Cathay Pacific Doubles Flights To China Despite COVID Outbreak
Hong Kong’s flagship airline is more than doubling its flights from the city to China after the easing of pandemic restrictions, raising hopes of a recovery after cutting operations and suffering losses, Kathleen Magramo reported for CNN.
Photo Insert: The carrier reported a net loss of 21.65 billion Hong Kong dollars ($2.8 billion) in 2020, followed by another net loss of 5.5 billion Hong Kong dollars ($707.9 million) in 2021.
Cathay Pacific will resume 61 return flights from Hong Kong to 13 cities in mainland China from January 14. It also aims to operate more than 100 return flights per week between the city and destinations in China by March.
The airline operates 27 flights a week from Hong Kong to China, and 50 in the opposite direction. The airline said it expects to reach about 70% of pre-pandemic passenger capacity by the end of this year and a full recovery by the end of 2024.
The airline suffered a serious hit from the pandemic as Hong Kong was largely closed off from the rest of the world as it followed China’s hardline zero-COVID approach.
The carrier reported a net loss of 21.65 billion Hong Kong dollars ($2.8 billion) in 2020, followed by another net loss of 5.5 billion Hong Kong dollars ($707.9 million) in 2021, according to its annual reports to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
The airline laid off 5,300 employees in Hong Kong in 2020 and its usual capacity was reduced to just 2% at one point. Hong Kong gradually eased travel restrictions in the second half of last year and scrapped mandatory quarantine in September.