Cathay Pacific to axe Dusseldorf


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.

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  • For me as someone with Düsseldorf as it nearest airport in my way back to my hometown this is really bad news.
    Especially, since they were getting rid of the noisy B77w last year and deploying a modern A350 on this route. Even I like Alex’s analysis above I like to add two comments if you don’t mind.
    First, All those facts were welknown

  • First, all those facts were well known when CX launched the new routing 2 years ago apart from SQ indent to do the same a couple of months later. But since there are 3 weekly flights offered by SQ only, I don’t believe the impact on CX ticket sales will be as huge as e.g. both daily flights to DXB.
    Otherwise, CX did a lot in the past not attracting potential (leisure-) travelers being the one and only airline offering DUS on a direct routing if it comes to ticket fares. A booked a flight from HKG to DUS in Feb this year with departure end of May and paid totally 17,980HK$ for 2 pax in Lufthansa’s Premium ECO with interchange in FRA while CX was asking for 17,600HK$ per person for the direct flight on the same days of travel!

  • Very interesting analysis. I also wonder to what extent the collapse of Air Berlin and its hub at Dusseldorf might have significantly impacted the amount of feed traffic to CX’s Dusseldorf servies.

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