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Tuesday, September 21, 2021
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Cathay Pacific permanently shuts Manila, Cebu ticketing offices

PANDEMIC IMPACT. Cathay Pacific says it is highly dependent upon operational and customer travel restrictions being relaxed to achieve better results this year. / AP

CATHAY Pacific has announced the permanent closure of its Manila and Cebu ticketing offices effective Sept. 1, 2021.

“As we strive to bring a safer and contactless service option for customers, all ticketing transactions and inquiries may be coursed through our Global Contact Centers, which are available 24/7,” the Hong Kong-based airline announced last week through its official Facebook page.

Cathay Pacific’s offices are located in LKG Towers, Makati City in Manila and Ayala Life-FGU Center in Cebu City.

The airline said clients may also book their flights, check on the latest promotions and get updated travel advisories through their website at www.cathaypacific.com.

Despite the closure of the physical offices, Cathay Pacific assured it will still have flights to Manila and Cebu City.

“Even though our offices at Manila/Cebu are closed we still have flights operating to/from both Manila and Cebu in September,” it said in a reply to a Facebook Messenger inquiry.

“But please be advised that those flights are still subject to government approval and cancellation due to the current situation with the pandemic,” the airline added.

The closure of its ticketing offices will not affect Cathay Pacific’s flight schedules from Hong Kong to Cebu.

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport said starting Sept. 1, Cathay Pacific will be flying four times weekly from Hong Kong to Cebu every Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Pandemic impact

Patrick Healy, chairman of Cathay Pacific, said the group “experienced the most challenging 12 months” of its more than 70-year history in 2020.

“The Covid-19, and the resultant travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in place around the world, brought about an unprecedented disruption of the global air travel market and the repercussions have been huge,” said Healy at the firm’s 2020 annual results announcement released in March 2021.

“Our short-term outlook continues to be challenging. However, we remain absolutely confident in the long-term future and competitive position of our airlines. Our important role at the center of the Hong Kong aviation hub, and the critical role that Hong Kong will play in the Greater Bay Area and beyond, will continue to place us in good stead as we recover and rebuild from the impact of Covid-19,” he said.

Earnings

Cathay Pacific carried a total of 54,092 passengers in July, an increase of 25.8 percent compared to July 2020, but a 98.4 percent decrease compared to the pre-pandemic level in July 2019. The month’s revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) rose 22.6 percent year-on-year, but were down 97.6 percent versus July 2019.

Passenger load factor increased by 5.1 percentage points to 28.5 percent, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), increased by 0.7percent, but remained 92.9 percent down on July 2019 levels.

In the first seven months of 2021, the number of passengers carried dropped by 95.2 percent against an 81.9 percent decrease in capacity and a 94.3 percent decrease in RPKs, as compared to the same period for 2020.

“We hope to be able to operate approximately 30 percent of our pre-pandemic passenger capacity by the fourth quarter of 2021. However, this is highly dependent upon operational and customer travel restrictions being relaxed. As governments around the world have said, this will only be possible when sufficiently high vaccination rates are achieved,” the airline said. (JOB with KOC)


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