Cathay Pacific faces steep challenge to reach near-term goal

Premium Analysis

It is no secret that Cathay Pacific is one of the airlines worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to its reliance on international connecting traffic. While it has struggled to gain much momentum, the airline is targeting a major boost in capacity by the end of the year.

Cathay wants to reach 30% of its pre-pandemic capacity in the fourth quarter, but this is becoming more challenging as COVID-19 waves continue in some of its core markets. The airline will need governments in Hong Kong and in other administrations to ease border restrictions in order to reach its immediate goal.

However, concerns about the dangers of the Delta variant, and a vaccination rate still far short of desired levels, will increase the government's caution.

The irony is that Hong Kong itself is one of the most successful administrations in the region in terms of controlling the pandemic. But this only makes it harder for the government to relax border controls.

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