Cathay Pacific Airways, after worries that Hong Kong’s strict Covid rules could doom the airline, is beginning its post-pandemic bounce back as the Chinese special administrative region eases its border rules.
The Oneworld alliance carrier will resume a third of its 2019 capacity by the end of the year, Cathay said Monday. That means resuming about 3,000 daily flights between the end of October and year end. And, as travel is expected to surge back, 70 percent of its pre-crisis capacity by the end of 2023. The carrier anticipates a full recovery to 2019 levels in 2024.
“Our recovery trajectory is in line with other carriers that don’t benefit from a domestic market in terms of the time taken since borders began to open,” Cathay CEO Augustus Tang said. He added, citing the recovery challenges other airlines have experienced, that Cathay has “sufficient pilots, cabin crew and operational employees” to support its capacity recovery plans.
Cathay will return to Bali, Bangalore, Fukuoka, Sapporo, Tokyo Haneda, Xi’an, and Zurich, and add back flights in other markets, in the fourth quarter, according to Diio by Cirium schedules.