Cathay Pacific Airways has warned of some “extremely challenging” months ahead as stringent quarantine measures in Hong Kong dampened hopes of any near-term recovery.
The airline made the comments on Wednesday, as its latest report revealed it carried 981 passengers a day last month, the lowest rate since June last year.
Cathay kick-started a difficult 2021 with the lowest rate of passengers filling its planes in January on record, the company revealed in its monthly business report.
Hong Kong’s flag carrier has been forced to eliminate 11 routes to Europe, North America and regionally in response to the city requiring local pilots and cabin crew to quarantine upon their return, if they stayed outside China.
The measures could increase Cathay’s cash burn by up to HK$400 million (US$51.6 million) a month. It was already losing HK$1 billion to HK$1.5 billion a month.
The quarantine order for local flight crews will start on Saturday.
In January, the company carried 30,410 passengers, and the metric to indicate how full its planes were stood at 13.3% – an all-time low.
The airline axed 5,900 jobs last year and scrapped its regional carrier, Cathay Dragon, in October after the pandemic crippled the global aviation industry.
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