SFO expansion of overseas routes

Cathay Pacific Airways runs a second daily flight between San Francisco International Airport and Hong Kong starting today, a route that, since 2006, has grown by one-third.

The addition of the second route means that more than 10,000 seats will be available weekly between San Francisco and Hong Kong, a city to which, given strengthened economic ties between the Bay Area and China, travel is inceasing rapidly.

In addition to a boost in travel to Hong Kong and the Guangdong regions of China, SFO officials expect a handful of other major world hubs to see strengthened connections with San Francisco.

Dublin, Ireland, is projected to be one of them, once Irish airline Aer Lingus begins nonstop service three times per week between San Francisco and Dublin later this month. Currently, there is no nonstop flight between the two cities, and local officials, including San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, have trumpeted the need for one.

Sydney, Australia, and Auckland, New Zealand, are also expected to grow quickly, as routes to those cities are going to soon jump to roughly once per day to each city, airport spokesperson Mike McCarron said.

Air India officials announced this year that they were planning to start thrice-weekly flights between San Francisco and Bangalore, one of India’s largest cities, next May, but McCarron said nothing has been confirmed at this time.

Today’s kickoff comes a day after what officials arecalling a successful welcoming of Clear lanes, which allow preapproved travelers to speed through security lines, at the airport’s International Terminal. Clear lanes are now operational at all checkpoints in all working terminals at SFO.

tramroop@examiner.com

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