Why Cathay Pacific Is Adding US Flights Right Now

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific

It’s interesting to see an airline countering the trend and adding at least some international service at the moment…

Cathay Pacific adding US flights

Cathay Pacific has obviously been incredibly hard hit by the current global crisis (and prior to that, by the protests), and they’ve massively reduced capacity.

Well, now Cathay Pacific is adding back some flights to the US over the coming days, which otherwise counters the global trend. Note that these additions are for specific flights for specific dates, rather than ongoing schedule increases.

How is Cathay Pacific adding capacity? Here are the additional capacity they’ve just added:

  • On March 19, 2020, Cathay Pacific will operate CX845 from New York to Hong Kong
  • On March 20, 2020, Cathay Pacific will operate CX811 from Boston to Hong Kong
  • On March 21, 2020, Cathay Pacific CX857 from Seattle to Hong Kong will be upgraded from an A350-900 to an A350-1000
  • On March 16 and March 18, 2020, Cathay Pacific will upgrade one of the daily San Francisco to Hong Kong flights from an A350-900 to an A350-1000
  • From March 20 to March 28, 2020, Cathay Pacific CX881 from Los Angeles to Hong Kong will be operated by a larger plane

Why is Cathay Pacific adding US capacity?

As Cathay Pacific describes it, this capacity increase is because the airline “understands that many Hong Kong students and citizens in North America are eager to come home as  soon as possible in time for the Easter break.”

This is ultimately pretty clearly a representation of how the coronavirus situation has evolved. At first many people avoided Hong Kong out of fear, but by all accounts Hong Kong has done a tremendous job handling the situation.

This decision comes as Hong Kong has issued a “red” travel alert for the United States, requiring a 14 day quarantine for anyone who has been in the United States for the past 14 days.

Given that this situation is about to get significantly worse in the US, many from Hong Kong clearly feel more comfortable returning there, where the situation is under much better control.

That’s probably especially true when you consider how many university students there are in the US, and many universities are now closing here as well.

Bottom line

Cathay Pacific is adding capacity to the US over the next two weeks for those who want to escape the US for Hong Kong. This comes as Hong Kong is issuing travel alerts for the US, requiring a 14 day quarantine for anyone arriving from the US.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see lots of other places add similar restrictions for those from the US…

  1. “but by all accounts Hong Kong has done a tremendous job handling the situation”

    Interested to elaborate how tremendous is the job?

  2. Man I was seriously swearing my CX flight from HKG to SEA on 3/17 but this news is music to my ears. Sounds like I’m gonna be alright.

  3. Same for the UK, CX added back quite a few LHR flights from next Tuesday to get people out of BoJo’s Herd Immunity butcher plan…

  4. I think your bottom line is wrong – CX doesn’t add capacity to the US, it adds capacity from the US..

  5. My guess is that cargo demand is very strong these days given that many workers in mainland China are back to work. I remember reading an article a couple of days ago reporting that Cathay Dragon is operating some commercial flights with only a handful of passengers because the cargo revenue is so high that it makes economic sense to do so. I wonder if CX’s cargo fleet is too busy these days.

  6. I’m glad to see this positive piece of news of airline industry… it’s been pretty sad for quite awhile

  7. This is very true, I am based in london and CX has just return back to the normal 6 flights per day from LHR to HKG. And The surge in demand is not because of cargo, is because All the students and and local Chinese are going back because they know their governments are controlling this virus situation much better than that of the UK, where they want 70% of the population to get it so we can be ‘immune’ to it . As of now all direct flights from LHR to HKG are all booked out for the next two weeks.

  8. People from ML China, HK and the likes are quickly trying to flee Europe and Us as the conditions there are handled much better and the risks are lower.

    China, aside from Hubei province may be the safest place right now.

  9. Only for those few days to get students (mainly) back to HK from the upcoming Easter break to avoid mass spreading of COVID-19 from outside HK. Cases now in HK chiefly sourced outside of HK and the government wants to control “outside” cases in a civilised manner

  10. @Jason Kendrick: Look at the figures (148th case at the moment in HK). Considering how crowded HK is and the proximity to China, HK (the people, the health experts, not the gov) is doing extremely well in controlling the spreading of the virus.

  11. CX operates 777-300ERs to LAX. So which aircraft are you referring to when you say they will operate a larger aircraft to LAX? Best I can tell that is their largest plane? Unless the 35K can hold more?

  12. @flyingrohit

    The A350-1000 has no F, almost as big J and W and and 70+ seats more in Y.

    So more passengers and if you are mostly returning students the demand for F is probably low.

  13. South China news this evening is reporting the HK authorities are considering adding the UK to the list of countries that will have restrictions applied.

  14. Chinese living overseas are fleeing back to HK/mainland, much like the Americans expats living in Europe that are flooding immigration at the designated airports in the States right now.

  15. Asians forgive, but do not forget.

    Some of the reactions were uncalled for, and offensive.

    There will be a period of lightning fast recovery where Asia will close itself from everywhere else.

    So, calling all Asians living in the west… This is your last chance. Some of you will be cut off, because you’re effectively Australian, etc.

    This isn’t meant as an insult to the west, but we’ve got a lot of censuses to update, and if some are happy outside then they should be westerners.

  16. @ Jason Kendrick
    Hong Kong started to test temperature of every passenger on arrival since beginning of year, even before coronavirus outbreak in mainland China.
    Hong Kong is probably world’s safest place now, even much safer than Singapore or Taiwan given how much close Hong Kong to mainland China.

    To be honest, while reaction of mainland China is delayed, it still did a much much better job than Europe and US.

    Luckily US starts to take more action. Also luckily only 50 million people live in high density cities in US. So virus can be contained in US and as government starts to take more action, US may be safe.

    Europe, including UK, is totally f**k up. I feel bad for people who came from there. You guys live in living hell now. No one can save you and you guys are totally s****ed.

  17. There needs to be a complete lock down. No flights in or out of the U.S. and no domestic flights either.

    If people are stuck here, so be it.

  18. The other issue is that F1 student visas require class attendance. With a number of universities moving to virtual classrooms or closing, the students need to leave or be in violation of their visa, and possibly be blocked from returning.

  19. @Peter
    Those temperature measuring devices were in place from the SARS era. I wouldn’t count that as something the HK government has actively done to reduced CoViD cases.

  20. Really Reginald? You want to keep people from leaving the US and prohibit citizens from returning. Where is the logic in that?

  21. @Mark 4 No matter how much freight capacity yields (which is substantial right now), I can not se CX operating ghost flights outbound. Air is a round-trip business.

  22. I still wouldn’t use cathay Pacific rather walk to destination they just cancel flights whenever they feel like it

  23. HB
    I was worried if I rebook my flight 1st my stop over is Hong Kong and my destination is Toronto, 1/hr b4 u reach ur gate and ur tired already..how I prevent my safety and how much I need to pay extra if I move my flight date early than my flight, and how much will cost me..

  24. To those who answered me how tremendous job Hong Kong has done, especially comparing to number they believe “fake” from mainland China, how about now?

    Hong Kong has recorded highest single day increase of new cases on Mar. 27.

    Still tremendous? Or maybe Hong Kong has given a fake number? The real number is believed to be 0? Lol

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