On April 16, 2021, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific announced that its traffic numbers in March 2021 decreased substantially compared to a previous year as well as February 2021.
The Hong Kong-based airline carried a total of 18,539 passengers in March 2021 ‒ a slump of 94% compared to 2020. In addition, Cathay Pacific operated services to just 18 destinations. March traffic numbers appeared to be even lower than February 2021. Average daily passenger numbers decreased further to just 598, compared to 755 in February.
“Our passenger business continues to face significant challenges. With the tightened crew quarantine requirements in Hong Kong, we only managed to maintain a skeleton schedule in March, operating passenger services to just 18 destinations,” Cathay Pacific Group Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam said.
According to Cathay Pacific, continuous travel restrictions and quarantine measures for Hong Kong-based air crews reflected the substantial airline’s capacity reduction, as earlier in February 2021, Cathay Pacific introduced strict rotation procedures under which its crew members were required to complete 21-day shifts and take almost a month’s break afterward.
On March 10, 2021, Cathay Pacific announced to move 92 passenger jets or almost 46% of its fleet to Alice Springs, Australia, as well as Ciudad Real, Spain, for long-term storage due to low international air travel demand.
“It is by no means clear how the pandemic and its impact will develop over the coming months. Our short-term outlook continues to be challenging. However, we remain absolutely confident in the long-term future and competitive position of our airlines as we recover and rebuild from the impact of Covid-19,” the chairman of Cathay Pacific Group Patrick Healy said.