September 30, 2022
Cathay Pacific to Ramp Up Capacity as Quarantine Rules Relaxed
Airlines Industry

Cathay Pacific to Ramp Up Capacity as Quarantine Rules Relaxed

DALLAS – Cathay Pacific (CX) will slowly increase its capacity during the coming months following the Hong Kong Government’s decision to lift its quarantine rules for aircrews. A negative PCR test result will now be all which is required upon arrival at the airport.

Staff will, however, be subject to frequent testing and monitoring whilst in the community, the government said. This, they added, was consistent with arrangements in place with locally based cargo crews.

Under previous rules, staff had been required to quarantine for three days after an international flight. This had created a significant headache for CX, meaning a much slower ramp-up of operations compared with its rivals.

CX Airbus A350-1000 (B-LXA). Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

Gradual Increase


The airline has said that it will re-add flights as quickly as possible. However, this is likely to be slower than hoped due to the process of reactivating stored airframes and retraining its crews. CX will require an additional 4,000 staff as it builds its flying program over the coming months.

Speaking about the easing of restrictions, CX CEO Augustus Tang said that he welcomed the announcement. “These changes allow us to add back more flights, to build momentum, and to continue our recovery,” he added.

CX recently spoke of how the draconian quarantine rules had hampered its ramp-up of International services, creating half-year losses of HK$5bn (US$636.98m).

Other carriers, such as Hong Kong Airlines, have also been impacted by the quarantine rules. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

Economic Implications


Hong Kong has endured some of the strictest restrictions for over two years. This has severely impacted international and business travel and thus affected the economy.

Aside from CX, other airlines such as Air China (CA), HK Express (UO), and Hong Kong Airlines (HX) have been forced to reduce their operations. International carriers such as Virgin Atlantic (VS) and British Airways (BA) canceled their services altogether.

In a statement, the government said that easing restrictions “will effectively facilitate airlines to enhance flight services between Hong Kong and other parts of the world, and enable Hong Kong to play its role as an international aviation hub.”


Featured Image: During the pandemic, CX put 44% of its fleet into storage. Photo: Noah Pitkin/Airways

editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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