Cathay Pacific has confirmed it will continue to fly between Australia and Hong Kong in July, despite the closing of the carrier’s Australian base last month.
“As part of our efforts to support Australians who need to travel, and to reflect the easing of restrictions in our home market, we will be maintaining our services between Australia and Hong Kong in July,” said the airline.
“With fully flexible tickets and enhanced wellbeing measures at every stage, you can book and fly with confidence.”
Melbourne to HK flights will operate four times a week, and Perth and Brisbane to HK will operate one flight a week. However, Adelaide flights will not be operating in July.
The news comes amid an influx of COVID-19 infections in Australia, as Sydney has been put into a two-week lockdown, along with other states such as Queensland in shorter lockdowns.
Because of this, the federal government today announced that arrivals coming to Australia will be temporarily halved until infection rates slow down.
During the current phase one focused on vaccinating, preparing and planning, arrival caps will reduce by 50 per cent from 3,010 passengers per week to just 1,505.
At the national cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a three-phase plan to return Australia back to normality, where COVID-19 would simply be “like the flu”.
Despite these rules capping arrivals, this will not affect flights arriving in Hong Kong, but will impact passengers returning to Australia.
Cathay Pacific has not commented on any changes to flights from Australia since these updates.
Phase two will begin when a specific target of vaccinations has been reached, which will be decided by “scientific evidence”, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Arrival caps were introduced in July 2020 and initially sat at 4,000, before increasing to 6,500 at the end of 2020 and then decreasing to just over 4,000 in January 2021, before finally returning to more than 6,000 early this year.
Last month, Cathay Pacific confirmed it would shut its Australian pilot base in a move that led to 120 staff facing a choice between redundancy or relocating to Hong Kong.
The announcement came only months after the business shut its Canadian pilot base, which followed the closing of its regional offshoot Cathay Dragon and overseas cabin crew bases, cutting 5,900 jobs since the start of the pandemic.