An aviation analyst says the reduction of hotel quarantine to three nights should boost business for Cathay Pacific, but that it could take up to two years for it to return to pre-pandemic levels.
The airline on Wednesday reported a first-half loss of HK$5 billion, but that was a third lower than in the same period last year.
Herman Tse from the aviation analytics firm Cirium said he was optimistic about the outlook after the government eased quarantine requirements this week.
Noting that the company's performance had improved slightly but was still drastically lower than 2019 levels, he said: "The easing of travel restrictions will definitely improve passenger demand and passenger revenue."
He cautioned, however, that the turnaround would take time. "Generally, Hong Kong has fallen behind, with fewer than 100 departing flights every day, compared to places like Singapore which has 300 departing flights every day, and quarantine-free travel.
"For sure, Cathay is preparing for recovery at the moment, but it may take 1-2 years to fully recover to pre-Covid levels. Ticket prices are currently very expensive, but these may come down when there is balance between inbound and outbound passengers."