Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific says that its April 2021 passenger numbers remain 99% lower than 2019. The national flag carrier of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region said in a statement today that the numbers continue to reflect the airlines’ substantial capacity reductions.
The reduced capacity is due to ongoing travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in Hong Kong to contain COVID-19. During April, Cathay Pacific carried 22,404 passengers, an increase of 63.2% when compared to the same month a year ago. When compared to pre-pandemic levels in April 2019, passenger numbers were down a staggering 99.3%.
The ban on flights from the UK was lifted on May 7 following the UKs successful COVID-19 vaccine rollout, which now has seen 57 million people receive at least one dose of the vaccine. Despite the lifting of the flight ban, people arriving in Hong Kong must produce a negative PCR test taken before departure and another after arriving in the former British Colony. They must also quarantine for 21 days in a government-approved hotel and have three more PCR tests before a final one after being in Hong Kong for 26 days.
Cathay Pacific was encouraged by an uptick in passengers from the mainland following the Hong Kong government’s Return2HK scheme. The scheme allows Hong Kong residents to return to Hong Kong from mainland China and Macao without quarantine. Because of this, Cathay Pacific said they would resume flights to Hangzhou and Fuzhou at the end of May.
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