Following last week’s speculation that Cathay Pacific (CX) was planning direct flights to Washington DC, the airline has now confirmed the new service.

CX will launch a four-times-weekly service to the US capital starting from September 15, 2018.

Flight times will be as follows:

Flight no From To Departure/Arrival Days of operation
CX 860 HKG IAD 1835/2220 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
CX 861 IAD HKG 0115/0510 Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday

The 7,085 nautical miles (8,153 miles/13,122 kilometres) journey will be the longest route in Cathay’s network and take 17 hours to complete.

CX will be deploying its newest aircraft – the A350-1000 – on the service, the first of which is due to be delivered in spring 2018.

The non-stop route to Dulles International Airport will complement Cathay’s existing routes to the East Coast, including Boston and New York, and is the first service to directly connect Hong Kong with Washington DC.

Chief executive officer Rupert Hogg said the new service has been introduced to cater to the growing demand for travel to the capital region of the US, while at the same time providing US-based passengers with more convenient access to key destinations in Asia.

“Our customers have told us they want greater options and increased flexibility – and we’ve listened,” said Hogg. “Much like Hong Kong, Washington DC is a vibrant and dynamic destination and we are thrilled to soon be providing the only direct flights between these two great cities.

“Establishing new direct air links to destinations that aren’t already served from Hong Kong enhances our city’s status as Asia’s largest international hub and allows us to secure new and important sources of revenue,” he added.

Washington DC is part of the airline’s ongoing long-haul expansion. In March and June the airline is launching year-round services to Brussels and Dublin, respectively. A seasonal service to Copenhagen commences in May, while Cathay Dragon, the regional carrier of the Cathay Pacific Group, will start a four-times-weekly operation to Nanning in mainland China in January.

Frequencies on a number of Cathay Pacific’s most popular existing routes, including Barcelona and Tel Aviv, are also being increased in 2018.