Cathay eyes more flights, lower cash burn thanks to easing restrictions

Cathay Pacific says easing travel restrictions in Hong Kong are allowing it to add more flights and destinations, helping to improve the airline’s financial outlook.  

The Hong Kong-based carrier has been among the worst hit worldwide by strict COVID-19 travel restrictions in Hong Kong and mainland China.  

In April, the airline carried 40,823 passengers, just 1.3% of pre-pandemic levels.  

“The recent adjustments to the Government’s travel restrictions and quarantine requirements will help facilitate the gradual resumption of travel activities and the strengthening of network connectivity to and from the Hong Kong aviation hub,” Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam said in a monthly traffic update on May 11, 2022.  

“We have been and will continue to actively resume more flights to more destinations in the coming months,” Lam said.  

For example, Cathay will be flying daily to London Heathrow (LHR) from early June and will be increasing to resuming flights to other key markets such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand and India.  

The airline will also be building up its cargo operations in Europe, the Americas, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Cambodia. Lam highlighted that Cathay had resumed cargo flights to Frankfurt in April, the first time it has operated freighter services to Europe since the end of December 2021.  

“Encouragingly, we expect this additional capacity to have a positive impact on Cathay Pacific’s business and we have been evaluating the potential benefit on our operations and cost base,” Lam declared.   

He said that the airline believed it will reduce cash burn to less than HKD500 million ($64 million) per month for the next few months.  

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