Cathay Pacific has decided to suspend its four-times weekly Dublin service until 2020.
The Hong Kong-based carrier said that it has decided to temporarily suspend the flights from November 7 2019 to March 29, 2020.
With a difficult winter ahead, and the anti-government protests in Hong Kong showing no signs of coming to an end, the carrier has suspended flights to Dublin, Medan in Indonesia, and daytime flights to Paris and Frankfurt. The carrier has also cut the number of flights to New York, Washington and Vancouver.
The Hong Kong-Dublin route is the only direct air connection with east Asia.
Last week, Hong Kong’s biggest airline unveiled an 11.3 per cent slump in passengers compared to August last year, driven by a 38 per cent fall in people coming to the city as a result of the pro democracy protests. The decline in passengers, as a percentage, was the single biggest fall in a decade.
In a statement, Cathay Pacific said it decided to temporarily shelve the Dublin-Hong Kong service following a “careful review of the current business environment”.
“This is a difficult decision to make, but also a necessary one in view of the commercial challenges we currently face. The Dublin and Hong Kong non-stop flight will resume on 30 March 2020,” the statement said.
Cathay Pacific said it will “continue to strengthen our investments in the Irish market” through additional marketing activities over the coming months.
“Our dedicated Ireland team based in Dublin will continue to grow our brand presence, while our teams in Asia and Australia have begun tactical promotions in their respective markets targeting the summer 2020 season, for when our non-stop flight returns.
“We are confident in the long-term prospect and strength of the traffic between Ireland, Hong Kong and the rest of Asia,” the spokesperson said.
A Dublin Airport spokesman told Fora it “was disappointed that the route has been temporarily suspended for the European winter season, but it would work closely with Cathay Pacific in relation to the resumption of its direct Hong Kong service in March of next year”.
Cathay Pacific is one of four airlines offering one-stop options into Dublin from Australia. Etihad, Qatar and Emirates are the other carriers who have direct links to Dublin via Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai.