Airline assigns long-haul aircraft to regional routes

Cathay Pacific plans to use Airbus A330s on regional routes in Asia.

In this era of belt-tightening for the airline industry, some carriers are resorting to unorthodox ways to maximise capacity and control costs. Cathay Pacific Airways, for example, is planning to use its long-haul aircraft on regional routes in Asia. In a system that Tony Tyler, the airline’s outgoing CEO, describes as “intelligent misuse” of its fleet, Cathay Pacific will assign some of its widebody Airbus A330 planes to shorter routes in order to avoid the build-up of a fleet of single-aisle aircraft.

These planes would otherwise be stationary in the daytime following their overnight long-haul flights. In a period where the carrier is currently preparing to increase its services to China, some of the A330s will be transferred to its subsidiary Dragonair, which has its hub at Hong Kong International Airport. Dragonair has a total of 30 aircraft, of which 16 are narrowbody planes to use when starting up new routes.

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