Cathay Pacific cuts 96% of its network as coronavirus causes global aviation contraction
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The airline did not mince words.
“Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon intend to operate a bare skeleton passenger flight schedule in April and May, though our freighter capacity remains intact,” the carrier said in a statement Friday. “Our ability to maintain even this skeleton schedule will depend on whether more travel restrictions are imposed by governments around the world which will further dampen passenger demand.”
Coronavirus has created a rapid reduction in demand for passenger air travel, and airlines around the world have instituted sweeping cuts to their schedules in order to try to maintain some degree of financial viability with limited revenue coming in.
Cathay Pacific has been especially vulnerable. Coronavirus broke out in Asia before spreading to Europe and the Americas, and the Hong Kong-based carrier was already facing a demand slump due to widespread protests in the autonomous region that have been going on sporadically since last year.
As a result, the airline will fly at only 4% capacity in April and May, operating just three weekly flights each on a dozen routes including to London, Los Angeles and Vancouver. Its Cathay Dragon subsidiary will operate a further three weekly flights each on three additional routes.
Cathay is far from the only airline to implement dramatic changes to its operations as a result of the pandemic.
Lufthansa Group, Europe’s largest airline conglomerate, has implemented widespread cuts across its network. Some other airlines like Qantas and Virgin Australia have suspended all international flying, and still others, like Canadian carrier Porter, have temporarily halted all operations.
Even U.S. carriers, which have had historically strong finances in recent years, have had to curtail large segments of their operations. That’s led some airlines to try different methods of maintaining revenue streams. American Airlines, for example, has started scheduling cargo-only flights for the first time since 1984. On the passenger side, American plans to fly only three long-haul routes during the peak of its coronavirus-related schedule cuts.
Featured photo by Vivek Prakash/Bloomberg via Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees