Cathay Pacific Airways is looking at a possible major revamp of its network and fleet than previously disclosed, according to a memo sent to employees last week by CEO Tony Tyler.
Tyler bleakly warned that the airline likely won’t “emerge unscathed” from the industry downturn. “These are extremely difficult times for the aviation industry, and I’m sorry to say there doesn’t appear to be any light at the end of the tunnel just yet,” he added.
He revealed that he is looking at a further restructuring of capacity, raising fares and surcharges and a major reworking of the fleet. It is expected that CX will put under the fuel/yield microscope the role of the 24 747-400s and 15 A340-300s in its passenger fl eet.
In terms of its freighter fleet, the airline will likely look at accelerating the retirement of its 747-200Fs. Four were due to be retired by the end of 2009 and another two in 2012. CX’s fi rst 747- 400ERF entered service in May, another followed last month and it will have six in service by the end of next year. It also ordered 10 of Boeing’s new 747-8Fs for delivery between 2009 and 2012.
Last month CX announced significant changes to its network designed to reduce fuel expenses and focus on demand. It cut 10 weekly flights to North America while adding eight to Australia and increasing capacity on 14 flights to Europe.
“We have to maximise our earnings during this difficult period which is why we are moving our capacity,” Tyler said at the time, adding that it was “necessary to ensure we fly aircraft to where we can cover our costs.” The network shakeup followed CX’s first six-month loss sinceSARS.