It was launched only in September 2015 but today Cathay Pacific has announced it will no longer operate into Dusseldorf from March of next year.
In a statement, Cathay Pacific says that it will suspend the Dusseldorf-Hong Kong route from March 25 “as part of the airline’s commercial review of its overall aircraft deployment in Europe.”
“We view this as a suspension rather than a permanent closure and will be keeping the opportunity of serving Dusseldorf in future under review.”
“We will be reviewing opportunities to increase our presence in the German market in addition to the existing daily service to Frankfurt. We remain confident in the future strength of the aviation market between Germany, Hong Kong and beyond.”
The news comes barely two weeks after Cathay Pacific announced it was expanding in Europe next year. It intends to inaugurate service to three new destinations: Brussels, Dublin and Copenhagen.
But why Dusseldorf ?
It’s likely to be a combination of factors. Examples:
- The recent arrival of Singapore Airlines (SIA) which, like Cathay Pacific, competes for passengers connecting to destinations in Asia and Australasia.
- The Gulf carriers who compete with Cathay Pacific (and SIA) for passengers connecting to Asia and Australasia. They are increasingly becoming big players in the local market with Emirates operating double-daily from Dusseldorf with one flight rostered for an A380.
- The fact that Amsterdam (a major hub with many more flight/price options including those of Cathay Pacific itself) is fairly close to Dusseldorf and is well linked by rail and road to the Dusseldorf area. And Amsterdam, unlike Dusseldorf, has no airport departure tax.
- Although Lufthansa does not fly long-haul from Dusseldorf there are high-speed direct trains to Frankfurt airport (which has its own train station) from where there are many more flights/price options.
Passengers on the affected flight from Dusseldorf are being offered connecting opportunities (these are already displayed on the Cathay Pacific website) via various European hubs with fellow Oneworld carriers and with its new codeshare partner Lufthansa.