Above: Cathay Pacific is Asia’s largest airline by distance flown.
Cathay Pacific’s chief executive has said the airline has no plans to launch a low-cost carrier to match its competitors.
“None of the new budget airlines in Asia has run us off any routes,” Cathay Pacific’s John Slosar told the UK’s Financial Times. “In fact, on a lot of routes we have kept a gain in market share just by increasing capacity.”
Analysts said Cathay’s principal markets, mainland China and its Hong Kong base, had yet to receive the level of competition from low-cost carriers that have prompted other full-service airlines to bring in no-frills alternatives. All Nippon Airways launched Japan-based Peach in March, and Singapore Airlines, which already owns 33 percent of Tiger Airways, unveiled its directly owned Scoot brand in June.
Slosar may be forced to reconsider– Cathay Pacific is beginning to feel the effect of AirAsia’s rapid expansion, and China Eastern Airlines plans to set up a budget airline with Australian carrier Qantas to be based in Hong Kong.