MIAMI – After cutting off its regional arm in October 2020, Cathay Pacific Airways (CX) has regained permission to fly most of the routes left vacant by Cathay Dragon (KA).
The permission, granted by Chinese mainland authorities, may be seen as a gesture of confidence towards CX.
The carrier is actually struggling with problems linked to Covid-19 pandemics and related worldwide negative effects on air traffic.
Cathay Pacific is to fly from HKG to 15 mainland cities, including Chongqing (CKG) , Chengdu (CTU), Wuhan (WUH) and Nanjing (NKG). The other routes approved for CX are Fuzhou (FOC) , Qingdao (TAO), Xiamen (XMN), Guangzhou (CAN), Zhengzhou (CGO) , Hangzhou (HGH), Xi’an (XIY), Wenzhou (WNZ), Ningbo (NGB), Haikou (HAK) and Sanya (SYX).
Destinations to Jinan (TNA), Kunming (KMG), Changsha (CSX), Guilin (KWL) and Nanning (NNG), formerly flown by KA, were not retained by CX.
The airline already flew to Beijing and Shanghai before Dragon’s closure last October. The closure was part of a wider restructuring of its parent company and resulted in a reduction of 5900 workers.
Competition Expected from Great Bay Airlines
At the same time a new comer – the low cost carrier (LCC) Greater Bay Airlines (GBA) – has appeared on the scene with plans to apply for and fly more than 100 routes from Hong Kong (HKG).
Cathay Pacific did not object to this new rival which is headed by Algernon Yau Ying-wah, former CEO of now defunct Cathay Dragon (KA). Yau Ying-wah, which has a 40 years rich experience in the field, was appointed in January 2021 after formally retiring from Cathay Pacific Group.
Featured image: CATHAY PACIFIC B-KQL BOEING 777-367(ER). Photo: Liam Funnell/Airways