Cathay Pacific has announced intentions to increase flights to mainland China as restrictions begin to ease.
According to the Hong Kong government, “normal travel” between Hong Kong and mainland China will be resumed orderly. However, freedom of travel still doesn’t fully exist in the region. For example, passengers entering the mainland will still be required to undergo COVID-19 testing 48 hours before departure.
Cathay Pacific has been one of the hardest-hit airlines globally since the pandemic emerged. Struggling to capture demand, operate scheduled services and pull any money.
The airline now, however, will double its flight frequency to the mainland from January 14th. As a result, weekly return flights will total 61, spread across 13 cities.
The jump in weekly return flights is staggering. It’s up from the previous 27 flights from Hong Kong and 50 to mainland Hong Kong. The decision to expand is a reaction to the easing of restrictions.
For the moment, Cathay Pacific is primarily targeting main cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and so forth. While in addition, services will be restored to other cities, and more to follow in due course.
The airline needs to take a measured approach to restore flights. This is to ensure their relaunch is met with success.
Cathay Pacific aims to ramp up services between their hub in Hong Kong to the mainland. However, this will be permitting restrictions not adjusting again.
The airline has noted that it hopes 100 return flights per week will be possible by March. By year-end, it has also set optimistic goals in terms of global recovery.
A lot of this is out of the hands of the carrier who await further information from governing bodies.