Hong Kong: Air travel which was slowly returning to normal after the disastrous COVID-19 era, once again suffered a setback, as Hong Kong health authorities temporarily suspend Cathay Pacific’s services from Manila after five travelers disembarking from Flight CX906 on March 13 were found to be Corona virus infected on arrival. A two-week ban on Cathay Pacific’s services from Manila has been slapped. The Airbus A350 aircraft by which he infected passengers traveled has been sent for deep cleaning, as the Department of Health to halt all Cathay flights from the Philippine capital until March 28.
This is the first such corona virus-related suspension faced by the airline, excluding its now-defunct regional subsidiary Cathay Dragon, which faced a similar ban on its flights from Kuala Lumpur last September after five connecting passengers traveling from India tested positive.
While Cathay Pacific has had to cancel four scheduled services, one-way flights from Hong Kong to Manila remain unaffected. A 14-day quarantine requirement for aircrews imposed by local officials last month has left Hong Kong’s struggling flag carrier no choice but to axe more than a dozen destinations from its already reduced flying schedule. That measure is intended to last until the end of this month, but it is not known when authorities plan to relax the stringent new rule.
Cathay Pacific In related news, Hong Kong’s government has just extended its months-long flight ban from the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, and Brazil; anyone who has spent at least two hours in any of those countries within 21 days of boarding their flights is banned from entering Hong Kong, regardless of residency or citizenship status. Cathay is still permitted to fly to London Heathrow, but aircrews must stay on the plane for the quick hop to Amsterdam, where they will overnight before picking up Hong Kong–bound passengers.
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