Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd on Wednesday significantly cut its cash-burn target for the coming few months on expectation that easing travel curbs and quarantine rules for passenger flight crews would boost capacity.

The airline now expects its cash burn to be under HK$500 million ($63.70 million) a month for the next few months, down from its previous forecast of HK$1 billion to HK$1.5 billion per month.

Hong Kong eased hotel quarantine for passenger flight crews, exempted cargo crews from quarantine and lifted travel alert on overseas countries, drawing back strict curbs that had turned the city into one of the world's most isolated places.

The airline carried total 40,823 passengers last month, up 82% from last year but still down about 99% from its pre-pandemic level in 2019. Its cargo carriage for April was up 26% from last year, but down about 44% from 2019.

"For our travel services, these changes to quarantine and medical surveillance requirements will allow additional flights and destinations to be reactivated," Cathays's Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam said.

Cathay said https://www1.hkexnews.hk/listedco/listconews/sehk/2022/0511/2022051100340.pdf it will resume or increase passenger flight capacity for a number of destinations, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and India from early June, and also add long-haul freighter destinations in Europe and the Americas. ($1 = 7.8498 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)