Cathay Pacific set for belly cargo boost as China eases Covid rules

By Rebecca Jeffrey

Photo: Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific will more than double its flights to the Chinese mainland and increase its belly capacity as China has eased pandemic restrictions.

Effective January 8, China’s government has authorised flights from Hong Kong and Macao International Airports with passenger load restriction and quarantine lifted.

The government is expected to authorise Chinese mainland residents to visit Hong Kong for tourism and business purposes.

Restrictions remain in place for visitors from outside this region with some business and family-specific travel allowed.

In light of the new permissions, Cathay Pacific will significantly increase its belly capacity by more than doubling its flights into the Chinese mainland, operating 61 return flights per week between Hong Kong and 13 mainland cities from January 14.

This compares to the 27 flights per week from Hong Kong to the Mainland, and 50 flights per week from the Mainland to Hong Kong that the airline is currently operating.

Cathay Pacific said it is working actively to resume and add more flights progressively between Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland in the coming weeks, with the aim of operating over 100 return flights per week by March 2023.

From January 8, Cathay Pacific has increased its flights between Hong Kong and Beijing to 10 pairs per week, and between Hong Kong and Shanghai (Pudong) to 21 pairs per week.

The airline is also resuming flights to Guangzhou with five return flights per week.

Meanwhile, from January 14 the airline will increase its flights between Hong Kong and Xiamen to four pairs per week, and between Hong Kong and Chengdu to six pairs per week.

“As a Group, we anticipate that we will be operating around 70% of pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity by the end of 2023, with an aim to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024,” said Cathay.

Pandemic containment measures in China continued to impact Cathay Pacific’s cargo volumes at the end of 2022, although European network expansion softened the blow.

Covid restrictions continue to impact Cathay Pacific’s cargo volumes

Belly to bolster Cathay cargo business in 2023

Cathay Pacific hungry for freighters

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]