Hong Kong eases Covid rules, cargo operation expands

HONG KONG’S Cathay Pacific has welcomed the Hong Kong government’s easing of crew quarantine rules, with adjustments expected to allow expanded cargo operations, reports London’s Air Cargo News.

The new rules mean that vaccinated cargo crew will no longer have to quarantine on returning flights but will be subject to a 14-day medical surveillance period.

The airline hasn’t revealed details yet on how it will expand cargo activities.

“We welcome the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government’s adjustments to the crew quarantine and medical surveillance requirements as of May 1,” said Cathay general manager cargo commercial George Edmunds.
“This will allow us to progressively resume more cargo flights from May onwards, and we will therefore be making adjustments to our schedule in the coming weeks.”

At the start of the year, the carrier grounded its long-haul cargo network but has been gradually adding capacity back.

“At network level, our March capacity was 48 per cent above January’s, with a significant increase in regional freighter flights, especially to India and North-East Asia,” said Mr Edmunds.

“We have also restored freighter capacity to southwest Pacific and, in mid-April, operated our first freighter to Europe since the end of December.”

However, Mr Edmunds added that the events in the first quarter of the year highlighted the fragility of supply chains.

“The lockdowns in Shanghai continue to be an issue and have had a significant impact on demand with transport constrained and manufacturing output reduced,” said Mr Edmunds.

“We have mounted additional services to other ports in mainland China to alleviate this, and we continue to monitor the situation.”


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