Cathay Pacific eyes soft restart: more flights to Sydney, Melbourne

The Hong Kong-based airline aims to put a little flesh onto its skeleton schedule.

By David Flynn, April 29 2020
Cathay Pacific eyes soft restart: more flights to Sydney, Melbourne

Cathay Pacific plans to increase flights to Sydney and resume flying to Melbourne as part of a slow but steady rebuild of its international network, which was last month pared back to just one dozen destinations at 2-3 flights per week.

The optimistic schedule, which makes its debut from June 21, will see Sydney, London Heathrow, Los Angeles and Vancouver boosted to five flights per week. Melbourne is set for three flights per week, along with Amsterdam, Frankfurt, San Francisco, Mumbai and Delhi.

Cathay will also mount daily flights to Singapore, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Taipei, Manila, Bangkok, Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City, while its Asia-focussed Cathay Dragon arm is set for a daily service to Beijing, Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur.

Much of this is "subject to government travel restrictions", Cathay Pacific says, with Hong Kong still barring visitors and transit passengers through an 'indefinite' extension of measures introduced in March 25 to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

In addition, all arriving passengers at the airport are required to go to the nearby AsiaWorld Expo site for COVID-19 testing, before proceeding to their home for the mandatory 14 day quarantine period.

Read more: Hong Kong transit passenger bans continue 'indefinitely'

Cathay Pacific has been particularly exposed to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The airline's international routes are funnelled through its busy Hong Kong hub, while Cathay Pacific and its regional arm Cathay Dragon also maintained an extensive network of 368 flights per week to 23 destinations across mainland China.

"We will continue to monitor the developing situation and further adjustments may be made as necessary," Cathay Pacific said in a statement.

Cathay eyes fleet revamp with Boeing 787-10s

Facing a cash crunch plus reduced demand for international travel in the post-coronavirus world, Cathay Pacific is reportedly considering swapping some or even all of its orders for the Boeing 777X for the smaller and cheaper Boeing 787-10.

Such a switch also has the potential to set back Cathay's plans to introduce new first class suites and business class seats with the debut of the 777-9, depending on how closely they were designed with that specific jet in mind, as the cabin of the Boeing 787-10 is a half-metre narrower.

Read more: Cathay Pacific eyes Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner as swap for 777X


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2014

Total posts 138

Surely they must have had word of an impending lift on the ban of transit passengers through HKIA?

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 521

I would think so. Most airlines are showing their schedules as returning to normal on July 1st.


03 May 2013

Total posts 664

Best news getting rid of the 77X. Old technology with a few new LED lights wont cut it. Not to mention super loud and cramped.

29 Apr 2020

Total posts 3

The 777X hasn't even flown. Stop being a troll.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1034

I don't understand the complaints about "loud" 777s. I've never found them to be any louder then a 747 or A330.

23 Jul 2018

Total posts 9

I cancelled our business class trip to Tokyo transiting via HK in May. They claimed they refunded 2 tickets but only refunded 1. Had to elevate it to the credit card company to get the money back. Even if they start flying there and the other listed destinations, we are still “not allowed” to travel OS. And when you arrive in these countries don't you have to go into quarantine ? What's their strategy in increasing flights to Australia ?

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 521

By then things may have changed. They're not going back to a normal schedule until the current measures are relaxed. By the looks of it, May is a transition month, with most countries starting to slowly relax restrictions. June should be a "mostly back to normal" month, with final restrictions eased, while July is set to be back to normal. That's the way it's looking at the moment.

27 Aug 2017

Total posts 22

My early and mid June MEL-HKG-CDG cancelled by Cathay. Rebooked same early-mid July.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 May 2018

Total posts 8

HK just announced the extension of mandatory isolation and the ban on all non residents to early June... So maybe this will be their last extension of the ban and mandatory isolation

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 521

Most likely. Other Asian countries roughly following suit - Thailand: flight ban until May 31. Tentative re-opening on June 1st. Singapore: current measures expire June 1st. Laos: Current measures extended until May 17. Myanmar: current measures extended until May 15. Vietnam: foreigners still banned from entering the country, but gradual easing of social distancing restrictions since April 23.

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