Logistics News | April 2022- Cathay Pacific Freighters Restart Europe Route

Sahil Jain
After a 3-month hiatus, Cathay Pacific added 2 freight flights/week from HK to Frankfurt due to lax Covid rules. Now, the Ukraine conflict, high fuel prices & cross-border trucking issues between China & HK continue to afflict the cargo industry.

Cathay Pacific Freighters Restart Europe Route

After a 3-month hiatus, Cathay Pacific added 2 freight flights/week from HK to Frankfurt due to lax Covid rules. Now, the Ukraine conflict, high fuel prices & cross-border trucking issues between China & HK continue to afflict the cargo industry.

The global air freight market has seen some semblance of recovery since the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic, but operators are still facing challenges. One such operator is Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific, which has been gradually restarting its freighter services after suspending them in late March 2020.

The airline announced last week that it would resume its Hong Kong – Frankfurt service from April 5, 2021, although at a reduced frequency of just two flights per week. The route will be operated with B747 equipment.

The move comes as Cathay Pacific seeks to capitalize on the fact that Germany has been one of the more successful European countries in terms of containing the spread of Covid-19.

The airline said that the restart of the service would provide “additional capacity to support the transport of time-sensitive shipments between Hong Kong, mainland China, and Europe”.

However, it is worth noting that the Germany – Hong Kong airfreight market was never Cathay Pacific’s strongest route. In 2019, the airline carried just 49,000 tonnes of freight on the route, making it the 12th busiest of its freighter routes.

In fact, Cathay Pacific has been scaling back its European operations in recent years and even announced the closure of its Frankfurt cargo facility in early 2020 (although this was before the pandemic hit).

The airline has also been struggling with a number of other issues in recent months, including the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, which has led to a number of flights being diverted, and high fuel prices.

It is also worth noting that Cathay Pacific is not the only cargo operator facing challenges at the moment.

Summary

Cathay Pacific is restarting its Hong Kong to Frankfurt cargo route at a reduced frequency due to the ongoing pandemic. The airline is seeking to capitalize on the fact that Germany has been more successful than other European countries in terms of containing the spread of Covid-19. However, the route was never Cathay Pacific’s strongest, and the airline has been scaling back its European operations in recent years. In addition, Cathay Pacific is facing other challenges including the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, high fuel prices, and cross-border trucking issues between China and Hong Kong.

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