I don't think there is a major airline in the world that has been hit harder by the Pandemic than Cathay Pacific. Hong Kong is one of my favorite cities in the world, and Cathay Pacific is one of my favorite airlines.
I wonder when the Cathay Pacific that I used to love will be the same as it is now.
Why has Cathay Pacific been hit so hard?
Major protests in Hong Kong prevented many people from traveling there, and that was before the swine flu shut down global travel. The epidemic hit. I am trying to keep this non- political.
Hong Kong has been closed to visitors since the beginning of the Pandemic and those returning have to go through a 21-day scurvy facility.
In November 2021, Cathay Pacific carried 70,047 passengers, which is an 85.2% increase over November 2020, but a 97.3% decrease over November 2019.
The airline is temporarily suspending long haul flights due to the difficulty in meeting cargo demand due to stricter Quarantine requirements for pilots.
It is clear that the priority is to allow free travel between Hong Kong and mainland China, rather than allowing free travel between Hong Kong and the rest of the world.
While the most conservative countries have begun to outline ways to reopen borders, we have not seen anything similar from China, and one wonders if the 21-day quark will act as a long-term way of isolating the country.
The passenger numbers of Cathay Pacific are down.
What would it take to recover?
Even if the airlines aren't at that point yet, there's a clear path to recovery for most airlines. Hong Kong's future is very much in limbo, which is a challenge for Cathay Pacific. Will Hong Kong remain a global business hub open to the world with few restrictions, or is that highly unlikely?
I don't think we'll ever be able to travel through Hong Kong again on the same airline we used in the past. Hong Kong is a great place to transit through, and I would miss it if I could travel through it again.
It would take a lot of changes to see any sort of recovery.
Hong Kong would need to be freed from its 21-dayQuarantine so that it can again be accessed by people around the world.
The route network of Cathay Pacific needs to be restored so that people can travel between other countries.
First class on the Boeing 777 from Cathay Pacific.
It is anyone's guess what happens here. I hope that the airline recovers soon, but I think it's more likely that it will focus on flights to and from mainland China.
The whole thing makes me sad. I fear that Hong Kong will never be the same because of the amazing people.
I can't help but ask how long Cathay Pacific can stay in business while dealing with these market conditions. It's hard to understand how much longer the losses can continue because of the complicated ownership structure and political implications.
Hong Kong's future is important to the future of Cathay Pacific.
The bottom line.
The issue of mainland China trying to exert more control over Hong Kong is reflected in the hard hit by the Pandemic. The airline is restricted with the cargo flights that it can operate because of the 21-day Quarantine in Hong Kong.
I am a huge fan of Hong Kong and I hope that eventually there will be a return to normal. I am not sure. I will always remember the time I spent in Hong Kong and on Cathay Pacific.
Do you think we will ever see a full recovery at Cathay Pacific, or have things changed forever?