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Hong Kong temporarily bans Cathay Pacific passenger flights from Manila

Aviation Updates Philippines – Cathay Pacific Airways has received a temporary ban from flying passengers on its Manila-Hong Kong route after officials recorded five COVID-19 positives in a March 13 flight from the Philippines, according to a press release from the Hong Kong government.

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Due to the alarming number of infections on that particular flight, Hong Kong's Department of Health (DH) "...invoked the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H) to prohibit [the] landing of passenger flights from Manila operated by CX in Hong Kong from March 15 to 28, 2021," it said.

Chapter 599H was specifically drafted to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19. The regulation, which allows local health authorities to prohibit land and sea vessels to land or enter Hong Kong, came into effect on July 15, 2020.

On the other hand, a Cathay Pacific spokesperson confirmed to Simple Flying: "Cathay Pacific had been scheduled to operate four flights during the two-week period from Manila to Hong Kong. As a result of the directive, we will suspend our passenger services from Manila to Hong Kong until 28 March. Passenger flights from Hong Kong to Manila are not affected."

“We are following the health authorities’ prescribed procedures in assisting their efforts in tracing people who were in close contact with the index passengers. We will continue to work closely with the authorities on this case.”

“The operating aircraft has also been sent for deep cleaning in accordance with the standard required by the Hong Kong Port Health Authority and to the Cathay Pacific’s own strict standards,” the spokesperson told Simple Flying.

The regulation, however, does not restrict the airline from operating the Hong Kong-Manila one-way route with passengers. The ban only encompasses Cathay Pacific from flying passengers on the Manila-Hong Kong sector.

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