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Cathay puts Barcelona back on the map

Cathay puts Barcelona back on the map

Cathay Pacific continues its slow-but-steady return to pre-pandemic normality with the announcement that Barcelona is to be added back onto its schedule this year.

The airline says it will be resuming services with the Spanish city from June. It also announced that it will be bringing back its first class service on New York flights from the end of March.

Cathay published its figures for 2023 this week, announcing a 541.5% increase in passenger numbers compared with 2022. The Cathay Group, comprising Cathay Pacific and budget airline HK Express, flew more than 20 million passengers in 2023, compared with around three million in 2022.

Chief commercial officer Lavinia Lau said the airline had seen strong demand in December, traditionally a peak travel season, with Hong Kongers taking advantage of the Christmas holiday period. This was the first holiday season since before the pandemic that residents were able to travel completely free of restrictions.

Lau noted that December had seen “overwhelming” demand for travel to short-haul leisure destinations, particularly Japan and Southeast Asia.

“We saw good demand for travel from the United States and the Southwest Pacific in the first half of December,” she said. “The demand for travel from the United Kingdom was particularly strong as it coincided with the peak period for international students returning to Hong Kong.”

Cathay’s seasonal service with Christchurch, New Zealand, also resumed in December, stimulating transit traffic to and from the United Kingdom and the Philippines.

With Chinese New Year on the horizon, Cathay is looking forward to continued strong demand from late January. 

“As we look ahead to 2024, we remain committed to working towards fully rebuilding our fights,” said Lau.


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