Chennai: Despite a 5% capacity reduction worldwide due to global recession, Hong Kong airline major Cathay Pacific is upbeat over business operations worldwide and plans acquisition of new aircraft, as it believes recovery will be a sure but slow process.
The airline has already ordered 46 Boeing and Airbus passenger and freighter aircraft, as part of its plans to cut fuel costs. “A minimum of 20% on fuel consumption cost can be saved with newer aircrafts”, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (India, Middle East, Africa and Pakistan), general manager Tom Wright said.
Of these aircraft, 27 would be passenger jets, he said.
On the impact of global slowdown, he said Cathay Pacific had seen a 30% drop in business class travellers early this year. “Things were very bad (early this year). There are some signs that things are improving more on the corporate side”, he said.
He stressed that the market recovery would not be rapid but slow and steady.
Tom opined that though the swine flu might have a major impact on operations, with lesser number of people travelling, the Middle East market could see strong growth.
The airline, however would not offer new connectivity, but might increase the frequencies of flights currently being offered worldwide, Cathay Pacific Airways (India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan) Marketing and Sales Manager, Rakesh Raicar said. ““It is too early to say. For example, we may increase our connectivity between Los Angeles and Hong Kong” he said.
He said a valuable lesson learnt from the global recession was the need to conserve funds.
Referring to the airline’s overall sales performance, he said India ranked 10th worldwide, while Bangladesh and Nepal were 25th and 26th respectively.
Cathay Pacific offers passenger and cargo services to 114 destinations in Asia, North America, Australia, Europe, Middle East and Africa. It has around 16,700 employees worldwide.