Cathay to cut worldwide capacity by 30% [Now 96%]

focusedbear

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Here are some numbers as they relate to Australia from this article:


In its latest cull, the airline has slashed flights to and from Australia by 90 per cent. The country – the biggest casualty of Cathay’s newest round of cancellations – was one of the few parts of the world where the airline was still operating a substantial number of services.

Only 23 flights will operate to and from Hong Kong and Australia in January 2022, down from 242 planned this month, according to aviation data provider Diio by Cirium.

Cathay will only fly to Sydney on average twice a week in January, down from twice daily. Flights from Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth were axed, the airline said on its website.


That would imply there will be more cargo flights than passenger flights.
 

PineappleSkip

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Chicken

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they don’t appear to have a sensible endgame

I get the impression China is forcing CX to become the next Evergrande
There is another non political explanation for this (even thou politics is a factor):

People 80+ who have had at least 1 dose is currently sitting at exactly 20%

“But if the vaccination rate among Hong Kong’s elderly people continues to stay below 20 percent, I am afraid the SAR can never reopen its borders with the world,”

The government for a period was sending GPs and nurses with vaccine into nursing homes, to talk to old people, and if the medical professional were able to convince an old person, they would jab them right there and then (to basically bypass opposition from families and relos).

The public broadcaster RTHK had turned from a BBC / ABC / CBC, to 50% CCTV (China Central TV). Their COVID coverage was as convincing as COVID ads from Canberra. Their reporting lacked the rigour of what you see from ABC and BBC.

Think about what's been happening to Hong Kong in the last 2.5 years. The trust of the people in the Hong Kong government is zero if not negative. So, the more the government tell people to jab, the more suspicious people would become.

Which then take us back to travel and general people movement.

If only 20% of old people have had 1 jab, how could you open the economy up? Forget Omicron, forget Delta. Even if Alpha was to get into Hong Kong, all the old people would be wiped off. Think about what happened to our nursing homes in Australia.

Hong Kong is also facing another problem: resistance to QR code check in. Us here in NSW have been doing QR check in for over 12 months now. Hong Kong just forced compulsory QR check-in a few weeks ago, and people are really angry. If you listen to talk back radio in Hong Kong, people would call up and give all sorts of, objectively speaking, BS excuses on why can't they use a QR check in app on a phone / why is it so difficult to use a check in app.
- Hospital Authority Employees Alliance (HAEA) called on the public to boycott the app over privacy concerns
- has been using a fake version of the LeaveHomeSafe app to scan QR codes at restaurants and his gym
So people in Hong Kong are like, we don't want contact tracing, because we don't want the CCP to track us.

No vaccine, no contact tracing. What could possibility go wrong?

Hong Kong is now basically stuck in the same situation as Australia back in 2020 Christmas, where the local situation is manageable, but also means unable to allow any import of COVID into the local community.

So, even if you want CX to start flying, would you really allow CX to fly freely and crew running around? Hong Kong would lose control of COVID, and all the old people would be dead.
 

focusedbear

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Another article, from the FT, with the same message as Skip's:


Interestingly it's the most read article as I type - see below since it's paywalled

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Cathay Pacific suffers pilot exodus amid Hong Kong’s ‘permanent quarantine’​


When a Cathay Pacific cargo pilot was named in December as one of the first carriers of Omicron in Hong Kong, it was a fitting end to another bleak year for the airline.

Cathay has been operating with passenger capacity at 93 per cent below pre-pandemic levels as a result of Hong Kong’s zero-Covid-19 policy, with weeks of quarantine for pilots and crew devastating morale.

Strict quarantine measures in the city were made even tougher after the Omicron coronavirus variant prompted new travel curbs. Non-residents from more than 90 countries were banned from entry and passengers from the UK and the US were subjected to 21 days’ quarantine.

Cathay pilots told the Financial Times that dozens had quit in the weeks since November following a high-profile quarantine fiasco. That month, three pilots who had tested positive for coronavirus in Hong Kong were sacked after they left their hotel rooms and breached quarantine rules during a layover in Frankfurt.

Because of the positive cases, 130 Cathay pilots who had stayed at the same hotel were forced to enter 21 days of isolation in the government-run Penny’s Bay quarantine centre, nestled beside Hong Kong Disneyland.

Most pilots were released less than a week later after authorities reassessed the risk but for many, the draconian quarantine order represented a breaking point.

“The guys here are absolutely desperate,” said one pilot who has been with the company for more than 15 years and was part of the Frankfurt saga.

“It feels like we are permanently in quarantine. There are a lot of pilots at the moment who are on long-term stress leave or sick leave.” Cathay pilots and crew have to undergo up to two weeks of quarantine if they land in the city.

The pilot has moved up about 270 places in the airline seniority list as a result of the exodus from the airline, whose largest shareholder is the Swire Group, the former British colonial trading house that is now one of Hong Kong’s biggest conglomerates.

John Grant, a partner at Midas Aviation, a UK-based consultancy, said Cathay was facing a “long and hard struggle”. He added: “Sadly [its recovery] is at the mercy of authorities and decisions that are outside of their control.”

Cathay’s troubles predate the pandemic. In August 2019, the airline was put under heavy pressure by Beijing after its staff participated in pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Two years later, Cathay’s chief financial officer Rebecca Sharpe said that the airline was continuing to go through the “toughest period in our history”.

Speaking in a December earnings call, the company’s chief customer and commercial officer Ronald Lam warned that even if mainland China opened up a travel corridor with Hong Kong, that route represented just 7 per cent of the airline’s available seat kilometres, a measure of carrying capacity to generate revenue.

“Other international hubs in the region are starting to recover, while Hong Kong in some respects is going in the opposite direction,” said Brendan Sobie, an independent aviation analyst and consultant based in Singapore.

Cathay’s regional rivals such as Singapore Airlines have seen passenger capacity pick up to 32 per cent compared with pre-pandemic levels as of November.

The zero-Covid policy was steadily eroding Hong Kong’s status as one of Asia’s largest aviation hubs, said Richard Aboulafia, vice-president of analysis at the US-based aerospace consulting company Teal Group.

The “real, long-term dangers” to Hong Kong’s aviation industry were the loss of talent and wealth, said Aboulafia. He said that would “diminish the city’s standing . . . and lead to the likely departure of businesses”.

A Cathay spokesperson said the company had “fully acknowledged” the quarantine rules were placing a burden on their air crew. While admitting that sentiment had been “affected” recently, he was unable to provide the number of pilot resignations over the past month.

He reiterated the company’s plans to employ “hundreds of pilots in the coming year”, adding that “there has been significant interest within the Hong Kong pilot community and around the world”.

But the Cathay pilot who was forced into quarantine at Penny’s Bay last month was sceptical the company could attract new people. “I can see the rest of the world carrying on, but I can’t see Hong Kong opening up,” he said. “It’s not going to get any better.”
 

focusedbear

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We know about January, but first three months? It's all about opening up the "other" border

Late on Thursday Cathay Pacific said it was tentatively planning to cancel some passenger flights in and out of the Asian financial hub in the first three months of the new year.

 

antycbr

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We know about January, but first three months? It's all about opening up the "other" border

Late on Thursday Cathay Pacific said it was tentatively planning to cancel some passenger flights in and out of the Asian financial hub in the first three months of the new year.

Their entire freight network has been grounded for 3 days while they rejig to having all crew locked in continuous isolation (closed loop).

Omicron spread in HKG linked to CX cabin crew who have been fired.

As a result of the Omicron spread the much desired reunion with the motherland may be delayed and Carrie Lam is not happy.

No way would I book CX under any circumstances.
 
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focusedbear

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Apologies for being a broken record

Flights from AU to HKG are suspended for two weeks from Saturday. There’s no hope...

And you’ve got to feel for those whose plans have been kiboshed, especially for CNY

 

antycbr

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Its hard to see CX being able to move aircraft and crew to a new hub.
Their route authorities are negotiated at the SAR level not the airline level. They wouldn’t be able to operate MNL to USA.

I’m also sure their CA shareholders wouldn’t be keen either.
 
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