Cathay Pacific to take over Kuala Lumpur flights of Cathay Dragon

The carve-up of the Cathay Dragon network has begun, with good news for travellers to KL.

By David Flynn, November 27 2020
Cathay Pacific to take over Kuala Lumpur flights of Cathay Dragon

Cathay Pacific will take over the Hong Kong-Kuala Lumpur routes previously held by regional arm Cathay Dragon, following last month's decision to shut down its Dragon offshoot.

Cathay abandoned the busy 4-hour route in mid-2017, handing it over to Dragonair – the predecessor to Cathay Dragon – but KL is now one of many former Dragon destinations to be folded into the Cathay Pacific network.

A spokesperson for Cathay Pacific confirmed to Executive Traveller that the airline will step back into the Hong Kong - Kuala Lumpur corridor.

Hanoi, Fukuoka and Kaohsiung will also come under Cathay's wing, reports The South China Morning Post.

Cathay Dragon's network covered some 50 destinations across Asia, with around half of those being in mainland China.

The routes will be split between Cathay Pacific, which will focus on premium traffic, and Cathay's low-cost arm HK Express, for destinations with a price-sensitive and predominately leisure market.

"We have already launched applications with different authorities in Hong Kong and overseas to make sure we secure the necessary approval to continue to some of the Cathay Dragon destinations," Cathay Pacific executive director Ronald Lam Siu-por told The South China Morning Post.

Most of the former Cathay Dragon routes are expected to remain in Cathay's lap, although many will be contested by start-up Greater Bay Airlines, which hopes to launch in mid-2021 and become a new challenger for Cathay Pacific.

In related news, Cathay Dragon's first Airbus A321neo arrived in Hong Kong earlier this month dressed in the livery of the now-defunct airline.

It will be repainted in Cathay Pacific stripe before it takes wing and introduces passengers to its new regional business class.

Cathay Pacific declined to share details on when the A321neo would begin commercial flights, and which routes it would serve.

Read more: Cathay's new A321neo business class is coming soon


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.

20 Apr 2014

Total posts 93

it is shame to see Dragonair finally destroyed, they were always a better service with better staff (esp. to mainland china) that really put the blowtorch to CX and made them lift their game

Etihad - Etihad Guest

19 Mar 2018

Total posts 68

Are you saying that Dragonair, a joint venture between  Air China CITIC and Swire Pacific, was better than the world's first best airline?

You must not have flown Dragonair in a long time. They were rebranded as Cathay Dragon and... even Hong Kong's own media is asking themselves: what happened to CX?

I personally blame the Hong Kongerss. Once John Slosar left as chairman, John Chu had beeen tasked with holding the fort but it was evident he couldn't do it.

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