By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Hong Kong-based airline says it believes demand will grow for flights to Bahrain as Saudi Arabia opens to tourism
Hong Kong-carrier Cathay Pacific has no plans for additional routes in the Middle East as it believes that demand for current routes will increase, according to Vishnu Rajendran, the airline’s Middle East area manager.
Currently Cathay operates two direct flights from Hong Kong to Dubai and one flight linking Hong Kong to Bahrain through Dubai, both on Airbus A330 aircraft.
“We continuously monitor traffic on these routes and align our capacity accordingly with changes to our frequency and increases in capacity to B777 aircrafts on the route when required,” Rajendran said.
“Whilst we do not have any immediate plans to expand, we do have strategies in place to consolidate our position in this market and further promote our premium offering, which is something we are well known for globally,” he said. “We are also working across our offline markets in the Middle East to increase awareness of our product.”
Additionally, Rajendran said that Saudi Arabia is “undoubtedly” a significant market for the airline, although it only offers coach and limo services to Dammam across the causeway from Bahrain.
“We believe strongly that the opening up of tourist visas and the promotion of tourism to Saudi Arabia will lead to increased traffic to the kingdom,” he added. “While we do not have any immediate plans to begin operations, we continue to periodically evaluate the commercial potential of launching new destinations across our network.”