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Cathay Pacific Ramps Up Flights To Perth

A Cathay Pacific Cargo 747-8F in Sydney (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Hisham Qadri)

Cathay Pacific has announced that it will ramp up its services to Australia by adding 58,240 seats to Perth, the airport reports. The carrier has recently revealed that its long-haul routes are especially popular for student traffic, such as to places like Australasia, the U.K. and North America since the pandemic.

The city’s flag carrier will operate five times a week to Perth, the gateway to Western Australia, starting Dec. 6. The airline will use an Airbus A350-900, which can carry 280 passengers with Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class. The extra flights are expected to meet the travel boom during the holiday season.

“Cathay Pacific has excellent connections throughout North Asia including mainland China, South Korea and Japan, as well as options through to the USA and Canada offering Western Australians access to a range of travel destinations,” Kate Holsgrove, Perth Airport’s Acting CEO, said.

Cathay Pacific currently operates 84 flights to and from Hong Kong and Australia, with six flights per week between Hong Kong and Perth.

Returning to Profitability

Cathay Pacific announced that it had carried over 1.5 million passengers last month with 87.7% load factor, expecting the outlook of July and August will be encouraging as it continues to scale up the flights meet the travel demand.

“We are very encouraged to see that our journey of rebuilding Cathay is on the right track. We have seen a trend of continuous improvement in the performance of our airlines and our financial position is healthy.” Ronald Lam, Chief Executive Officer of the airline, said.

The airline has finally seen a silver lining after keeping its head above water during the pandemic, expecting a consolidated profit of approximately HKD4 – 4.5 billion ($511 – $576 million) for the first half of 2023.

IATA even forecasts Hong Kong could turn the tables and reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024, sooner than it expected. Cathay Pacific was left behind due to travel restrictions and losing HKD33.7 billion over three years, the most challenging period in Cathay Pacific’s history.

Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific is determined to enhance its services to Chinese passengers, announcing plans to hire 200 to 300 flight attendants in China. The new staff need to speak fluent Putonghua. It came after a discrimination incident, when three flight attendants were sacked after being accused of discriminating against non-English passengers.

The traffic figure has been improving since Hong Kong reopened its border in last September. According to Hong Kong International Airport, it currently handles about 120,000 passengers a day, about 60% of the pre-pandemic levels.

In addition, the airport hasn’t stopped expanding its facility during the pandemic. The third runway began operating last July, and the expansion of Terminal 2 is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2024. The airport could handle 102 million passengers by 2035 after the expansion.

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