Beleaguered Cathay Pacific to bring back more planes to Hong Kong | Aviation

Airline says it should carry again plane to Hong Kong to assist rebuild metropolis’s hub standing.

Cathay Pacific Airways, battered by strict quarantine guidelines which have led to a 98 % fall in passenger numbers, is getting ready to carry again extra planes to rebuild Hong Kong’s hub standing as restrictions ease, the airline’s chief govt mentioned.

“We’ve got about one-third of our passenger fleet nonetheless parked within the desert, not being utilised,” Cathay Chief Govt Augustus Tang instructed Reuters on the sidelines of an airline trade gathering in Doha. “We’re making preparations for them step by step coming again forward of the curve.”

Rival Singapore Airways has seen a surge in demand since Singapore’s quarantine guidelines eased. It was again at 61 % of pre-COVID-19 capability in Might, filling 78.2 % of seats in its finest month for the reason that begin of the pandemic.

Cathay, against this, operated solely 4 % of its pre-COVID capability in Might and stuffed 60.5 % of its seats.

The necessity for crew members on passenger flights to quarantine in a lodge for 3 days after flying to locations exterior mainland China means it has few frequencies to supply potential transit passengers.

Passengers heading to Hong Kong additionally face every week of lodge quarantine on arrival, limiting demand.

Tang mentioned it was encouraging that Hong Kong had step by step been lowering the quarantine time required, which as soon as was as excessive as three weeks for passengers from locations together with the USA and Britain.

“It’s shifting in the suitable path, and the momentum is gathering and so we’re fairly optimistic that we’re going to see increasingly of this opening up,” he mentioned.

Cathay has 45 passenger locations again in operation at current, up from 30 at first of the yr, and plans for as much as 70 to be obtainable by the top of the yr as demand improves, he mentioned. That compares with the 108 passenger locations it operated earlier than the pandemic.

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