.m., arriving in Hong Kong by early evening Hong Kong time.

The Olympic Games in Beijing next year are expected to spur air travel to China, as is the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, said Alan Wong, Cathay Pacific's senior vice president for the Americas. Sandwiched between, in 2009, is the 60th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Revolution, when promotions and large-scale public events are expected to be held, Wong said.

Air passenger traffic in the Asia-Pacific region jumped 5.6 percent in the past year, according to the International Air Transport Association, second only to the 7 percent growth in the Middle East.