Cathay Pacific cuts 10 flights to Canada, US

August 12th, 2008 - 10:35 am ICT by IANS  

Vancouver, Aug 12 (IANS) Cathay Pacific Airways, one of the six five-star airlines in the world, is reducing its flights to North America to cut costs because of high fuel prices. In a statement issued Monday, the Hong Kong-based airline said it was cutting 10 North American flights and adding eight new flights to Australia and switching its bigger aircraft to 14 more profitable European flights each week.

On the Vancouver-Hong Kong route, the airline is reducing its current three daily flights to 17 weekly flights from Sep 16. This capacity will be further reduced to 14 flights a week from Oct 26.

On the Los Angeles-Hong Kong route, the airline is suspending a daily flight from Oct 26, thus reducing its service to twice daily until winter 2009.

The airline said the reduction in the North American routes would be made up by augmenting capacity to Australia and Europe.

Beginning Oct 26, Perth will become a daily service with two additional flights a week. Brisbane will move from a daily service to 10 flights a week. Sydney, currently served by 25 flights a week, will move to four flights daily.

The airline said it is also augmenting its capacity on the European routes by introducing bigger Boeing 747-400s in place of A340-300s on the daily flights to Amsterdam and London from Oct 26.

Just last month, it had announced four new flights a week on more profitable routes to Dubai and Bahrain, while reducing Toronto services by three a week and Vancouver by four a week.

“The extent of the impact fuel prices are having on our business was underlined when we announced a loss of Hong Kong $663 million ($85 million) in our interim results last week,” Cathay Pacific CEO Tony Tyler said.

“We have to maximise our earnings during this difficult period which is why are moving our capacity. However, while we are reducing services on some routes, we will continue to maintain the integrity of our network, reshaping it where necessary to ensure we fly aircraft to where we can cover our costs and also make some money,” said the CEO of the airline, which added a record 20 flights a week to India earlier this year.

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