The flag carrier of Hong Kong reported 3,467% more passengers in February 2023 compared to the same period last year.

B-LXH Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-1041 (3)
Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

It’s been a bittersweet period for Cathay Pacific. While it has been reporting a strong momentum in passenger activity, it has been sharing dire yearly revenue figures. Still, with 2023 getting off to a strong start, the airline’s regional head of customer travel and lifestyle, Europe, Paul Johannes, spoke with Simple Flying about what to expect this year.

A new leaf

When it comes to the books, there is plenty to address for Cathay. Notably, it last week reported an $800 million loss for 2022. This figure shouldn’t come as a surprise, as several of its key markets were closed for most of the year.

Thus, alongside the concerning releases have been optimistic reports. For instance, the airline has already reached 50% of its pre-pandemic levels. The uptick continues amid the revelation that the company flew 1,114,727 passengers last month. This number is a rise of 3,467% against February 2022.

Cathay Pacific Shutterstock

Photo: Heychli/Shutterstock

The increase is part of a series of shifts for Cathay. February’s revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose by 4,720% yearly, load factor increased to 86.2%, and available seat kilometers (ASKs) jumped by 2,562% annually.

Looking ahead

We can expect further positivity by the end of this month, with Hong Kong putting an end to its mask mandate after 945 days in effect. Cathay has already participated in a series of initiatives, including giving away half a million free tickets, to draw visitors across the globe.

Cathay’s Paul Johannes explained that his company is excited to continue to build its brand and has used the past three years to ensure it is more focused, efficient, and competitive than ever before. It is proud to contribute to the rebuilding of connectivity in Hong Kong by increasing capacity swiftly with more flights and destinations for its customers.

The carrier seeks to serve over 70 destinations by the end of the month as it anticipates to be at approximately 70% of its passenger flight capacity by the end of the year. Yet, it won’t be until 2024 when pre-pandemic activity is expected to be reached.

B-KPY Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-367(ER)

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Cathay is ensuring that its market segments across the globe are linked well to its home. In all its ports across Europe and in Israel, it is focusing on bringing its customers back to Hong Kong and the rest of the Asia Pacific region, including Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Australia, and the Chinese Mainland.

Reclaiming its position

Overall, the airline has great confidence in the long-term future of Hong Kong as an international aviation hub. With the three-runway system due to be operational by early 2025, there will be a new era of exciting opportunities.

Johannes adds:

“In Europe, we are prioritizing reconnecting our customers with Hong Kong and the wider Asia Pacific region through the Cathay Pacific network. We have a number of new and exciting projects that will progressively be rolled out across the region over the next 12 months and give our customers an even better experience as we strive to become one of the world’s greatest service brands.”

With 48 aircraft incoming, it will be a busy period ahead for Cathay. It’s undoubtedly preparing well to meet demand in this recovery era.

What are your thoughts about Cathay Pacific’s passenger activity? What do you make of the overall prospects for the airline this year? Let us know what you think of the carrier’s plans in the comment section.

Source: ARGS

  • 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)


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