Long-serving executive Ronald Lam will take over as chief executive of Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd from Jan. 1, the airline said on Wednesday, as it scrambles to rebuild capacity after the coronavirus pandemic.
Now that the Asian financial hub has scrapped onerous hotel quarantine rules, the airline is looking to build up passenger numbers. Those were down 89% in September from the corresponding month in 2019, when anti-government protests had shrunk traffic.
Lam will lead Cathay through its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the launch of a third runway in Hong Kong, as well as overseeing a dual-brand strategy with low-cost carrier HK Express, Chairman Patrick Healy said in a statement.
Still, Cathay has said it expects to reach a third of pre-pandemic passenger capacity by year-end, well below a target of 81% set by rival Singapore Airlines Ltd.
Cathay, which plans to hire 4,000 more staff over the next 18 to 24 months as travel rebounds, has said adding more flights is a priority but time will be required to train crew and reactivate aircraft.
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