It’s Official: Cathay Pacific’s European Port Cut Signals Partner Airline’s Demise

Cathay Pacific announced three new destinations earlier this year, namely Brussels, Copenhagen and Dublin. Cathay Pacific operates the A350, an aircraft that has allowed the airline to operate myriad routes with slightly less demand, as they’re lower capacity, are more fuel efficient, and operate longer routes.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Hong Kong Airport

While these are great additions, sometimes routes don’t work as well for Cathay Pacific. Cathay Pacific announced that they would be closing one port in China, one port in Southeast Asia, and one port in Europe. I put my guesses down as Beijing, Ho Chi Minh and Dusseldorf initially, though changed my Southeast Asia guess to Denpasar.

Well, we now know which European port Cathay Pacific will stop service to.

Cathay Pacific will no longer operate flights to Dusseldorf

As of March 25, 2018, Cathay Pacific is no longer accepting reservations for flights between Hong Kong and Dusseldorf, highly suggesting that they will be canceling the route. Airlineroute suggests that Cathay Pacific has decided to reduce service to thrice weekly from March 5, 2018, and cutting service altogether with their last flight on March 24th.

Cathay Pacific currently operates an A350 between Hong Kong and Dusseldorf, which isn’t that high capacity to start with, so I’m imagining that yields aren’t great on these flights.

IMG_0709Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Economy Class

Why Cathay Pacific will cut flights to Dusseldorf

I feel like the reasoning behind Cathay Pacific’s cut of flights to Dusseldorf is fairly straightforward. Air Berlin filed for insolvency around a month ago, and from there they’ve just been going downhill, from changing reservations from refundable to non-refundable, to canceling flights, etc. As a oneworld partner, Cathay Pacific is losing a lot of potential connecting traffic, as Dusseldorf was one of Air Berlin’s largest hubs. Without their presence, it simply isn’t viable for Cathay Pacific to continue operating there nonstop anymore.

That said, as the situation keeps unfolding, Cathay Pacific’s pulling out of Dusseldorf is just yet another indication that Air Berlin is pretty much unsalvageable at this point. Day by day Air Berlin’s management team has tried to get them re-acquired, leased out, and shrunk to profitability, though their government loan is running out, and bankruptcy is clearly where they’re headed towards at this point.

img_5033Air Berlin Airbus A320 Zurich Airport

Bottom Line

While it’s sad to see airlines cut flights, I’d say that this decision was one of the more predictable decisions that Cathay Pacific has made. I’m interested to see which Southeast Asian and Chinese port Cathay Pacific will close, and hopefully they’re just passing these ports off to Cathay Dragon, instead of eliminating them altogether.

At the same time, this is yet another indication of Air Berlin’s demise – I don’t see any chance of revival coming anytime soon.

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