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Cathay Pacific launches cargo services to Riyadh

January 5, 2021

Cathay Pacific Cargo will run the service using its Boeing B747-400 ERF aircraft

JEDDAH: Cathay Pacific Cargo said Monday it was launching a new scheduled cargo service between Hong Kong and Riyadh, starting Jan. 5.

The airline said it had witnessed increasing demand for such flights between Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong, which is one of Asia’s biggest freight and logistics hubs.

Cathay Pacific Cargo will run the service using its Boeing B747-400 ERF aircraft during the inaugural flight.

The schedule will run every Tuesday, with flights set to operate with a stopover in Dubai on the return flight to Hong Kong.

The airline launched a seasonal cargo service between Hong Kong and Hobart, Australia, on Dec. 16, providing a freight lane via Hong Kong to export fresh produce to different parts of Asia.

The new route is welcome news for the Hong Kong airline, which in October said it planned to slash nearly 6,000 jobs as part of its plan to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The global pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on aviation and the hard truth is we must fundamentally restructure the group to survive,” Reuters news agency reported Cathay chief executive Augustus Tang as saying.

The airline received a $5 billion rescue package led by the Hong Kong government in June.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. said on Monday it expected to operate less than 50 percent of its pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity in 2021 as it nears completion of a strategic review that could lead to major job losses.

The carrier said it operated around a 10th of its capacity in 2020, with this set to rise to 50 percent in 2021.