Cathay Pacific has announced it’s to operate one flight per week from Perth to Hong Kong from 2 October.
The airline stated the flights are only available to those eligible to leave the country or those who have an exemption.
Currently, all Australian citizens and permanent residents, including those with dual nationality, are excluded.
The announcement comes after the airline operated a similar ad hoc service during September, which used its Airbus A350-1000s.
The flights are currently scheduled to depart Perth on 2, 8, 14, 22, 30 and 31 October.
“As we see confidence for essential travel increase, we’re pleased to be able to offer flight services from Perth once more,” said Richard Jones, Cathay Pacific’s regional head of marketing and sales.
The positive news after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said last week that Melbourne wouldn’t welcome international arrivals until November.
Melbourne stopped accepting flights at the start of July as the city experienced a second wave of coronavirus cases. Later that month, the government capped arrivals nationwide to just 4,000 – but that low figure was partly due to the Victorian capital not being able to help with the load.
Critics have argued the cap system has stopped Australians abroad being able to return home by reducing availability and increasing prices.
Earlier this month, World of Aviation reported that Cathay Pacific would ground two-fifths of its passenger fleet for the “foreseeable future”, in a move it deems necessary in order “to survive and thrive” into the future.
The Hong Kong flag carrier said it would park 72 of its aircraft, making up 40 per cent of its fleet, outside of Hong Kong as it waits for demand conditions to improve.
The airline is currently operating at just 8 per cent of its pre-COVID flight capacity, while its planes are operating at just under 20 per cent of their usual load factors, a new record low for the airline.
Analysts have previously warned that airlines like Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines will take far longer to recover from the crisis than most, as they have no domestic network to rely upon until international conditions improve.
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