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Cathay Pacific’s A350-1000 rests at the gate at Washington Dulles International Airport. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Ben Suskind)

Cathay Pacific Suspends 90 Percent of Flights to Mainland China

Cathay Pacific announced it will be reducing capacity to Mainland China by 90 percent, as a measure of precaution against the Coronavirus spread. The Hong Kong-based carrier is following the steps of most global carriers who have either temporarily suspended flights to mainland China or are cutting frequencies to combat the further spreading of the virus, which has already affected more than 20,000 people in mainland China alone. 

As reported by SMCP news, Cathay Pacific will be reducing flights to the mainland for two months operated by both Cathay Pacific and its Cathay Dragon subsidiary, which operates regional flights from Hong Kong. 

Flight reductions equal a 30 percent cut in Cathay’s global capacity which is undoubtfully expected to have significant effects on the carrier’s finances. These include flights from Hong Kong to major mainland Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen and Guangzhou. 

The carrier’s frequency reductions to Mainland China come in part, as executives were under increased scrutiny from employees regarding increased cabin crew exposure to the virus, as the airline had not manifested any major contingency measures to put in place.

Last Saturday, Cathay Dragon cabin crew union members proposed a strike against the airline’s lack of command against the case. Whether it will now be called off has been left to members’ discretion. 

Over the past few weeks, airlines throughout the world have been suspending flights to China, including, Delta, Lufthansa, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Qantas.

American and United have gone a step further, reducing frequencies to the special administrative region of Hong Kong as well, which maintains autonomy in several aspects of governmental legislation, including border controls and regulation in commercial aviation.

Jose Antonio Payet
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