Four major European airlines have suspended flights into Hong Kong due to the SAR’s strict crew quarantine requirements arising from its zero-Covid policy. Over the past two weeks, Air France, British Airways, Swiss International Air Lines and Lufthansa have either cancelled flights or stopped operating directly into the city.
On December 4, Swiss International Air Lines temporarily suspended flights to Hong Kong until December 11, citing concerns over crew quarantine. The Swiss flag carrier is currently rerouting passengers travelling between Zurich and Hong Kong via Vienna and Bangkok.
Additionally, there have been reports of Lufthansa cancelling passengers’ direct flights between Frankfurt and Hong Kong. When The HK HUB checked the carrier’s official booking site, flights that originally stopped in Hong Kong have indeed been rerouted until late January 2022. There is no official announcement from the airline about this development.
Most recently, Air France stopped operating all its passenger and cargo flights to Hong Kong until March 2022, stating that it is “not feasible” to comply with its anti-epidemic requirements for flight crew.
The slew of flight suspensions began in November, when British Airways suspended flights into the city after crew members were quarantined at Penny’s Bay following testing positive for Covid-19. The airline made this decision to avoid potential crew shortages if any of its pilots or cabin crew get stranded in Hong Kong after testing positive for the virus.
The carrier was expected to resume flights after December 4, but at the time of writing, there are only flights between Heathrow and Hong Kong starting from March 2022, according to their online booking system.
Header image credits: Triple Tree, CC BY-SA 4.0