Hong Kong’s flag-carrier Cathay Pacific has announced a positive development in June passenger traffic, citing eased travel restrictions and improving travel sentiment across the region.
In June 2022, the airline carried more than 150,000 passengers, an increase of 269.2% compared to June 2021, but a 95.2% decrease compared to the pre-pandemic levels in June 2019.
“We continued to see positive developments in June following further adjustments to travel restrictions in Hong Kong. As sentiment for travel continued to improve, we resumed more flights to more destinations and deployed additional passenger flight capacity – about 170% more than we did in May – to meet the demand. However, we still only operated about 11% of our pre-pandemic capacity,” said Ronald Lam, chief customer and commercial officer at Cathay Pacific.
The positive trend in passenger numbers was attributed to increased demand for student travel in Hong Kong. The airline also stated that demand for flights to Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and India, has also increased.
Looking ahead to July and beyond, Cathay Pacific expects passenger traffic to improve. Cathay anticipates operating at 25% pre-pandemic capacity by the end of 2022, assuming current travel and operating restrictions remain unchanged.
“We have enjoyed improved cash performance since the further adjustments in the travel restrictions and quarantine requirements came into effect on 1 May. We expect that the anticipated capacity increases will continue to have a positive impact on our monthly operating cash burn, such that we are targeting to be operating cash generative going forward,” Lam added.