Cathay Pacific cuts flights to avoid cancellations

Cathay Pacific cuts flights to avoid cancellations

SEOUL — Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways will cut a dozen flights a day on average until the end of February, the airline said on Sunday, in a move to avoid cancellations as the busy Lunar New Year travel season approaches.

Cathay had to cancel some flights over the peak travel period for Christmas and the year end because its operations were stretched, it said in a statement.

“(Cathay) has consolidated on average six flight pairs per day for the rest of January and February, focusing on routes with multiple daily frequencies, where possible,” it added.

The carrier said it had reviewed its flight schedule and increased the numbers of pilots on standby to avoid disruption in coming weeks.

Cathay, which said in November it intended to recruit 5,000 more staff during 2024, had pruned employees drastically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and changed staff contract terms and conditions.

Last month, the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association (HKAOA), which represents some of its pilots, said Cathay’s passenger business had 58% of the pilots it had before the pandemic.

In a November briefing to analysts, Cathay dropped a goal of rebuilding to pre-pandemic levels its cargo and passenger capacity by the end of 2024, giving no new date.

In October, passenger capacity was 62% of 2019 levels, and cargo operations were at 79%, the airline said. — Reuters