Cathay Pacific Airways is asking its Facebook and Twitter followers to guess where it will be flying next: Boston, Miami, Newark or Seattle?
In an innovative online route launch, Cathay Pacific has posted photos of four cities on its Facebook and Twitter sites.
The airline will launch a new service to one next week, reads the accompanying caption. But visitors to the websites must guess which.
"The countdown begins today! We’ve excited to announce a brand new route next week to one of the four locations below. Can you guess where it is?"
Tweets with the right answer can win a model B777, adds the airline.
The four photos show Boston, Miami, Newark and Seattle – but sharp-eyed surfers are betting on Newark (EWR).
A Cathay Pacific emblem already appears next to Newark in the scroll-down menu on the Cathay Pacific booking site – a sign the city may become a destination on the airline’s own metal.
Cathay Pacific wants to boost the number of flights between Australia and Hong Kong ahead of an expected increase in demand for travel between the two countries.
The airline has already reached a Government-imposed limit of 70 flights per week out of Australia, covering most capital cities as well as Cairns, and is now reliant on a relaxation of that cap before adding more services.
Cathay Pacific sees flights to London and Europe via Hong Kong as major drawcards for Australian travellers, along with shorter hops flights into China on Cathay and its sister Dragonair.
During a speech today at Sydney's Australia Pacific Aviation Summit, Cathay's Chief Operating Officer Ivan Chu quoted the old Chinese proverb of "digging a well before you are thirsty."
"When the market grows we want to have the capacity to allow us to grow" he said.
Chu later told Fairfax aviation reporter Matt O'Sullivan that the Australian and Hong Kong governments would soon begin talks about bilateral air rights.
"At the end of the day the governments should look after the public interest, and expansion will provide more public interest. If there is more capacity, we will take advantage of that."
However, Cathay will find itself going up against Jetstar Hong Kong, which is expected to launch by year's end with flights from Hong Kong to China.
The low-cost carrier is a joint venture between Qantas, China Eastern Airlines and the investment firm Shun Tak Holdings, led by Hong Kong business magnate and multibillionaire Stanley Ho.
Cathay's predicament is that all its Australian flights are served by Airbus A330 jets with some 242 seats spread over business class, premium economy and economy cabins.