Cathay Pacific Suspends Flights To Newark, Washington DC, Maldives, And More; Employees Asked To Take Unpaid Time Off

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I wrote about how the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus is going to take a toll on air travel this year in this week’s Sunday roundup.

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?

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24 Comments On "Cathay Pacific Suspends Flights To Newark, Washington DC, Maldives, And More; Employees Asked To Take Unpaid Time Off"

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Yes I am waiting for my early April flight being eligible for free refunded.


Thats hilarious ! How many ddfers are at WAM now?


I left yesterday, another one on Tuesday, and probably the other one left too.
3 DDF’RS and 40%+/- occupancy rate.


I’m happy to see them suffer big losses after they ruthlessly sucked more than $1500 out of me for an overweight bag on the way to TLV 2 years ago, and nobody at the airline could care less. They actually thought it was very legitimate. I would redefine the “one of the world’s best airlines”, to one of the “best seats/beds in the sky”.
They are as ruthless as communist China. I believe Dan once mentioned that they’re one of the only airlines who refused to warm up his BYOK. I don’t feel sorry for them. If anything, only for all the people who want to fly them.


Sticklers for rules, perhaps. But, admitadely you were breaking the rules. So, they should suffer because you broke the rules and they followed the rules to a tee? I’m not sure I understand. With that logic, jetblue should suffer because I too had an overweight bag a few years ago which I was charged for.


We’re you charged $50 or $1500?! Very big difference. When there’s a misunderstanding of the rule, there’s supposed to be a little understanding from the airline. The website says 30kg max 2 bags, which was understood to be 2 bags up to 30kg each. What it really meant was 30kg total between the 2. But to the US, they charge just $100 for an extra bag. To other destinations (including TLV), they charge a fee for EVERY KILO OVERWEIGHT. I believe it was something like $35/kilo. Now please compare that to knowingly packing overweight and paying a measly few bucks…


I would have disposed of the bag or mailed it back instead of paying the $1500. Were the contents even that valuable?


We considered sending with Turkish cargo, but it was in another terminal and would have caused us to miss our flight, which would have been very costly as well.


How many overweight bags did you have that they charged you 1500$


Why would they care that you were blatantly breaking the rules and paying the legitimately appropriate fees that are readily disclosed to anyone that does even an ounce of research into preparation for their situation? Doubt anyone is feeling sorry for you..


I do.


Thanks. Apparently Seth is Asian.


I do! One would anyone think that the 60kg. was over 2 bags and not 60kg each bag?


@dan, doesn’t the official China airline suffer more?


Were ticketed on DL F/J (D1) PDX to PVG then 5 days latter KA J (Cathy Dragon) PVG to HKG late this summer and J on FJ ex-HKG – NAN -AKL~ AC ex-MEL-YVR-PDX

So hopeful we will have the Cornoa virus under control in the next month or two unlikely but hopeful. But not planning on canceling any plans at this point.

I do winder how that mask ban that the HKG gov’t passed last fall during the protest is working out with the Corona virus. Such an ironic quandary.


Ye cathay is horrible. They only had me weigh my bags and charged a tad overweight when at the same time they let tens of ppl check in right next to me and not had them weigh their bags . And even their hard product and service was terrible . when I flew first class the seat was 100% broken and stuck in seat position and they had to manually change it for 20 min every time . And then they give me at the end of the flight a certificate that verifies there were issues on the flight and someone from the company will reach out to me for a refund. Nobody reached out for 5 months. When I reached to them they said ohh yes we saw this memo and they sent 150$ voucher . Huh


Why would you wait 5 months?If they had told me someone would reach out, i give them a week max.


which miles did you use to book JFK-YVR?


I booked on Jan 27 a Cathay Pacific flight for Newark to HKG for Feb 20 , that day I was debating if I should cancel and re-book as the date got closer , then I figured I still got 3 weeks things can change for the better and how is this thing that is in wuhan that is 600 miles away from my trade show in Guangzhou going to affect me , Boy was I wrong , a few hours after the 24 hours cancelation deadline the Hong kong borders to china got closed , and so too the high speed trains stopped running , and then the trade show got canceled ,

Just got a email from Cathay Pacific they are putting me on the JFK route which I have no use for now , I can reschedule within 48hours of my original flight , but I am not sure how
many times I can reschedule . as I am not sure what will be the new date for the Trade show be
if anyone has a way for me to cancel would be appreciated as I did not book via airline , I booked via

the worst part , I had a option to book NYC to Guangzhou with short stop over in Hong Kong and price was even a bit cheaper , and chose to rather to land in Hong Kong ,take bullet train to Guangzhou , had I done that my flight would of been canceled as all mainland china
flights got canceled


Cathay just demanded scheduled employees to fly to China. The employees are threatening a strike. I have no sympathy anymore for Cathay. They have been screwing their employees for over a year!


Hi Dan, I flew from Da Nang to Newark on Cathay in March 2019 (from the error fare you posted; thanks for that). My return was from Newark to Da Nang March 1, 2020 (stopover in Hong Kong) but was changed by Cathay to JFK to Da Nang March 2, 2020 (stopover in Honk Kong). Due to the coronavirus in Asia I don’t want to travel then. They say they agree to let me change it but that since the return portion has to be by a year after the initial part of the trip that I would have to travel by March 19, 2020. Is there any answer I can give to this. I’ve called Cathay twice but received the same answer. Should I ask to speak to a manager, try HUCA or am I out of luck? Any advice would be appreciated.