Friday, December 02, 2022

India is a very crucial market for Cathay Pacific, says company's new incoming boss

Cathay Pacific remains highly optimistic about India as a destination. The Hong Kong-headquartered airline sees a significant upside in its business with an easing of pandemic-related restrictions. 

“We are in a much better position today and can confidently speak of ramping up our operations,” is the view from Ronald Lam, Cathay Pacific’s Chief Customer & Commercial Officer. The airline was established in 1946 and Lam, who will take over as CEO starting 1 January next year, believes it has a strong reputation apart from being a premium brand. “We offer a very convenient network to Hong Kong and beyond. That includes destinations such as the Chinese Mainland, Australia, and the United States," he says.

To him, India offers a huge opportunity with Hong Kong being a highly attractive destination. Today, there are a host of airlines out of India, among which are Air India and the Middles Eastern carriers, offering connectivity to the US and Australia. Lam, while acknowledging that fact, is clear that his airline’s strong network and multiple frequency will be a difference. “India has been with us for the most part of our history and that will continue for a long time,” he adds.  

It is expected that the third runway at Hong Kong airport will be ready for use in 2025. “That opens up more possibilities. By then, we expect a lot of traffic from the neighbouring regions to take off,” says Lam. The concern on high fuel prices remains to Lam, the approach is to closely monitor the situation. “There is not very much we can do otherwise and it is important for us to be cost-efficient.”  

02/12/22 Krishna Gopalan/Business Today

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