Cathay Pacific plans to increase flights to Manila, select destinations by late June

Aviation Updates Philippines – Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific is planning to increase the number of its passenger flights to Manila and several destinations by late June, following a 97 percent decrease in capacity for the months of April and May due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

MORE FLIGHTS. Cathay Pacific plans to increase its number of flights to select destinations by late June. Photo by Anna Zvereva.
According to an announcement posted on the Cathay Pacific website, the airline intends to fly daily to some major Asian cities and add more long-haul flights, increasing the airline's operating capacity to about 5%.

Between June 21-30, the airline will operate five weekly flights to London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Sydney; three weekly flights to Amsterdam, Frankfurt, San Francisco, Melbourne, Mumbai, and Delhi; and daily flights to Tokyo-Narita, Osaka-Kansai, Seoul-Incheon, Taipei-Taoyuan, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, and Manila.

The airline, however, said that it will "continue to monitor the developing situation and further adjustments may be made as necessary".

In May, the airline will operate three weekly flights to Tokyo-Narita, Taipei-Taoyuan, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, and Manila, while London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Sydney, and Delhi will each be served by two weekly flights.

The airline's regional subsidiary Cathay Dragon, which also announced similar capacity cuts for the months of April and May, plans to fly daily to Kuala Lumpur, while daily flights to Beijing and Shanghai-Pudong will be operated by Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon. All three destinations are currently served by three weekly flights.

Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific's low-cost subsidiary HK Express, which has suspended all of its flights since March 23, will be extending its hiatus until June 18.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the latest blow to Cathay Pacific, which has also been affected by months of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. In February, the airline asked 25,000 employees to take three weeks of voluntary unpaid leave between March and June, or risk layoffs. On April 17, the airline announced that it would be closing all of its flight attendant bases in the US, causing nearly 300 people to lose their jobs.

Earlier this month, the Hong Kong government announced that it will be bailing out the cash-strapped airline with HK$236 million in funding, as part of a citywide pandemic relief package worth HK$137.5 billion. Rival airline Hong Kong Airlines, on the other hand, will receive HK$32 million.