Cathay Pacific Cuts Capacity By 96% Through May

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific

While many airlines have been struggling for the past few weeks, Cathay Pacific has been in a tough spot for the past several months. Being Hong Kong’s largest airline, they first had to deal with reduced demand following months of protests in Hong Kong, and now are dealing with the huge decrease in global travel, as virtually all airlines are.

Cathay Pacific reduces capacity to 4%

Cathay Pacific has decreased capacity in the past few weeks, but the airline has now announced plans to reduce capacity by 96% all the way through the end of May. That’s major, if you ask me, as it shows they expect there to be virtually no travel for well over two additional months.

With this, we’ll see both Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon operate a skeleton passenger flight schedule in April and May. Cathay Pacific’s ability to even maintain this 4% of capacity is dependent upon not seeing further travel restrictions imposed by governments.

As Cathay Pacific’s Chief Commercial Officer, Ronald Lam, describes this move:

“As Hong Kong’s home airlines, it is important that we continue to provide important passenger and cargo connections to and from the Hong Kong hub. We will therefore endeavour to maintain a minimal number of flights to and from key destinations in our network to ensure these vital arteries remain open.

We need to take difficult but decisive measures as the scale of the challenge facing the global aviation industry is unprecedented. We have no choice but to significantly reduce our passenger capacity as travel restrictions are making it increasingly difficult for our customers to travel and demand has dropped drastically.”

Cathay Pacific will reduce capacity by 96%

What flights will Cathay Pacific still operate?

While operating just 4% of flights, the airline is taking a straightforward approach to scheduling, and will operate 3x weekly flights to just 15 destinations, between the Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon route networks:

  • Cathay Pacific will operate 3x weekly flights to 12 destinations: Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Manila, New Delhi, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo Narita, and Vancouver
  • Cathay Dragon will operate 3x weekly flights to three destinations: Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, and Shanghai

The 15 destinations Cathay Pacific & Cathay Dragon will serve from Hong Kong

Bottom line

Cathay Pacific is taking one of the most streamlined approaches to capacity cuts that we’ve seen from any airline. While other airlines have been updating their schedule on an almost daily basis, there’s something to be said for the simplicity of Cathay Pacific operating 3x weekly flights to 15 destinations.

I imagine these destinations will decrease as more restrictions are added.

As a traveler it makes me sad to think that global aviation will likely be at a standstill for well over two more months. And I imagine it has the potential to be much worse than that…

What do you make of Cathay Pacific’s capacity cuts?

  1. I have a trip to Asia booked at the end of august mostly on Cathay. Certainly hope this clears up by then.

  2. While it is sad that global aviation is at its lowest point in decades, it is great that carbon emissions are being reduced massively.

    I truly wish all these airlines employees all the best.

  3. I doubt the UK will be able to hold out with no travel restrictions with the pressure they are under now from the EU, that will be another route off the list.

  4. Kudos to CX for offering a skeleton network. It really is needed as some essential travel will still be going on.

    I believe Qantas is in negotiations with the Australian government to offer a barebone limited network as well. Awaiting on a confirmed announcement for that.

    Even in a “complete shutdown”, nations still need contact with the outside world albeit on a very limited basis. Even during WW2, Qantas continued to fly across the Pacific. A precedent has been set in history whereby governments “insist” on limited connectivity.

  5. @Sharon
    “It is great that carbon emissions are being reduced massively.”

    And just think of all the improved hand washing.

    And, the trade off was only global pandemic, and business/jobs crushing recession!

  6. Lucky/others,
    Are airlines honoring passengers from other airlines?
    So if I have a flight on a given airline from A to B but that airline cancels my flight, will another airline still operating the same route honor my ticket and allow me to travel?

  7. @Qf platinum

    You forgot to blame those dumb HK kids for burning the city too.
    And the is only one queen, not plural.
    And you should come to America, we’ve been eating Panda Express for some time now.

  8. In fact some flight keep operate as usual even when CX dont sell ticket such as KA380/381 and CX 506/507

  9. @ QF Platinum: Short and sweet: WOW, you sir are a racist Moran! (but at least you are honest). It is a pleasure not to know you.

  10. I feel terrible for poor Hong Kong. HK is my home away from home whilst in Asia. The people, some friends of mine as well as many others, have a spirit that is hard to keep down. Little Hong Kong has stood up to Goliath, fought for Democracy in a part of the world without near enough of it, weathered SARS and kept its head held high. As the Queen song so revered in local HK pubs goes, they are “The Champions!”.

  11. What a pathetic little person @qf platinum is. If he/she is a QF platinum flyer, which I would doubt, I wish it could be removed. It’s fine to have views and opinions but this is downright awful, homophobic and racist. Possibly the person is a lonely soul craving attention, hence the poor post. I ask the operators of this site to rebuke the person.

  12. I believe they decided to survive only with cargo revenue. They are stopping all Japanese fights now, but this shows NRT is back. Wise decision not to spend anymore cost by flying empty pax flights. I trust in them.

  13. I’m with Billy, Bill, & Crosscourt!
    The couple commenters demonstrate the ever present of racism, fascism, & white (presumably) supremacy 🙁

    My big trip is in July so I’ll hold tight, but not optimistic 🙁

    Best bet short term is a treatment 🙂

    Best wishes for all folks disrupted and especially best wishes for a speedy recovery to those inflicted:-)

  14. @QFplatinum (handle is a total giveaway!) sounds like an Australian blogger who is active on a couple of FF sites here.
    On behalf of all Australians may I apologise for this moron; we are not like that at all.
    There are selfish, self-entitled people like this all over the world, and are best ignored.

  15. Their passengers will run into 14 day quarantine requirements for travelers to places like Hong Kong and Singapore. Not a good sign.

  16. “it is great that carbon emissions are being reduced massively.”

    So then the temperature will start to drop as a result?

  17. @Qf platinum: Wow! What a lunatic you’re! Are you fxxking high on drugs? You’re far worse than the Chinese for having no humanity at all. Even if it originated from China , you should not blame and insult billions of Chinese because some people eat wild animals. They are also victims of the virus. You’re exactly the kind of people that the world should get rid of.

    @TRUMP supporter: You and Qf platinum deserve each other. Are you two twins? How convenient is it to blame & stigmatize the Chinese so as to deflect the incompetence of your dear President in handling this coronavirus outbreak ehh? You got almost 2 months to prepare but only 56,590 American had been tested as of March 18, 2020. What a joke! BTW, the H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic originated from America in 2009 and later on spreaded to other countries, resulted in more than 25 million people infected and more than 14,000 deaths globally. But we never call it the “American Flu”. I wonder why?

  18. What is happening to this forum.
    Please show respect at this difficult time.
    Everyone is suffering!

  19. Imagine if a tourist went to Miami and saw alligator meat on a menu at a specialty restaurant, then returned home and concluded that all Americans must be eating exotic meat like alligator as a country.

    Some comments here are proof that a lot of travel doesn’t necessarily enlighten an individual.

    Thank you to all the other commenters who are much more sensible.

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