Cathay Pacific Slashes Total Passenger Capacity by 96% in April, May

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By Alex Ho – Cathay Pacific Airways Limited (HK:) said it is slashing passenger capacity by 96% in April and May.

The airline will only operate three flights per week. “Our ability to maintain even this skeleton schedule will depend on whether more travel restrictions are imposed by governments around the world which will further dampen passenger demand,” the company said in its statement Friday.

“We need to take difficult but decisive measures as the scale of the challenge facing the global aviation industry is unprecedented,” Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam said in a statement. 

“Travel restrictions are making it increasingly difficult for our customers to travel and demand has dropped drastically.”

The airline warned earlier that it could face a substantial loss in the first half of this year. 

Hong Kong Express, the budget carrier Cathay bought in 2019, also said today that it is shutting down all flights operations temporarily. 

Many other major airlines have also cut their flight services and furloughed amid the worsening coronavirus situation globally. 

Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX:) said yesterday that it is scrapping all international flights until at least the end of May. In Europe, Deutsche Lufthansa AG (DE:) said it will idle 700 aircraft and 95% of seats, while American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:) will park 450 aircraft.

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