Cathay resumes flights to London Heathrow

January 07, 2021
cathay heathrow
Photo: Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific will resume flights to London Heathrow from January 12 even as travel from the UK to Hong Kong remains suspended.

The airline announced it would operate CX251 flights to Heathrow on January 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 21 and 24 to assist customers needing to travel to the UK.

Flights between the two cities had been cancelled until January 10 and a planned flight to Manchester on January 15 has been canceled.

READ: World’s top 20 COVID-compliant airlines

Flights departing the UK to Hong Kong will continue to be suspended until January 25 due to government entry restrictions.

“Cathay Pacific understands the importance of providing flexibility to our customers, enabling them to book flights with greater peace of mind,’’ the airline said.

“Customers can make free and unlimited changes to their tickets up to December 31, 2021 or exchange them for Cathay Credits for use at a later date.

“Alternatively, customers can cancel their tickets and request a refund.”

Cathay has introduced a host of measures to give passengers confidence they can fly safely during the pandemic.

They include contactless check-in and boarding, an application of amicrobial coating across all public areas, temperature checks, mandatory face coverings during a flight, sanitizing all aircraft surfaces and modified meal services.

Hong Kong International Airport has also launched e-boarding gates using touch-free facial recognition technology.

The Hong Kong airline is also among a number of carriers to supply health insurance covering COVID-related expenses while overseas.

The offer covers travel until February 28 and is automatically applied to all customers.

Cathay has been hard hit by the pandemic and passenger figures for November were down 98.6 percent on the same month in 2019.

It carried just 37,815 passengers for the month and its load factor dropped by 61.5 percentage points.

“We are still not seeing any meaningful improvement in our passenger business,’’ Cathay group customer and commercial officer Ronald Lam said in mid-December.

“On average, we carried just 1,261 passengers per day and load factor remained low at 18.5 percent  – both marginal increases over October.

“While we saw reasonably good traffic coming back to Hong Kong from Canada and Australia, this was prior to the implementation of new government quarantine requirements in the middle of the month.

“Meanwhile, overall demand on long-haul routes, particularly the UK and continental Europe, remained weak owing to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 in many European countries.”