Cathay Pacific Group announce ambitious recovery targets
The Cathay Pacific Group have announced their ambitious forecast for passenger recovery.
On 14 November, the airline group announced plans to hit pre-pandemic passenger capacity by the end of 2024. Looking shorter term, the group hopes to reach 70 per-cent of its 2019 passenger capacity by the end of 2023.
The Cathay Pacific Group includes Cathay Pacific and HK Express.
The planned recovery figures would position the airline group ahead of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predictions for the region. In March, IATA released ‘Air Passenger Numbers to Recover in 2024’ which predicted the APAC region would be the slowest to recover.
The 2022 predictions are close, with IATA estimating traffic to/from/within the region would reach 68 per-cent of 2019 levels and the Cathay Pacific Group aiming for 70 per-cent recovery by the end of 2023. However, IATA predicted 2019 levels should be recovered in 2025, while the airline group hopes to cut this date in 2024. https://www.iata.org/en/pressroom/2022-releases/2022-03-01-01/
Cathay Pacific Group’s ambitious targets are even more impressive given their figures in 2022. Looking at Cathay Pacific’s traffic figures for March 2022, the carrier had a 99 per-cent reduction in passenger numbers compares to 2019.
Travel to the region is expected to dramatically increase following the lifting of quarantine rules for traveller entering Hong Kong. In line with the relaxation of travel restrictions, the Cathay Pacific Group announced the 3,000 more passenger flights between October and December 2022.
Augustus Tang, CEO of Cathay Pacific and leader of the overall business direction of the Cathay Pacific Group said:
“We are taking a measured and responsible approach to managing our own road to recovery, with a need to address challenges that are unique to Hong Kong. The city’s borders were closed for much longer than other markets and importantly, aircrew in Hong Kong were uniquely under quarantine constraints that weren’t lifted until September. […] Importantly, we have sufficient pilots, cabin crew and operational employees to support our current flight schedules, and we are confident that our ongoing recruitment plans will ensure this remains the case throughout the recovery.
The short-term bottlenecks lie in the recertification of pilots who have not been flying regularly for a long period of time and the reactivation of aircraft. We have been bolstering our capabilities to expedite this process”
For an overview of the APAC region’s return to travel read here.
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Article by Jess Brownlow