One of the hardest hit airlines is Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific. Unlike state-owned Chinese airlines, Cathay may run out of money if the Coronavirus drags on for an extended period of time.
Cathay had a very rough 2019 as well due to the Hong Kong protests against China.
Their CEO has asked all employees to take unpaid time off in order to preserve the company’s cash:
While US carriers have relatively small exposure to flight cuts to China and Hong Kong, where they have suspended all flights, Cathay Pacific’s only hub is in Hong Kong. Hopefully they’ll make it through the latest crisis, as they’re one of the world’s best airlines.
Other airlines are also hurting in Hong Kong. For example, Virgin Australia announced that they are eliminating all of their Hong Kong flights for good.
Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific is suspending flights on routes that have seen a drop in demand, including:
- Newark to Hong Kong is suspended from February 11 until March 30th.
- As I broke the news here, JFK to Vancouver flights are being eliminated permanently after February 18th.
- Washington DC to Hong Kong is suspended from February 12 until March 29th.
- Chicago to Hong Kong flights will be reduced from February 11 until March 29th.
- Hong Kong to Male, Maldives is suspended from February 23 until April 1st
- London/LGW to Hong Kong is suspended from February 17 until March 26th.
- Rome to Hong Kong is suspended until April 29th
- Other flight suspensions include cities in China, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
You can see this page for how they will accommodate people on those flights. On most routes you can request a refund or accommodation on another airline, but JFK to Vancouver only has a refund option.
Cathay is also advising that they may extend these suspensions or add more flight suspensions based on demand.
DDF member israshot reported from the Waldorf Astoria Maldives that the resort is nearly empty, aside from multiple DansDeals readers, due to the country banning visitors who have been in mainland China in the past 2 weeks.
I was supposed to fly Cathay Pacific first class for one last hurrah from JFK to Vancouver next week, but I cancelled that flight and redeposited my miles. The risk may be low, but it’s not low enough to justify an unnecessary trip and one that wouldn’t even be that enjoyable under the circumstances.
Are you booked to travel on Cathay Pacific over the next couple months? Will you rebook or travel as planned?