Cathay Pacific Could Scrap Its Cathay Dragon Brand

Cathay Pacific could be looking to scrap its subsidiary, Cathay Dragon. The potential branding drop was first reported by the South China Morning Post and would accompany job cuts of around 25% across Cathay airlines.

Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, Consolidation
Cathay Pacific could scrap its Cathay Dragon brand. Photo: Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many airlines to reassess their operations to rightsize for the lower passenger demands expected over the coming years. Airlines like British Airways, Lufthansa, and Air France have retired aircraft early to cut their fleets. Others, such as Finnair, have announced that they will have to cut jobs. It looks as though Cathay will look to unify its products under a single brand.

What is Cathay Dragon?

Cathay Dragon is a subsidiary of the Cathay Pacific brand. The airline was known as Dragonair until 2016. From then the airline was rebranded as Cathay Dragon. This saw its aircraft taking the same branding as Cathay Pacific but in red. Additionally, commonality was introduced with products on both carriers.

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Dragonair was founded in May 1985. While the airline has previously operated aircraft such as the Boeing 747, it now has an all-Airbus fleet. According to Planespotters.net, the airline currently has 12 A320s, eight A321s, and 18 A330s, giving a total fleet size of 38 aircraft.

Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, Consolidation
The airline already uses the same branding as Cathay Pacific, albeit in a different color. Photo: Getty Images

Merging the brand

The South China Morning Post’s Danny Lee is reporting that multiple sources have said that Cathay Pacific will scrap is Cathay Dragon brand. According to the publication, one source said,

“It’s unnecessary to keep the two brands given the dire financial situation, but Cathay will not give up flying to mainland destinations.”

In 2016, One Mile At A Time questioned why Cathay Pacific had separate lounges at Hong Kong Airport. Dragonair (now Cathay Dragon) passengers could use the ‘far superior’ Cathay Pacific lounge. It seems that perhaps Cathay Pacific has now had the same train of thought. If it scrapped one lounge, it would also save money. This could apply to other assets that could be shared.

A tough time for Cathay

Things have been relatively tough for Cathay Pacific lately. A year ago, the airline was still reeling from the impact of the Hong Kong protests. This hit Cathay Pacific worse than other airlines as passengers put off traveling to the Special Administrative Region. For airlines such as United, only one or two routes were affected, and the remainder of the airlines’ routes remained profitable.

Hong-Kong Airport Cathay Dragon
Many of the airline’s aircraft remain grounded in Hong Kong. Photo: Getty Images

However, for Cathay Pacific, every single route was hit by a drop in demand. It had seemed as though Cathay’s traffic was starting to recover when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The pandemic has decimated traffic across the whole industry, not just for Cathay Pacific. The airline is also facing competition on some of its mainland China routes from a new high-speed rail link that opened in September 2018.

Do you think Cathy Pacific should ditch Cathay Dragon? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!

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