Cathay Pacific is to resume flights to London Heathrow (LHR), three weeks after Hong Kong banned all commercial passenger flights to and from the UK.
The rule, which took effect from Dec. 22 and affected the carrier’s services to LHR and Manchester (MAN), came after a new, more transmissible strain of the COVID-19 virus was detected in the UK.
In a statement, Cathay Pacific said it would resume flights from Hong Kong (HKG) to LHR on Jan. 12 using Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. Services will also be operated on Jan. 14, 15, 17, 18, 21 and 24.
However, the flights will only carry outbound passengers from HKG with the aircraft remaining empty on the return leg.
The restriction of passengers departing the UK to Hong Kong will be in place until Jan. 25 at the earliest. Cathay Pacific’s HKG-MAN service will also remain suspended for the time being.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cathay Pacific served LHR up to 5X-daily and MAN 1X-daily. The oneworld alliance member also flew daily to London Gatwick (LGW), but the airport has since been dropped from the carrier’s network completely.
Cathay Pacific’s planned resumption of LHR flights comes as the UK government considers making a negative COVID-19 test result compulsory for some passengers arriving in the UK.
The UK’s Department for Transport said the measure is one of several that could be implemented to “prevent the spread of COVID-19 across the UK border.”
Photo credit: Joe Pries