AviationCathay Pacific Group is eyeing a return to pre-pandemic levels by end-2024, starting with 70% flight capacity reinstatement.

Clear skies for Cathay Pacific as capacity returns

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Cathay Pacific Group has added 3,000 passenger flight sectors from October until the end of December this year.
Cathay Pacific Group has added 3,000 passenger flight sectors from October until the end of December this year.

Cathay Pacific Group, including Cathay Pacific and HK Express, expects to operate at 70% of its pre-pandemic flight capacity by the end of 2023 and return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024.

The group stated that it is committed to restore passenger capacity and connectivity in the Hong Kong aviation hub to serve the needs of the Hong Kong and international travel markets.

Pursuant to Hong Kong government’s adjustment to Covid-19 measures for travellers and aircrew, the group had announced the addition of about 3,000 passenger flight sectors from October until the end of December this year.

CEO Augustus Tang said the group is on track to achieve its target of operating up to one-third of its pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity levels by the end of this year.

It represents a doubling of the capacity that was offered in August and is about eight times the average capacity the airline operated in the first half of 2022.

Tang said as Covid-19 eased, airlines have been rebuilding their capacity. Similarly, the group is taking a measured and responsible approach to manage its own recovery and to address challenges that are unique to Hong Kong.

Despite this, its growth trajectory was in line with other carriers that do not benefit from a domestic market, in relation to the time it took for the borders to reopen.

“Importantly, we have sufficient pilots, cabin crew and operational employees to support our current flight schedules, and we are confident that our ongoing recruitment plans will ensure this remains the case throughout the recovery.

“The short-term bottlenecks lie in the recertification of pilots who have not been flying regularly for a long period of time and the reactivation of aircraft. We have been bolstering our capabilities to expedite this process,” Tang said.

The group remains confident about the long-term prospects for the aviation sector in Hong Kong. It looks forward to the complete removal of all travel constraints by the government to facilitate the full resumption of travel activities both to and from Hong Kong that can enhance the city’s hub connectivity.

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