Cathay Pacific sees passenger capacity at 25% of pre-COVID levels by year-end

Cathay Pacific sees passenger capacity at 25% of pre-COVID levels by year-end
FILE PHOTO: A Cathay Pacific aircraft takes off at the airport, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Hong Kong, China, March 31, 2022. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Cathay Pacific Airways expects its passenger capacity to approach up to 25 per cent of pre-pandemic levels by year-end and is now targeting a positive cash flow position, it said on Friday (Jul 15).

The airline, Hong Kong’s flag carrier, had operated at 11 per cent of pre-pandemic passenger capacity last month as some of the strictest COVID-19 regulations in the world outside mainland China slammed travel to the financial hub.

While the city suspended a rule that banned flights for bringing in passengers infected with COVID-19 earlier in July, all arrivals into Hong Kong are still mandated to do one week of hotel quarantine and comply with frequent testing orders.

Cathay also said it expects cargo capacity to near 65 per cent of pre-pandemic levels by end of 2022, compared with about 56 per cent in June.

“We expect that the anticipated capacity increases will continue to have a positive impact on our monthly operating cash burn,” the airline said in a statement.

In May, Cathay had said it expects cash burn to be under HK$500 million (US$63.70 million) a month for the next few months.

Rival Singapore Airlines Ltd said earlier this month it expects passenger capacity to reach about 81 per cent of pre-pandemic levels by December.

Source: Reuters/ac