Cathay Pacific Airways today announced that it is restoring more flights to its schedule and will operate at around 90 percent of normal capacity in August. The move comes as the airline rebuilds passenger traffic through Hong Kong in anticipation of operating a full schedule by the end of September. The airline will also add three additional flights to and from London beginning mid-August.
The majority of the flights being resumed are to and from destinations in Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia. The number of flights to Taipei each week will jump from 56 in July to 88 in August, Seoul flights will rise to 28 per week from the current 21, while all five Cathay Pacific destinations in Japan will have more flights in August. Flights are also being restored to some of the most popular destinations in Southeast Asia to match summer demand, with Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta all getting more flights each week.
For long-haul destinations, both Vancouver and Sydney will go back to a double-daily service in August, while Bahrain and Paris will each get two more flights a week. London, meanwhile, will have one more flight restored from 1 August and then move to a triple-daily service with effect from 18 August when three more flights a week are added. These are three new flights that were not on the pre-SARS schedule.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, Sales & Distribution Ian Shiu said: “We are pleased to be able to restore more flights in August as passengers come back gradually. It is the summer season now and we are restoring more flights to meet the needs of the travelling public as demand rises.”
While passenger numbers are increasing and load factors to many destinations are running quite high, Mr Shiu said that intense competition between airlines is bringing fares down and keeping yields at a low level. “This means that despite demand increasing we are earning less money than before.”
Mr Shiu said it is difficult at this stage to anticipate the level of demand after the summer peak but he said that Cathay Pacific still intends to operate a full schedule by the end of September.