Business Essentials for Professionals


Hong Kong Clampdown On Covid Prompts Cathay Pacific To Cut Flights

Hong Kong Clampdown On Covid Prompts Cathay Pacific To Cut Flights
Cathay Pacific has confirmed urgent flight schedule reductions, including the cancellation of passenger and cargo services to and from Hong Kong.

The airline did not say how many flights would be canceled, but it did say that in January it will operate a skeleton passenger schedule.

It follows Hong Kong's announcement earlier this week of stricter Covid-19 quarantine measures for aviation cargo crews.

The decision was made in response to the threat posed by the Omicron Covid version.

Pilots from Cathay Pacific have already told the media that the limitations have had a negative impact on their mental health and personal lives.

Cathay Pacific announced late Thursday that it would cancel certain passenger flights into and out of the Asian financial hub in the first three months of the new year.

Long-haul freight and cargo-only passenger flights, including those from Europe, Riyadh, and Dubai, would be suspended until January 6, according to the statement.

Last Monday, Cathay Pacific stated that certain flights might be canceled in January.

The recent decision is likely to aggravate the already strained global supply chain.

Cathay Pacific, like much of the rest of the global aviation business, has been severely impacted by the pandemic. It lost $2.8 billion (£2 billion) in 2020 and $972 million in the first half of 2021.

Thousands of flights were grounded all around the world owing to the coronavirus during the Christmas season alone.

Hong Kong has a zero-Covid policy, similar to mainland China, in order to encourage Beijing to allow cross-border travel.

As a result, the city has some of the strongest quarantine restrictions in the world, creating fears that it may be left behind as other big financial centers open up, adopting policies that allow them to live with the coronavirus rather than closing down to keep infection numbers low.

Hong Kong has one of the world's busiest airports, yet it also has some of the most stringent coronavirus rules. Two Cathay Pacific pilots recently told the BBC that the rules have had a negative impact on their mental health and have put a strain on their personal lives.

"You're just in a perpetual state of quarantine," one pilot, who has spent almost 150 days in isolation this year alone, said.

Despite the fact that there have been few local coronavirus cases in recent months, Hong Kong has implemented rigorous testing and quarantine regime in line with mainland China's zero-coronavirus policy.


Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc