Cathay Dragon Will Stop Service To Kota Kinabalu

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Well, this is pretty sad to hear, as I remember flying from Hong Kong to Kota Kinabalu on what was once Dragonair. The Cathay Pacific Group announced last August that they would be opening three European ports, closing a European port, closing a port in Southeast Asia, and closing a port in China. The three European ports were quickly revealed to be Brussels, Copenhagen and Dublin, and the closing European port was revealed to be Dusseldorf. Well, it looks like I was wrong on my prediction on which Southeast Asian port I would be closing, as I initially guessed that Cathay Pacific would be ending service to Denpasar (and handing it off to Cathay Dragon).

a large white airplane on a runwayCathay Dragon Airbus A330 Hong Kong Airport

As of January 8, 2018, Cathay Dragon will no longer fly from Hong Kong to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. This means that the group’s Malaysian network will be cut to Kuala Lumpur and Penang, both destinations of which are served with Cathay Dragon’s fleet.

The route is currently served by an A320 and operates five times weekly, so presumably the route wasn’t doing too well to start with. Additionally, it seems like AirAsia also operates between Hong Kong and Kota Kinabalu, so I guess most leisure travelers found it harder to justify the extra cost of flying Cathay Dragon, given that Kota Kinabalu is quite a leisure destination.

a red and white airplane in the skyAirAsia Airbus A320NEO Departing Hong Kong Airport

This also means that effective 2018 AirAsia will be the only airline to serve the route between Hong Kong and Kota Kinabalu. AirAsia operates two daily flights between Hong Kong and Kota Kinabalu, so I imagine the route’s pretty successful for them.

Bottom Line

I’m quite sad to see Cathay Dragon cut the route between Hong Kong and Kota Kinabalu, though at the same time I get that yields aren’t the best on the route. I wonder if they’ll be able to utilise their spare A320s and operate to a new destination.

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