Cathay Pacific has reported strong demand on its UK routes in its traffic figures for July.

The airline said that the growth in demand was largely due to students returning to Hong Kong, with Cathay adding that it has also seen “particularly robust” demand from customers transiting through the Hong Kong hub from the Chinese Mainland to Australia and the US.

The airline carried a total of 219,746 passengers last month, an increase of 306 per cent compared to July 2021 but a 93 per cent decrease compared to pre-pandemic 2019.

Passenger load factor increased to 73.3 per cent, marking the highest number since the start of the pandemic.

Chief customer and commercial officer Ronald Lam said:

“We continued to add more passenger flight capacity in July in light of the Hong Kong SAR Government’s progressive adjustments to travel and quarantine restrictions…

“We also saw strong demand on our UK routes, especially from students returning to Hong Kong. As many of these flights were full, some of this student traffic shifted to our other European gateways such as Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Meanwhile, we were able to resume carrying passengers to Fuzhou, Nanjing and Wuhan in the Chinese Mainland again following adjustments to local capacity restrictions.”

Hong Kong recently cut its mandatory hotel quarantine for arrivals to three days.

Hong Kong cuts arrivals hotel quarantine to three days

Lam added that the latest adjustments to quarantine arrangements is expected to have a positive impact on inbound traffic, though he stressed that restrictions on aircrew are limiting its operations.

“Student traffic to the US and UK is also expected to provide our travel business with a strong boost in August and September. However, our ability to add more passenger flight capacity will remain limited unless the restrictions on our aircrew are lifted.”