Hong Kong’s Dragonair will launch its first flights to Kuala Lumpur next year, replacing Cathay Pacific’s services.
The new flights will be introduced progressively between March and May 2017, eventually reaching four flights per day. Following the launch, Cathay will cease to operate its four daily Hong Kong-KL flights. Additionally, five of Cathay’s Airbus A330 aircraft will be transferred to Dragonair fleet.
Paul Loo, Cathay’s director corporate development & IT, explained that the switched was part of “our overall growth strategy for the group”.
“The aircraft transfer will also help to optimise the group’s training abilities. We continually review the expansion and growth plans for both Cathay Pacific and Dragonair, the latter of which will be renamed Cathay Dragon in November. The Cathay Pacific group of airlines remains committed to grow with the Malaysian market, and will continue to provide the same high level of product and service to our customers travelling to and from Malaysia,” he stated.
KL will become Dragonair’s third destination in Malaysia, following the existing 11 weekly flights to Penang and five weekly flights to Kota Kinabalu. This means that along with the 28 weekly flights to KL, Dragonair will operate a total of 44 flights to Malaysia each week from May 2017.
Cathay Pacific meanwhile, is focusing on the expansion of long-haul operations, especially in Europe. The airline recently commenced services to Madrid and will launch flights to London’s Gatwick Airport next month. Cathay will also take delivery 20 more Airbus A350 aircraft by the end of 2017, enabling the transfer of its A330s to Dragonair.
Dragonair is in the process of rebranding as Cathay Dragon, as the group moves to align its two brands.