Due to aviation demand downturn amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Cathay Pacific is cutting seven routes on its network including destinations in North America and Europe.

According to a report on the South China Morning Post on November 17, the Hong Kong-based airline plans to cut flights to Washington DC-Dulles, Newark, London-Gatwick, Seattle, Brussels, Dublin, and Male (Maldives). The destinations were named in an internal memo.

The destinations were routes added in recent years during a period of expansion for the Hong Kong-based carrier.

However, the cuts come as the airline currently faces a sharp decline in air travel demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, Cathay Pacific is currently implementing its business restructuring plans which includes the end of its Cathay Dragon brand.

In a response to an email query regarding the report, a Cathay Pacific spokesperson said: “As we have previously announced, we expect to operate well under 25% of 2019 passenger capacity in the first half of 2021 and below 50% for the entire year. After careful consideration, we believe it is unlikely we will operate flights services to these destinations – Gatwick, Dublin and Brussels in Europe, and Newark, Seattle and Washington in North America -- in the near future. Flight services to and from these destinations have been suspended for many months already due to shrinking passenger demands. We remain in a very dynamic situation and we will continue to review our flight network.”

Cathay Pacific reported a loss of HKD $9.87 billion (US$1.27 billion) for the first half of the year.

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