Long-serving executive Ronald Lam will take over as chief executive of Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (0293.HK) from Jan. 1, the airline said as it scrambles to rebuild capacity after the coronavirus pandemic.
Now that the Asian financial hub has scrapped onerous hotel quarantine rules, the airline is looking to build up passenger numbers. Those were down 89% in September from the corresponding month in 2019, when anti-government protests had shrunk traffic.
Lam will lead Cathay through its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the launch of a third runway in Hong Kong, as well as overseeing a dual-brand strategy with low-cost carrier HK Express, Chairman Patrick Healy said in a statement.
Cathay, which plans to hire 4,000 more staff over the next 18 to 24 months as travel rebounds, has said adding more flights is a priority but time will be required to train crew and reactivate aircraft.
Ronald Lam has been Cathay Pacific Chief Customer and Commercial Officer and Chair of the Group’s wholly owned low-cost subsidiary, HK Express since August 2019. He is responsible for all customer, commercial and cargo-related activities of the Group’s airlines. Mr. Lam joined the Cathay Pacific Group as a Management Trainee in 1996 and has since held a number of senior leadership roles in Hong Kong and overseas including Director Commercial & Cargo at Cathay Pacific, Director and GM Hong Kong Operations at Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (HAECO) and Chief Executive Officer of HK Express.