Cathay Pacific rumoured to be opening Canberra – HKG routeBack to Forum
There is talk in both Hong Kong and Canberra and among staff that the carrier is about to announce a Canberra Hong Kong route.
It is known that the city airport has been lobbing the airline and that Cathay executives have been in Canberra recently for discussions.
Canberra is underserved internationally since the two international airlines plying the route failed to return post pandemic.
With an affluent population of just under 500,000 of which many are government employees who travel often in premium class the route is an interesting proposition for long haul carriers although a marginal one that has proved difficult to those including Singapore Airlines and Qatar who are the airlines that have not returned post pandemic
The airport now has only two international players – Batik Air announced it would fly to the national capital to Bali from June and Fiji Airways have been operating to Fiji since July 23 and report good loadings.
Australia has long been a major market for both SIA and CX with both operating over 60 flights a week to all other states. It is likely that one of these operators will take on the route with Cathays geographic position perhaps making it the better fit.
Should Cathay proceed (which could well be subsidised by the AU government) I suspect that it would be as an intermediate stop on their Adelaide-HKG route (which is about to recommence 5 days a week) There is no competition on the Adelaide -HKG route and Singapore Airlines do not operate from South Australia at all.
Will it happen ? -probably not at the moment unless there is subsidy available.13 Feb 2024
I recall pre-Covid SQ operated an SIN -Canberra – Wellington route, the “Capitals route”. Or perhaps announced it and then Covid got in the way. I wonder if that could come back and indeed maybe CX could think about that.13 Feb 2024
Not sure where these rumors are coming from, but you also previously mentioned Durban, and now Canberra, these seem like long thin routes to me and if they become tag routes it makes crew scheduling more complicated at a time when CX is stretched. CX is still not close to restoring pre covid destinations, I wonder why they would consider new routes. I would think returning to Dublin, Seattle, and Washington DC would be much higher on the priority list than Canberra.13 Feb 2024
I imagine that CX is still limited to 70 flights per week to the four main cities, SYD, MEL, BNE and PER. SQ does not have that restriction. Therefore CX might look to serve Canberra on those days when it knows that its SYD flights will be 100% full, carrying folk living SW of SYD. Having said that I would have thought that restoring service to some others suspended ports and beefing up services that are still way below previous levels would be a more attractive option for deployment of obviously currently limited capacity.14 Feb 2024
The rumours re Canberra came from AU media reports plus a pilot or two – will it happen I have no real idea but two things are irrefutable -the AU government is seeking an airline that will connect its capital to Asia and that a HK based airline is the best fit for China. The Singapore flight was always since it commenced in 2016 a stop on the way from Wellington NZ and was never popular ex NZ I understand.
It seems that Dublin is never to return and Seattle is unlikely. Durban fits with any push into Africa that CX may be contemplating.
Washington too early to tell I feel.14 Feb 2024
Seattle isn’t coming back on the CX network. They weren’t able to show profits – probably the 2/3 YVR dailies also contributed to the less than expected succsss of the Seattle route. Even SQ isn’t able to fill a daily flight out of SEA and only flies 3-4x weekly14 Feb 2024
HKG-ADL-CBR-HKG looks really weird to me. Cathay seems to hate triangles. I always wondered if a HKG-EDI-DUB-HKG could be made to work with EDI-HKG tkts being split into EDI-DUB and DUB-HKG to save on UK travel tax.14 Feb 2024
The flight time from Adelaide to Canberra is just on an hour. Canberra cannot support a stand-alone flight 3 times a week and so if it happens at all I suspect that this will be the route.14 Feb 2024
Tomyam42 – to be fair to cwoodward perhaps 1 hour is the actual flying time and 1:35ish the timetabled time – which allows for lots of padding of the schedules.14 Feb 2024
Tomyam42 I was quoting from several actual flight times recorded on Flightradar24.The “actual’ flight time that I mentioned looks to be more or less correct.
As regards triangles Cathay for many years routed HK-Paris-Manchester while they built the Manchester route -there are also other examples of this route building tool.14 Feb 2024