The chief executive of Cathay Pacific (CX, Hong Kong International) has said he hopes to have all of his parked aircraft in the air by the start of 2024. Ronald Lam told Bloomberg TV this week that the airline was steadily returning aircraft to service so that it aims to operate 70% of its pre-pandemic passenger capacity by the end of this year, and 100% by the end of 2024.

"At the end of 2022, we had 222 aircraft in our fleet, and around 20% of them were parked outside of Hong Kong," he said. "We've been steadily unparking them this year and hopefully, by early next year, all the aircraft will be unparked."

ch-aviation fleets data shows that Cathay Pacific has 67 inactive aircraft, with 11 of these out of service for maintenance reasons. The remaining 56 are stored at Hong Kong, Alice Springs, Ciudad Real, and Xiamen.

The data reveals that three A320-200s, two A321-200s, nine A330-300s, eleven B777-300s, and eleven B777-300ERs are at Alice Springs. A single B777-300(ER) is stored at Xiamen, while eight A330-300s are still at Ciudad Real. The remaining 11 aircraft are stored at Hong Kong International. Cathay Pacific subsidiary HK Express (UO, Hong Kong International) also has two A321-200s parked at Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific has experienced a swift rebound since Hong Kong and mainland China reopened, according to Lam, who said: "We've been seeing light at the end of the tunnel since late last year."

Cathay's well-publicised employee attrition rates have now subsided to normal levels, although labour shortages remain a challenge. "We're still seeing supply-side constraints, mainly on the manpower front, and when I say manpower, it's not just in the air but also on the ground," he said. He added that the airline was looking to recruit a further 3,000 workers this year but denied Cathay was facing a staffing crisis.

"Hong Kong opened up late, so there's quite a lot of catch-up," he admitted. "But I think we are making good progress, and we are moving very fast as a city and as an airline. I'm very confident that given a little bit more time, we'll be back on par with other cities and airlines."