Cathay Pacific Airways denies it plans to seek licences to operate additional Asian routes and says that its attention is focused on resuming mainland services as soon as possible. The airline was responding to a report in yesterday's South China Morning Post that it was poised to ask the government for licences to five regional routes held by Dragonair. Andrew Pyne, Cathay's general manager for international affairs, said the airline 'has not submitted an application for those five routes and we have no current intentions to do so at this point'. Mr Pyne said appraisal of any other possible routes for the airline would take a back seat to its application to fly to Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen. 'It's not something we are prioritising. Cathay's focus at the moment is the Chinese mainland,' he said. Cathay applied early last month to the Air Transport Licensing Authority for mainland rights - which it gave up to Dragonair in 1990 to satisfy Hong Kong's then 'one airline, one route' policy - following Dragonair's successful bid to start a competing service between Hong Kong and Taipei in June. Alan Wong, Cathay general manager of corporate communications, said the intention was not to compete with Dragonair, but rather that 'we want to get back into China'.