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Hong Kong Airport opens for transit in Australian repatriation boost

written by Adam Thorn | May 26, 2020
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER B-KPH flying over Hong Kong. (Aero Icarus/Wikimedia Commons)
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER B-KPH flying over Hong Kong. (Aero Icarus/Wikimedia Commons)

Hong Kong International Airport is to resume transit flights from 1 June, in another boost for Australians planning to return home.

The South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday afternoon that transfers would restart after being suspended since 25 March.

City leader Carrie Lam said, “The epidemic has eased. We are resuming daily activities in society and economy step by step.”

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Currently, those wishing to enter the city are required to go to the nearby AsiaWorld Expo site for coronavirus testing, before heading home for a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Executive Traveller reported that Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s flag carrier, now aims to slowly build up its international network from 21 June, boosting flights to Sydney, London, LA and Vancouver to five flights per week.

Melbourne is also set for three flights per week alongside Amsterdam, Frankfurt, San Francisco, Mumbai and Delhi.

The news comes days after Singapore Changi Airport announced it would lift its transit ban from 2 June and Dubai its transfer restrictions from 27 May. Abu Dhabi currently allows transit but with customers remaining on the plane.

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The clean sweep is likely to lead to many more commercial flights out of Australia, outside of supplemented repatriation flights.

Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison waded into the ongoing border row between Australia’s states by warning that Sydneysiders might be able to fly to New Zealand before Queensland or WA.

Speaking to the National Press Club in Canberra on Tuesday, he also stated that Australia would not open its borders to international travellers “anytime soon”.

The Prime Minister said, “I was speaking with Prime Minister [Jacinda] Ardern this morning, and we’ll continue to have our discussions about the trans-Tasman safe travel zone.

“It may well be that Sydneysiders can fly to Auckland before they can fly to Perth, or even the Gold Coast, for that matter.”

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2 Comments

  • Peter

    says:

    Cathay looks well placed to bounce back a lot quicker than most airlines.

  • Ledio Celiku

    says:

    Highly doubt this will help rebounce any Australian companies. In an internal regulation Hong Kong Airport is only permiting Cathay to Cathay connections only. This sounds protectionism to me. Similar to China’s 5 point policy. I wander is Australian Airports would ever restrict transfer to domestic Australia and Trans Tasmanian routes on Quantas and Virgin only. But this would be very reciprocal with what is happening. Not good for public benefit. Cathay can push the fares up without competition.

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