With passenger traffic continuing to recover, the flag carrier of Hong Kong is poised to return to 100% pre-pandemic capacity by 2024.

Cathay Pacific inactive aircraft
Photo: blueprintt/Shutterstock

Hong Kong-based carrier Cathay Pacific hopes to reach 100% of its pre-pandemic capacity and reactivate all of its parked aircraft by early 2024, the airline’s chief executive officer Ronald Lam told Bloomberg Television. The news comes as the carrier continues to see a rebound in travel demand across the region.

67 inactive jets

Hong Kong has been one of the world’s strictest places regarding quarantine requirements and travel restrictions resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, like many other airlines, Cathay Pacific has been significantly impacted by these events and has had to reduce its flight schedule and ground many of its aircraft.

However, with the reopening of mainland China and the removal of Hong Kong’s travel restrictions, Cathay Pacific is seeing a continued recovery in passenger traffic. Despite this, the carrier still has a total of 67 inactive aircraft in its fleet, according to data from ch-aviation.com

Airbus A321neo cathay pacific

Photo: Cathay Pacific

Of these, 11 inactive jets are currently being stored for maintenance purposes, while others are parked at various locations, including Hong Kong, Alice Springs, Xiamen, and Ciudad Real, awaiting reactivation. The fleet of inactive aircraft includes Airbus A330s, Boeing 777-300s, Airbus A320s, and Airbus A321s.

Commenting on the situation, Lam said:

“After three brutal years of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have finally entered into a new exciting phase, in which we will rebuild Cathay Pacific for Hong Kong.”

It is worth noting that Cathay Pacific currently has a total of 191 aircraft in its fleet, including 51 Airbus A330s, 41 Boeing 777-300ERs, 28 Airbus A350-900s, 18 Airbus A350-1000s, 17 Boeing 777-300s, 14 Boeing 747-8Fs, nine Airbus A321neos, six Boeing 747-400ERFs, four Airbus A320s, and three Airbus A321-200 jets.

50% pre-pandemic capacity by the end of March

In a recent interview with Simple Flying, Paul Johannes, regional head of customer travel and lifestyle, Europe, Cathay Pacific, said the airline will operate approximately 50% of pre-pandemic passenger capacity across more than 70 destinations by the end of March 2023.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A330

Photo: Cathay Pacific

Commenting on the recovery, Johannes added:

“The airline continues to add more destinations to its schedule. We anticipate that we will be operating around 70% of our pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity by the end of 2023, covering more than 80 destinations, with an aim to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024.

“As more flights resume, the airline is progressively reopening its lounges for customers across the network, giving customers more ways to relax before a flight.”

In February 2023, the airline carried 1.1 million passengers, a significant increase compared to 31,253 passengers carried during the same period last year.

Source: Bloomberg TV, ch-aviatio​n.com

  • Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-367(ER) B-KPM

    Cathay Pacific remains one of the world’s most poorly affected airlines by COVID-19. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

    Cathay Pacific

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Hong Kong International Airport

    Year Founded:


    Augustus Tang

    China (Special Administrative Region)

Source: simpleflying.com

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