Flights to Tokyo Haneda and Sapporo will restart, on top of nonstop services to Madrid, Milan, and Zürich.
Yesterday’s removal of mandatory quarantine for all international arrivals into Hong Kong hasn’t just made unrestricted overseas travel possible for cooped-up residents — it has also thrown a lifeline to the city’s beleaguered flag carrier. Cathay Pacific now intends to add more than 200 pairs of passenger flights in October to both regional and long-haul destinations across its network. Over in Europe, the airline is increasing services to Paris and Frankfurt from twice-weekly to three times a week next month. The French capital will see four Cathay flights touch down each week come December.
In light of Japan’s full border reopening in the middle of October, Cathay Pacific will resume daily flights from Hong Kong to Tokyo Haneda on November 1, as well as four-times-weekly flights to Sapporo from December 1; departures for the latter are scheduled on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Flight frequencies to Tokyo Narita and Osaka Kansai are being increased in October to 43 and 50 pairs, respectively. Elsewhere in East Asia, departures to Seoul-Incheon will go up from four times weekly in November to six times a week in December.
Cathay Pacific is also ramping up frequencies to Southeast Asia over the next few months. Singapore is set to host daily flights by the end of the year, compared to four times weekly in October. The biggest increase in the immediate weeks will take place on the Hong Kong–Jakarta route, with the current four-times-weekly service going daily as soon as October. This December, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi will be served six and four times per week, respectively, up from four- and three-times-weekly the previous month.
In a media statement, a Cathay spokesperson said, “As Hong Kong’s home airline, we are fully committed to rebuilding the connectivity of the Hong Kong aviation hub. While we will continue to add back more flights as quickly as is feasible, it will take time to rebuild our capacity gradually.” It’s expected that several months will be needed to retrain crew and reactivate passenger aircraft currently parked outside Alice Springs. At the height of the pandemic, more than 70 of Cathay’s planes were put into storage in the Australian Outback.