By 2024, the Hong Kong flag carrier will have fully recovered its pre-pandemic capacity as passenger traffic grows.
Ronald Lam, the chief executive officer of Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific, told Bloomberg Television that the airline intends to activate all of its parked aircraft by early 2024 and reach 100% of its pre-pandemic capacity. The announcement comes as the airline observes a regional revival in travel demand.
67 dormant jets
Due of the global COVID-19 epidemic, Hong Kong has been among the tightest locations in the world with regard to quarantine procedures and travel restrictions. As a result, Cathay Pacific has suffered a great deal from these incidents, just like many other airlines.
As a result, it has had to cut back on its flight schedule and ground several of its aircraft. Yet, Cathay Pacific is witnessing a steady recovery in passenger traffic as a result of mainland China’s reopening and the lifting of Hong Kong’s travel restrictions.
Despite this, data from ch-aviation.com shows that the carrier still has 67 inactive aircraft in its fleet. Of these, 11 idle planes are now being kept for maintenance, and the remaining inactive jets are parked in a number of places, including Hong Kong, Alice Springs, Xiamen, and Ciudad Real, awaiting reactivation. Airbus A330s, Boeing 777-300s, Airbus A320s, and Airbus A321s are among the fleet’s idle aircraft.
Speaking on the situation, Lam said: “We have finally entered into a new exciting period, in which we will restore Cathay Pacific for Hong Kong.” The COVID-19 pandemic lasted for three grueling years.”
A total of 191 aircraft, comprising 51 Airbus A330s, 41 Boeing 777-300ERs, 28 Airbus A350-900s, 18 Airbus A350-1000s, 17 Boeing 777-300s, 14 Boeing 747-8Fs, nine Airbus A321neos, six Boeing 747-400ERFs, four Airbus A320s, and three Airbus A321-200 jets, are currently part of Cathay Pacific’s fleet.
at the end of March, 50% of the pre-pandemic capacity
By the end of March 2023, the airline will operate at about 50% of its pre-pandemic passenger capacity across more than 70 routes, according to Paul Johannes, regional head of customer travel and lifestyle, Europe, for Cathay Pacific. About the improvement, Johannes added:
“The airline keeps expanding its itinerary with new locations. By the end of 2023, we plan to operate more than 80 destinations at around 70% of our pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity, with the goal of reaching pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024.” The airline is gradually reopening its lounges for patrons across its network as additional flights start up again, providing passengers more options for relaxing before a trip.”
The airline carried 1.1 million passengers in February 2023, a huge rise over the 31,253 passengers it carried in the same month last year.