Cathay adds Hong Kong-London flights as city eases COVID rules

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh International Airport.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. flights from London to Hong Kong — once the carrier’s top long-haul route — will go from as little as two a month to as many as three a day in June as the airline attempts a rebound of sorts from COVID-19.

The airline’s schedule shows a jump in flights days after Hong Kong said it will open to non-residents starting from next month. The London-Hong Kong route is set to be served daily between June 7 and June 30, and have three services a day on June 7, 17 and 27.

Photo/Cathay Pacific

Prior to the pandemic, Cathay used to fly to London’s Heathrow Airport five times a day. As a result of COVID and China’s zero-tolerance policy, the route was reduced to just a handful of flights a month and ceased for several stretches entirely over authorities’ fears that imported virus cases may overwhelm the city.

Hong Kong last week shortened flight bans and eased the rules that suspended those air routes frequently. It also tweaked COVID testing procedures in anticipation of more travelers coming to the city, although all arrivals still must do seven days of hotel quarantine.

“This is a positive direction for the gradual resumption of travel activities and the strengthening of network connectivity to and from the Hong Kong aviation hub,” Cathay Pacific said of the Hong Kong rule changes. The airline has been operating at just 2% of pre-COVID passenger flight capacity.

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