Cathay Pacific has reportedly scrapped several key routes to the UK, Europe and the USA as the airline struggles to rein in costs amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
Flights to London Gatwick Airport and the New York-adjacent Newark Airport are among casualties reported by The South China Morning Post, although London Heathrow and New York JFK remain in the network.
Dublin, Brussels, Washington DC and Seattle – which was launched only last year – have all been permanently removed from the airline's international schedule, according to an internal memo sighted by the Post.
However, according to the paper, "a source said while the axed routes would definitely not return next year, they could be reinstated once global travel returns to normal."
How far away 'normal' is remains a matter of conjecture, with industry experts warning that pre-Covid levels of demand may not resume until at least 2024.
Cathay Pacific responds
"As we have previously announced, we expect to operate well under 25% of 2019 passenger capacity in the first half of 2021 and below 50% for the entire year," a spokesperson for Cathay Pacific told Executive Traveller.
"After careful consideration, we believe it is unlikely we will operate flights services to these destinations – Gatwick, Dublin and Brussels in Europe, and Newark, Seattle and Washington in North America – in the near future."
"Flight services to and from these destinations have been suspended for many months already due to shrinking passenger demands. We remain in a very dynamic situation and we will continue to review our flight network.
As previously reported, Cathay Pacific has also delayed the delivery of its Boeing 777-9 jets to "beyond 2025" as part of a sweeping restructure of the airline.
The Oneworld member has 21 Boeing 777-9 jetliners on order, with deliveries previously slated to begin in 2021 and stream through to 2024.
The Boeing 777-9 was intended to become Cathay's new flagship, and also serve as the launchpad for all-new first class suites and business class seats.
Closer to home, Cathay Pacific is still to reveal which regional routes it will take over from its now-retired Cathay Dragon arm, which will be handed across to low-cost sibling HK Express, and which destinations could be dropped entirely.