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
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.
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…