“As aviation hubs across the world begin to bring back capacity and stage a recovery, Hong Kong is obviously falling behind to a certain extent,” Healy said at the airline’s annual general meeting Wednesday.

The city is starting to ease travel curbs, flight bans, and lengthy quarantine stays that largely closed it to the rest of the world for more than two years, sparking frustration among businesses and the general public. Cathay has been operating at below 2 percent of passenger capacity through March, and Healy said there has been a “material impact” on profitability in the first months of 2022.

Responding to International Air Transport Association chief Willie Walsh’s comments last month that Hong Kong had ceased to function as an international aviation hub, Healy didn’t dispute them, but said it was Cathay’s job to “prove him wrong by staging a recovery to the best of our ability”.