These Are The Airlines Currently Flying In And Out Of Hong Kong International Airport
From its emergence in December 2019, Covid-19 quickly spread across the globe, causing counties around the world to shut down. One major industry that has taken the hit is travel, which has largely been halted in order for countries to reduce imported cases and keep the outbreak under control.
The number of people travelling in and out of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) dropped to just 32,000 in April, indicating that traffic was down by 99.5 per cent compared to April 2019. Air traffic statistics posted by the airport also show that HKIA saw just 9,445 flights in April, a year-on-year decrease of 73.5 per cent.
However, as we move into summer, a number of countries are beginning to ease restrictions, with many airlines resuming and increasing popular international routes. Although all arrivals to Hong Kong have to still undergo a mandatory 14 day quarantine – and only those with a HKID are currently granted entry – travel is beginning to increase in and out of the city’s hub.
From 15 June, passengers are also able to use HKIA for transit/transfer on flights operated by different airlines under the same air ticket, provided that the passengers have checked through at the origin port with their boarding passes printed and baggage tagged-through to the final destination.
If you’re curious to see which popular routes are being reinstated and which countries are allowing international visitors, read on to find out which carriers are embarking and disembarking in Hong Kong.
As Hong Kong's flagship airline carrier, Cathay Pacific has continued flying in and out of the city throughout the pandemic – if at a very reduced rate. The airline has previously stated that it expects to operate approximately 3.5 per cent capacity in June and 9.4 per cent in July.
“Though there have been some small positive signs, such as the ban on transit traffic through Hong Kong International Airport beginning to ease, the future remains very uncertain,” chief customer and commercial officer Ronald Lam said.
One June 19, the airline announced that it would be resuming a number of flights and routes, increasing their flying capacity from 3 per cent to 5 per cent between June 21 and June 30 – operating five flights per week from Hong Kong to London (Heathrow), Los Angeles, Vancouver, Sydney; three flights per week to Amsterdam, Frankfurt, San Francisco, Melbourne, Mumbai and Delhi; and daily flights to Tokyo (Narita), Osaka, Seoul, Taipei, Manila, Bangkok, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore.
You can find further information on Hong Kong's current travel restrictions and the protocols put in place for health and safety by Cathay Pacific here.
Currently operating four flights a week between Vancouver and Hong Kong, the airline is expected to increase this in July, flying five times weekly.
The airline has also confirmed that it will be increasing its flights across a number of destinations within Canada, to the US, the Pacific, Atlantic, the Caribbean and Mexico. Along with increased flights, Air Canada has implemented a range of new safety measures – an industry-leading program committed to end-to-end health and safety protocols, Air Canada CleanCare+.
Air Canada is also offering booking flexibility, with one-time changes available with no fees for all new or existing bookings made through June 30, 2020 for original travel between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. If you booked directly with Air Canada and you need to cancel for any reason, you can also convert your ticket to an Air Canada Travel Voucher that has no expiry date or to Aeroplan Miles with an additional 65% bonus miles.
The UK carrier is currently flying six times weekly between Hong Kong and London Heathrow.
Although the airline has been flying between the destines for some time, as of mid-June, the UK introduced a mandatory two-week quarantine for all arrivals to the UK.
Much like other airlines, BA is allowing travellers to book with peace of mind, enabling you to change your booking date and destination for no change fee for travel up to April 2022, or cancel it completely in exchange for a voucher. A full range of safety precautions have also been put in place by the airline, further information for which can be found here.
See also: Here’s How To Find Out Which Countries You Can (And Can’t) Travel To Right Now
Emirates confirmed on June 18 that it has resumed flights between Dubai and Hong Kong, following the UAE government’s announcement to lift restrictions on transit passenger service.
The airline is now flying between Dubai and Hong Kong three times per week – on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays.
Emirates is also adding ten cities back into its network in the coming weeks, in addition to increasing frequencies on existing routes in July, including flights to London Heathrow, Manchester, Frankfurt, Paris, Zurich, Madrid, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dublin, New York JFK, Toronto, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
Though flight paths are being reinstated, entry into Dubai is currently restricted to UAE residents until July 7 – with a post on the Emirates Instagram page confirming that the country will be open for tourists and visitors from then.
Routes between Japan's Haneda airport and Hong Kong are currently suspended, with only a reduced amount of flights per week between Hong Kong and Tokyo Narita – currently only twice per week on Wednesdays and Sundays.
The airline published its latest schedule for the month of July showing that the carrier’s international flying capacity is expected to be down by 93 per cent in July, compared to 96 per cent in June.
In in a statement posted on its website, the airline stated that it is planning to fly more international routes in July "“to help support customers planning to return to Japan and for those planning to travel for business and personal reasons”.
Along with flying to Hong Kong, routes include Chicago, Los Angeles and Vancouver, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Hanoi, Manila, Taipei Kaohsiung and London.
Additional safety measures and details of flexible booking arrangements can be found on JAL's website.
See also: What To Do In Hong Kong This Summer If We Can’t Travel
KLM Royal Dutch Airline
Having resumed 15 per cent of its flights in May, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines announced on June 2 that it would further expand its route network – particularly in Southern Europe – in July, operating 25 to 30 per cent of its normal flights.
From Monday 15 June to Sunday 21 June, KLM flew from Schiphol to 39 intercontinental destinations, including Hong Kong.
Based on flight schedules, KLM continues to offer flights to Hong Kong on a daily basis. Other passenger-carrying flight destinations include Atlanta, Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Seoul, New York, Osaka, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Chicago, Paramaribo and Toronto, varying between a daily to a weekly frequency.
In July, the airline is expected to operate at around 80 percent of the normal number of European destinations, and around 75 percent of intercontinental destinations. In August this will be around 95 percent and 80 percent respectively – though about half of the intercontinental flights currently currently in operation only carry cargo.
Lufthansa announced on June 4 that it intends to resume flights between Hong Kong and Frankfurt at the beginning of July.
The airline is also waiving the rebooking fee for all bookings made until 30 June 2020, travellers will also be able to rebook to a new travel date till 31 December 2021. Details of destinations currently offered by the airline can be found here.
See also: 8 Luxury Hotels And Resorts In Asia That Are Set To Re-Open This Month
Singapore's national carrier Singapore Airlines and regional wing Silkair announced earlier this month that it would be reinstating flights to a number of cities, as well as increasing the frequencies of existing routes in June and July.
Along with routes to Hong Kong, the reinstated flights include Adelaide, Amsterdam, Auckland, Barcelona, Brisbane, Cebu, Christchurch, Copenhagen, Medan, Melbourne and Osaka. A full list of all the destinations the airline is flying to can be found here.
The airline has also made several changes to ensure the safety of passengers, including introducing an e-Library to replace reading materials, introducing an in-flight e-menu and digital food ordering services in the lounges and replacing buffet services at its lounges with a la carte meals.
Swiss International Airlines
Swiss International Airlines operated its first flight out of Hong Kong on the evening of June 3, with the carrier confirming that it will now operate twice-weekly from Hong Kong.
Throughout June, the airline has been gradually expanding its route network, with plans to operate “up to 190 flights from Zurich and Geneva to 41 European destinations” and around 85 per cent of its flight routes. The expansion, which will take place over the coming months, will be initially focused on major European cities such as Amsterdam, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Rome, Stockholm and more, with further destinations added to its intercontinental route network.
Along with its twice weekly flights to Hong Kong, it currently operates flights to Singapore and Bangkok weekly, and Mumbai thrice weekly. The airline is also extending a one-time, toll-free rebooking for the same route and same class of travel for passengers, for tickets booked up to June 30, 2020 and with a travel date up to April 30, 2021. The trip can be postponed until December 30, 2021.
See also: 8 New Luxury Hotels Openings In Asia For 2020 To Take Note Of Now And For Book Later
Qatar Airways announced on June 2 that it had become the largest airline in the world over the past three months, operating over 15,000 flights.
It also shared plans to “gradually rebuild its network in line with passenger demand evolution and the expected relaxation of entry restrictions around the world.” It was last reported on June 4 that it had expanded its network to over 40 destinations. The Hong Kong route is currently operating three times a week.
For peace of mind, Qatar Airways has also introduced flexible booking policies that allow unlimited date changes, as well as destination changes—within 5,000 miles of the original destinations—with no fare differences as long as the trip is taken before December 31, 2020. Tickets booked up to December 31, 2020 will be valid for two years.
United is planning to resume some international services in July that it had previously suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The US carrier said that Covid-19 “continues to have a significant impact on our business”, and it is expecting to be “down about 75% [in July] versus 90% right now.”
As well as increasing flights between Hong Kong and San Francisco to five times a week in July, United will also be offering flights to Singapore, and Seoul; as well as routes between Washington and London, Munich, Brussels and Zurich; and Chicago to Tokyo.
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Virgin Atlantic has been operating a significantly reduced schedule due to the Covid-19 crisis, and the UK carrier announced earlier this month that it would be resuming services from London Heathrow to New York JFK, Los Angeles, Orlando, Hong Kong and Shanghai set to resume from July 20 and 21.
On June 22, the airline also confirmed its plan to restart passenger flying to 17 additional destinations from August 2020.
In addition to this, Virgin Atlantic has unveiled new health and safety measures in place for both crew and passengers. Like many airlines, Virgin plans to offer advanced cleaning procedures on its aircraft and in the airport, along with issuing each passenger a Health Pack, containing a medical-grade face mask, surface wipes and hand sanitiser gel.
See also: Virgin Atlantic Set To Resume Flights To The US And Asia Next Month