Cathay Pacific to boost passenger, cargo capacity in India
Cathay Pacific, under pressure from mainland Chinese carriers, plans to increase its passenger and cargo business in India where yields are holding up better than at home.
Cathay, which can only operate a limited number of flights to India due to bilateral constraints, plans to fly bigger planes between Mumbai and Hong Kong to boost its passenger and cargo capacity, Mark Sutch, regional general manager for South Asia, Middle East and Africa, said in an interview on Thursday.
Bilateral constraints allow Cathay to operate only 48 weekly flights to India and to boost capacity it plans to replace Airbus A330 planes with bigger aircraft.
From the end of October, it will fly Boeing's 777 aircraft between Mumbai and Hong Kong, which will lift passenger capacity by 21 percent and cargo by two-thirds, Sutch said, adding Cathay planned to do this in more cities going forward.
The increased capacity will help grow its passenger business in India, which has stagnated due to the restricted number of flights, by as much as 5 percent, he said.
Sutch also plans to increase the load factor of passenger flights - a measure of how full they are - to about 85 percent from 70-80 percent.
But it is on the cargo side, which is growing annually by 5 percent, where Sutch is most bullish because, unlike the passenger side, there are no restrictions on the number of flights.
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