Cathay Pacific is eyeing a Boeing-led boost for Australian services by upgrading more flights to the Boeing 777-300ER.
The Oneworld member and Qantas frenemy has already promoted two of its four daily Sydney flights to the Boeing 777-300ER, adding 180 more seats per day between Sydney and Hong Kong, and is now considering repeating that move in Melbourne.
"As to which routes might take up more Boeing 777s, surely the two biggest cities are high on the priority list" states Nelson Chin, Cathay Pacific's Regional General Manager for South West Pacific.
More flights for Melbourne?
"Melbourne is a very interesting proposition" Chin says, adding that the airline could also launch a fourth daily flight to Hong Kong.
"There's always scope as to whether we need more flights into a city like Melbourne, where there's a good mix of premium passengers."
"We have three flights a day already, but given that Melbourne Airport has is no curfew, there is still room that you can fit another flight in."
However, as Cathay Pacific has hit the government-imposed limit of how many flights it can run out of Australia's 'big four' international airports – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth – one more Melbourne flight would mean one less from elsewhere on the network.
"It could mean some balancing of capacity, which might mean an upgrade in some cities for more frequency in another port" Chin allows. "That’s a position we do need to seriously consider."
One alternative is to bring the airline's flagship Boeing 777-300ER to Melbourne in place of an A330 flight, allowing CX to stay under the total flights-per-week ceiling.
"That's not to say we're not also considering the likes of Brisbane or Perth, which are also on the radar. We do take a longer-term look into these things, to make the best use of our resources."
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.