Cathay Pacific Airways launched a 12-week cargo service to Pittsburgh this week, linking Pittsburgh International Airport to Southeast Asia, officials in Pittsburgh said. The program supplements the airline’s network of 19 cargo stations throughout the Americas, including East Coast cargo services to Boston, Newark, and Washington, Dulles, and a dedicated freighter port at New York, JFK.
The temporary service will originate in Ho Chi Minh (SGN), stopping at Cathay Pacific's Cargo Terminal at Hong Kong International Airport, and landing in PIT every Monday and Thursday until November 26, 2020. The flight is serviced by a reconfigured Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft instead of Cathay Pacific’s go-to ultra-long-haul freighter, the Boeing 747-8, airport officials also said.
Cathay Pacific reconfigured two Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft into so-called “preighters” to accommodate additional cargo demands. With the seats removed in the economy and premium economy cabins of the planes, the airline can accommodate 12 tons of additional cargo, officials said. Cathay Pacific operated more than 436 pairs of cargo-only passenger flights and carried more than 102,122 tons of cargo and mail in August 2020, alone, the company said.
"This is another step in building Pittsburgh International Airport into a global logistics center with world-class service,” Pittsburgh International Airport CEO Christina Cassotis, said in a statement Monday. “Our speed, efficiency, and ideal location offer a unique benefit for carriers and freight forwarders looking to serve the North America market.”