Cathay Pacific axes flights to NY, London, Washington

Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific has axed seven loss-making international routes, including New York, Washington, Brussels and London, as they were all losing money in the wake of flight suspensions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a source said on Tuesday.

The source, however told the South China Morning Post newspaper that although the axed routes would definitely not return next year, they could be reinstated once global travel returns to normal, which according to industry officials might not happen until 2024.

The decision means the airline will no longer fly to the US capital, as well as Newark airport near New York, and London Gatwick.

Flights to Seattle and Dublin have also been cut, as has Cathay’s service to the Maldives.

But Cathay’s services to London Heathrow and JFK in New York were still in operation.

This latest development comes almost two months after Cathay CEO Augustus Tang Kin-wing had said in September that the restructuring of routes would be high on the agenda for its strategic review, which led to 5,900 workers losing their jobs in October, and the closure of its regional airline Cathay Dragon.

Pilots and cabin crew were also hit with massive pay cuts.

Cathay Pacific was one of the first and hardest hit by the ongoing global health crisis, the South China Morning Post newspaper report said.

The airline racked up losses of HK$9.87 billion in the first six-months of this year, leading to a government-led HK$39 billion bailout.