Cathay Pacific increases flights to North America, Europe and Australia amid restructuring
Announcement comes before airline unveils financial performance for 2016
Cathay Pacific Airways will increase its number of flights to San Francisco, Brisbane, Manchester, Paris and Madrid while trimming trips to Los Angeles.
With Hong Kong’s premium airline under more pressure than before and in the early stages of restructuring its business, the carrier will oversee a rise in flights to destinations in North America, Europe and Australia.
The airline will be under the spotlight again next week, albeit not entirely for positive reasons as it unveils its financial performance for 2016.
Cathay Pacific is expected to take a loss after coming under intense pressure amid low oil prices, increased competition and geopolitical turmoil.
In some of its key changes, there will be three flights to San Francisco daily, while the number to Los Angeles will fall to the same number. Manchester and Madrid – two recent additions to the carrier’s network – will see modest upticks. Service to Brisbane and Cairns will also change.
Commenting on the revised flight schedules, Paul Loo, director of corporate development and IT, said the company was responding to its customers’ needs.
“Increasing frequencies to these popular Cathay Pacific destinations strengthens our ability to connect our passengers with all corners of the world in addition to growing our home hub of Hong Kong,” he said.
The airline previously announced new flights to Barcelona and Christchurch in New Zealand in the cities’ respective summer seasons. Another new route, to Tel Aviv, Israel, is to kick off flights from March 28.
Despite the airline’s struggles, the moves are not regarded as risky as the flights are being added where there is clear passenger and cargo demand, an airline source said, and they were driven by cost-cutting and revenue-boosting objectives.
In mid-January, Cathay Pacific said it would re-evaluate and reassign jobs in light of the company’s financial challenges.
San Francisco: 21 flights per week from October (up from 17 flights weekly)
Los Angeles: 21 flights per week from October (down from 28 flights); however, it also sells tickets on an another daily flight operated by airline alliance partner American Airlines
Boston: seven flights per week from March 26 (up from four weekly flights)
Toronto: 14 flights per week from June 24 — September 4 (up from 10 flights)
Vancouver: 17 flights per week from March 28 (up from 14 flights)
Paris: 11 flights per week from December (up from 10 flights)
Manchester: six flights per week (up from five weekly services)
Madrid: five flights per week (up from four)
Tel Aviv: four flights per week from March 28 (new destination)
Barcelona: four flights per week from July 2 to October 27 (new summer season destination)
London Gatwick: seven flights per week from June 1 (up from four flights per week)
Australia and New Zealand
Brisbane: 11 flights per week from October (previously seven direct and four one-stop services via Cairns)
Cairns: three flights per week from October (down from four flights)
Christchurch: three flights per week from December to February (new winter season destination)
Sydney: thousands of extra seats added with larger aircraft plying the airline’s Hong Kong-to-Sydney route 28 times per week