With Hong Kong planning to abandon Hotel Quarantines (under a 0+3 system), Cathay Pacific is noticing an upswing in bookings.
Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 at Dublin Airport – Image, Economy Class and Beyond
With the Hong Kong SAR Government’s latest measures to facilitate travel to Hong Kong, the airline has welcomed the decision to remove the hotel quarantine arrangement for passengers arriving in Hong Kong.
The move goes into effect on 26th September 2022.
A “0+3” arrival system will instead take its place allowing arrivals to return home or stay in a hotel of their choice, where medical surveillance is taken place. During those three days, they are allowed to go out and to work, but will not be allowed to enter bars or restaurants.
According to Cathay Pacific, these adjustments will help boost sentiment for travel, thereby facilitating the gradual resumption of travel activities and strengthening of network connectivity to, from and through the Hong Kong aviation hub.
To support this, the airline intends to add more than 200 pairs of passenger flights in October to both regional and long-haul destinations.
With Japan relaxing its travel restrictions for inbound visitors, Cathay Pacific will resume daily flights to Tokyo (Haneda) from 1 November and four-times-weekly flights to Sapporo from 1 December. Flight frequencies to Tokyo (Narita) will increase to 43 pairs and whilst Osaka will grow to 50 pairs in October.
The slow build-out
Hong Kong has been hit hard over the past two years, with connectivity vanishing.
Cathay Pacific of course is Hong Kong’s home airline – and is committed to rebuilding the connectivity of the Hong Kong aviation hub.
The airline plans to add back more flights as quickly as is feasible, however, it will take time to rebuild capacity as it brings crews, aircraft and networks.
Opening Asia’s Closed City
With the Hong Kong SAR Government finally deciding to fling open its borders and welcoming visitors, Asia’s closed city is aiming to become Asia’s world city again.
It’s going to take a bit more than just reducing the quarantine requirements – whilst a boon, it will negate the traditional stopover traffic, who will not be able to explore Hong Kong as much as some have in the past.
For those returning to Hong Kong for more than a few days, it’ll be a welcome step forward as they can reunite with loved ones and seal those business deals.
As for Cathay Pacific: there is a lot of ground lost over the past two and a bit years. The airline is going to have to step up to the plate and understand the new realities out there, as well as scale its network appropriately. Its competitors and partners would expect them to slowly return to Hong Kong, depending on traffic demand.
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