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.