Published on November 18th, 2020 | by Alan Dwyer0
Cathay Pacific to Cut Dublin from its Route Network
It has been reported in Asia that Cathay Pacific is to permanently cut Dublin from its route network. Cathay Pacific started operating to Dublin in June 2018 and had been flying directly from Hong Kong four times per week using Airbus A350-900 aircraft. Cathay had been operating the service year round but announced in September 2019 that the service would be cut back and would be suspended initially for the winter period from 7th November to 29th March 2020. However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the restart of the route never materialised. There were plans for the airline to restart the route later in 2020 and then this was pushed back to 2021. It is now understood that the airline is undergoing a major restructuring and a number of their long haul routes are to be discontinued.
As well as the Dublin route, other European routes to London Gatwick and Brussels are also to be cut. The Brussels route was started around the same time as the Dublin service. Cathay Pacific will cut several routes to the United States too and reduce services on many other routes. Like all airlines, Cathay Pacific have been suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic with a dramatic fall in passenger number. Cathay Pacific along with their subsidiary Cathay Dragon carried just 47,061 passengers in September, a decrease of 98.1% compared to September 2019.
Speaking recently prior to official announcements on the cutting of routes and capacity, Cathay Pacific Group Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam said “After carefully studying numerous scenarios facing the industry and our airlines, we expect we will be operating approximately 10% of our pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity for the rest of 2020 and under 50% for overall 2021. Among the multiple scenarios studied, this one is already the most optimistic that we can responsibly adopt at this moment. We assume we will be operating well below a quarter of pre-pandemic capacity in the first half of next year but will see a recovery in the second half of the year – only assuming the vaccines currently under development prove to be effective and are widely adopted in our key markets by summer 2021.”