Cathay Pacific will make further cuts to its capacity on routes to both mainland China and other international destinations.
On Tuesday, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) first reported that Cathay Pacific plans to cut 90 percent of its China services. Furthermore, the airline would reduce the overall capacity of its global flight network by 30 percent.
This was reportedly stated by Chief Executive Augustus Tang Kin-wing, who became the new CEO of Hong Kong’s largest airline in mid-2019. He did not lay out further details on the temporary service reduction.
The Hong Kong-based carrier is strongly affected by the Coronavirus outbreak in China. A large part of its route network is based on flights to mainland China. It had already suspended half of its flights to the country, following a decision by Hong Kong authorities.
Since Cathay Pacific, along with sister Cathay Dragon, is a major hub-airline, which is flying passengers not just in and out of Hong Kong but also connecting many – including onto China flights, it is suffering from a significant drop in demand. Cuts to its mainland services also result in fewer connecting passengers, which is one of the reasons why the airline now announced a reduction of its international flights.
Moreover, some countries around the world have banned flights from China or passengers coming from China from entering, and for unclear reasons included Hong Kong in the ban. Because of this, Cathay was forced to suspend its flights to Milan and Rome in Italy, since February 1st.
Jakob Wert is an aviation journalist from Germany. He built up the website IFN.news and is the Editor-In-Chief of International Flight Network.