Cathay Pacific aims for two thirds of pre-pandemic cargo capacity by the end of 2022

By Rebecca Jeffrey

Photo: Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific Cargo aims to progressively increase “cargo flight capacity to 65% of the pre-pandemic level by the end of 2022” but it is currently still hampered by quarantine requirements.

The carrier’s long-haul freighter capacity has been restricted by pandemic measures which only began to be eased in May.

Cathay Pacific Cargo resumed its full freighter schedule in July, although the challenges faced by Cathay are far from over.

In a statement about Cathay’s interim results for the first half of 2022, Patrick Healy, chairman, said: “As the home carrier of Hong Kong, we are entirely focused on resuming connectivity between Hong Kong and the world.

“While we are fully committed to supporting our home city, our ability to operate more flight capacity continues to be severely constrained by a bottleneck on crewing resources under the existing quarantine requirements.

“We will only be able to operate more flight capacity when the existing stringent travel restrictions and quarantine requirements applicable to Hong Kong-based aircrew are lifted.”

To prepare for the lifting of restrictions and increased demand, Cathay said it is bringing aircraft parked overseas back to Hong Kong and has embarked on a recruitment plan to hire more than 4,000 front-line employees.

Cathay said in the six months ended June 30, cargo revenue was HK$12.2bn, up 9.3% on the first half of 2021. First half available cargo tonne kms (AFTK) was down 31% year on year, total tonnage decreased by 4.2% to 526,000 tonnes and load factors stood at 75.8% compared with 81.4% last year. 

The airline recently said it is expecting a muted peak season while it continues to add passenger flights and faces cross-border trucking issues.

In the first half of the year, Cathay launched its new Priority service to provide cargo customers with a range of different options for time-sensitive shipments across its cargo solutions.

The joint business agreement between Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa Cargo on routes between Hong Kong and Europe was also expanded with the entry of Swiss WorldCargo into the arrangement.

Cathay Pacific Cargo predicts muted peak season

Cathay Pacific to add freighter flights to Schiphol, Paris CDG and Heathrow

Cathay Pacific Cargo resumes full freighter schedule

Cathay Pacific outlines “substantial” freighter flight cuts in Q1


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