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- 9F, Central Tower, 8 Scenic Road
Hong Kong SAR, China
- Main hub
- Hong Kong International Airport
- Hong Kong
- Business model
- Full Service Carrier
- Joined Alliance
- Association Membership
- Codeshare Partners
- Air China
Air New Zealand
As the national carrier of Hong Kong SAR and based at Hong Kong International Airport, Cathay Pacific is majority-owned by logistics corporation Swire Pacific with significant shareholdings from Air China parent CNAC. Using a fleet which includes widebody Boeing and Airbus aircraft, Cathay Pacific’s extensive network consists of services throughout Asia, Europe, North America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Cathay Pacific is a founding member of the oneworld alliance and wholly-owns short-haul operator Dragonair.
Location of Cathay Pacific main hub (Hong Kong International Airport)
Cathay Pacific share price
1,964 total articles
256 total articles
Cathay Pacific says it is pleased with its seat discount programme “fanfares” that turned a year old in Oct-2013, having sold about 140,000 seats during that time. But this is an exceptionally small figure: it accounts for less than half a percent of Cathay’s 2012 traffic. In comparison, AirAsia sells 140,000 seats every two days.
But strategically "fanfares" is important, and not just because it enables Cathay to clear inventory likely to go unsold. Cathay sees fanfares giving it greater relevance in the budget market, now in the limelight due to Hong Kong Express and Jetstar Hong Kong.
Fanfares, with its colourful and sometimes wacky marketing, is a brand stretch for typically reserved Cathay. Despite this, Cathay wants to expand the offering, in line with its view towards LCCs that the cheapest seats are the remaining unsold ones. But load factors are already high on the flights budget-conscious passengers want, giving doubt to this strategy.
Hong Kong will welcome its first home based low-cost carrier on 27-Oct-2013 when Hong Kong Express re-launches as a LCC and over the next few weeks serves eight cities in China, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand. The transformation of the HNA-backed carrier occurred in a speedy five months. At first blush that may seem insignificant, but Hong Kong Express had been highly integrated with sister carrier Hong Kong Airlines. Those ties were largely cut as Hong Kong Express defined its own route network and handled its own distribution, marketing and staffing while re-configuring its fleet.
The tight timeframe meant Hong Kong Express had to forgo some strategic decisions. Implementing those while pursuing growth will now largely comprise the carrier's plans for the rest of 2013 and much of 2014. The carrier plans to introduce a new booking platform to provide a more robust offering from connections to ancillary revenue options.
Hong Kong Express will undergo a re-branding exercise, likely re-naming itself "HK Express". Much more prominent in the public domain, Hong Kong Express plans to more than double its destinations by northern summer 2014. More Chinese cities will be brought online as the carrier has the scale to absorb operational factors in China that are not conducive to efficiency.
easyJet's announcement on 25-Sep-2013 that it would open a new base in Hamburg illustrates the success of the European Union’s decision to liberalise its aviation market in the 1990s. The UK’s largest airline owes its success largely to these reforms, which allow any EU airline to fly from anywhere to anywhere within the bloc. Hamburg will be its 23rd base. No-frills rival Ryanair also took advantage of European liberalisation and now has 57 bases (including two outside Europe).
Nevertheless, there are still some barriers to this liberalisation. A recent court judgement ruled that Ryanair should have paid French social charges in respect of its employees based at Marseille, whom it employed on Irish labour contracts.
What is meant by an airline base? Why have Europe’s LCCs established so many foreign bases and why is the practice of basing aircraft and crew away from an airline’s home market rare outside Europe?
The low-cost carrier focus in Hong Kong is firmly on Jetstar Hong Kong's effort to secure a licence, but much more quietly Hong Kong Express is preparing to re-launch as a LCC on 27-Oct-2013. Hong Kong Express will become Hong Kong's first LCC, and nearly two years after Hong Kong Express first mooted adopting the LCC model.
Its initial network will comprise mainland Chinese as well as Northeast and Southeast Asian destinations, a medley of new cities, previously served ones and actively served ones. Competition will range from light to heavy as it faces formidable full-service and low-cost carriers. Hong Kong Express plans to fly 1.5 million passengers in its first year and have a fleet of 30 A320s by 2018.
Hong Kong Express is clearly not an AirAsia or Jetstar. Its ancillary offering is light and other structural differences, like IT, will make it less robust. This is partially to be expected as it does not have an experienced LCC group to piggyback on, but its launch has hints of being under-whelming compared to what Peach or Scoot achieved.
Sceptics may think Scoot's addition of a five-weekly Singapore-Hong Kong service on 15-Nov-2013 creates overlap with sister carrier Singapore Airlines and SIA Group affiliate Tigerair, which also serve the Singapore-Hong Kong market. But Scoot's route, which increases to daily in Dec-2013, is being carefully segmented.
The SIA Group, unlike others, has proclaimed low-cost carriers have a future and so the group must have full-service and low-cost brands. While Scoot's schedule partially overlaps with SIA, the product difference between the full service operator and the high density longhaul LCC subsidiary significantly reduces cannibalisation.
SIA also targets long-haul connecting traffic. Meanwhile Scoot's Hong Kong service departs and arrives in the early morning, avoiding overlap with Tigerair's predominantly afternoon and evening schedule. Scoot is particularly bullish on the overnight arrival into Hong Kong allowing for many connections in Singapore with Tigerair, with whom Scoot interlines.
Fiji Airways' new MD Stefan Pichler sets his sights on the next five years for the rebranded airline
Fiji Airways' new MD Stefan Pichler has begun work on the development of a five-year strategic plan which will build on the airline’s new branding and structure and seek to increase connectivity through codeshare and interline agreements to grow Fiji’s tourism industry.
With the transition from Air Pacific to Fiji Airways almost complete and the last of three A330-200s due to arrive in Nov-2013, management attention has turned to the domestic and regional Pacific Island subsidiary Pacific Sun which has also completed a restructuring over the past three years and is likely to receive a fleet upgrade to accommodate expected market growth.
Mr Pichler said in his first week in the job that Fiji Airways is in a pivotal period of growth and change. “The combination of a strong brand, new fleet of A330-200s and refurbished Boeing 737s, as well as improved schedules and services opens up an exciting new chapter for the airline”.
Cathay Pacific Fleet Summary: as at 1-Dec-2013
Cathay Pacific projected delivery dates for aircraft purchased from OEMs and leased from lessors new aircraft order pipelines as at 2-Dec-2013
Cathay Pacific fleet as at 1-Dec-2013
Cathay Pacific fleet breakdown for aircraft as at 1-Dec-2013
Cathay Pacific average fleet age
Cathay Pacific owned vs leased for aircraft (at 2-Dec-2013)
Most popular aircraft types
Cathay Pacific seats per aircraft
Cathay Pacific average sector length (2-Dec-2013 to 8-Dec-2013)
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