Boston Is Getting a Direct Flight to Hong Kong

It's our second direct flight to China, and it's good news for business.

The good news is that Boston is getting its second direct flight to China when Cathay Pacific launches service between Logan and Hong Kong next May. The bad news is that Hong Kong is still 8,000 miles away, but, hey, nothing to be done about that.

The Boston Globe has flight details:

The 16-hour Hong Kong flight is scheduled to run four days a week, leaving Boston on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. It departs Hong Kong on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

The presence of a direct flight is great for anyone who does business in Hong Kong or in another southeast Asian location. But no matter what, that trip is going to be a slog. With the 12-hour time difference, travelers leave from Boston at 1:45 a.m. and don’t arrive to Hong Kong until 5:35 a.m. the next day. (On the return trip, though, the journey appears to take just three hours, but probably doesn’t feel much like it.) So eliminating a connection can make a huge difference. It makes the region feel that much closer now that Boston-based travelers don’t have to connect in New York or another hub.

But it’s not just good for business travelers. It’s good for the city of Boston’s tourism industry. Chinese tourists are coming to the United States in ever-larger numbers and they’re spending a lot of  money when they get here. Even before Boston got its first direct flight from China this past June, Boston had become a big tourist destination for Chinese tourists, thanks mostly to Harvard and MIT. The world-famous universities gave us a natural advantage over other cities with similar levels of access for Chinese tourists. But there’s no doubt that getting to Boston when you’ve already come across the entire globe is kind of a pain. The direct flight from Beijing helped make Boston an easier sell. And a trip from Hong Kong, which serves as a hub for a lot of Asian cities, will hopefully do the same.