June 14, 2023
HONG KONG – Global airlines are increasing flight capacity and enhancing pay incentive programs to meet an anticipated surge in demand as normal travel resumes around the world.
Qatar Airways said it expects its Hong Kong route’s capacity and revenue this financial year to be higher than pre-COVID levels as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s reopening boosts demand.
Qatar Airways operates 39 flights per week from the HKSAR and the Chinese mainland cities of Beijing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai. Seating on these five routes is currently at 85 percent of capacity, and the company hopes that it will reach full capacity by the end of the year
The Qatar-based airline currently operates two daily flights from Hong Kong to Doha, returning to pre-pandemic levels with seating reaching 90 percent of capacity on these two direct flights. The carrier operates more than 20 freight flights from Hong Kong per week.
Qatar Airways operates 39 flights per week from the HKSAR and the Chinese mainland cities of Beijing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai. Seating on these five routes is currently at 85 percent of capacity, and the company hopes that it will reach full capacity by the end of the year.
Most Hong Kong passengers fly via Doha to destinations in Europe and the Americas, while mainland passengers also travel to major destinations in Europe, the Americas and Africa via Doha.
The Qatar-based carrier says it is confident that the HKSAR will continue to thrive as an important regional aviation hub.
Chan Cheong Eu, senior manager sales-North Asia at Qatar Airways, said the airline continued flying to Hong Kong during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We believe in the Hong Kong market not only in the passenger segment but also the cargo segment.”
“The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government is doing a very good job encouraging visitors to return to the city, from tourists to conference visitors. Hong Kong airport keeps on expanding with the launch of a third runway recently and a new terminal being built now. I hope Hong Kong airport keeps on expanding so that Qatar Airways can put on more flights to Hong Kong as well,” Chan said.
The airline currently employs 140 staff in the HKSAR ranging from ground staff to commercial teams and human resources staff.
Qatar Airways aims to recruit 3,000 staff globally this year, including pilots and cabin crews, as the company had a staff turnover rate of 20 percent during the three years of COVID.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s flagship carrier Cathay Pacific Airways said its cabin crews will get a 3 percent to 8 percent pay rise from July if they log in longer flying hours.
Cathay Pacific’s cabin crew pay comprises a monthly basic salary, productivity pay and an outport layover allowance. Starting July, the airline will raise the productivity pay.
For instance, newly recruited cabin crew members can earn HK$17,000 ($2,170) per month after completing 70 flying hours. As the number of flights increases, entry-level cabin crew with longer flying hours can earn up to HK20,000 per month on average.
The carrier said the pay rise can help to retain existing staff, attract new talent and help rebuild the Cathay Pacific brand and Hong Kong as an international aviation hub.