Hong Kong’s extended airport restrictions take another whack at Cathay Pacific

Feb 12, 2022

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Travel to and through Hong Kong will not get easier anytime soon. The Hong Kong International Airport Authority has extended a ban on transit travel through the airport for passengers from more than 150 countries, including the U.S., UK and Australia, through March 15, 2022.

The move, in response to the spread of the omicron variant, particular hurts Cathay Pacific, with most of the airline’s long-haul routes through Hong Kong.

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Cathay Pacific planes on the ground at Hong Kong airport
(Photo by Rayman Cheuk Wai-man/Shutterstock.com)

The airline posted on its website:

“From midnight on 16 February until 11.59pm on 15 March 2022, transfer and transit services at Hong Kong International Airport will continue to be limited to passengers coming from non-high risk places.

Passengers on Cathay Pacific flights arriving from cities in the Chinese Mainland and Taiwan region may continue to connect to onward flights.

Passengers starting their journey with Cathay Pacific from any other destination will not be able to use Hong Kong as a transit point during this period.

We are contacting affected passengers via email with a range of options – including rebooking to a future date, obtaining a Cathay Credit or requesting a full refund.”

The new ban is an extension of a previous one-month ban imposed on January 1, 2022, that had been set to expire on February 16.

Related: Hit hard by coronavirus restrictions, can Cathay Pacific survive?

Cathy Pacific has only been flying a limited number of passenger flights. For December 2021, the airline reported carrying only 92,219 passengers.

Cargo has been more of a bright spot – including transporting more than 120 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in 2021.

Still, Cathay Pacific was expecting to record a consolidated loss attributable to shareholders of about $720-$780 million (HK$5.6-6.1 billion) for 2021.

More: As the Olympics approach, flights to China and Hong Kong are reduced due to COVID-19 and politics

Back in January, Cathay CEO Augustus Tang said restrictions are hitting passenger and cargo traffic, and new restrictions were having, “… a significant impact on our passenger and cargo flight capacity.”

Featured image by Eric Rosen/The Points Guy.

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