Travel restrictions

Cathay Pacific lowers fourth quarter capacity forecast as travel restrictions persist

A Cathay Pacific jet is seen in front of the air traffic control tower at Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong, China October 24, 2020. REUTERS / Tyrone Siu / File Photo

  • Plans to fly 13% of passenger capacity before pandemic
  • Had hoped to increase capacity to 30% of pre-COVID levels
  • Passenger numbers were 95.3% below 2019 levels in August

Sept. 20 (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (0293.HK) said on Monday it had lowered its passenger capacity forecast for the rest of the year to 13 percent of pre-COVID levels, from a previous target of 30% for the fourth quarter as travel restrictions persist.

The airline said it continued to aim for cash consumption of less than HK $ 1 billion ($ 130 million) per month for the remainder of the year. Read more

Hong Kong lacks a domestic aviation market and has some of the world’s toughest pandemic-related travel restrictions.

The city is demanding that fully vaccinated travelers from destinations considered “high risk,” including the United States and Britain, spend three weeks in hotel quarantine.

Cathay said last month that its goal of reaching 30% of passenger capacity before COVID in the fourth quarter was dependent on relaxing quarantine rules for passengers and crew. Read more

The number of passengers in August was better than in previous months due to high student traffic from China to the United States and Great Britain, but was 95.3% lower in the same month in 2019, a indicated the airline.

Cathay said the freight market strengthened in August, with freight demand reaching peak season levels.

Air freight accounted for 80% of the airline’s revenue in the first half of the year due to the impact of the pandemic on passenger demand.

($ 1 = 7.7875 Hong Kong dollars)

Reporting by Jamie Freed in Sydney; Editing by Tom Hogue and Gerry Doyle

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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