BA passenger flights have returned to Hong Kong

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  • cwoodward
    Participant

    The first BA passenger flight for over a year landed in Hong Kong at 3 pm on the 6th December
    The 4 class older B787 landed as BA31 and is the first of 4 weekly flights ex LHR that will become daily from mid month.
    There have been regular often 2 twice daily BA freight flights operated by passenger 787 aircraft for some months which some at the airport have reported often carried several passengers.

    With Cathay going to 3 flights to LHR daily plus the increasing frequency of flights to Manchester it will be interesting to see how BA fair on the route as apparently the first flight in over a year was far from full.

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    stevescoots
    Participant

    now i feel old, referring to older 787’s lol. with CX loadings very high one would suspect the problem is people not wanting to travel to HK from UK. CX’s are probably HK’s travelling to and returning

    of course it could be BA sky high fairs if historical pricing is anything to go by, i have no interest to go looking at BA though


    cwoodward
    Participant

    A good chum – a director of a major bank flits back and forth often and reports a good number of Brit ‘business types’ on most CX flights – that of course is up front.
    Down the back, also full is perhaps partly comprised of those who ‘prematurely’ fled Hong Kong to the warm (sorry cold) embrace of mother England thankfully returning home much poorer but hopefully wiser to the warmer more welcoming and much cheaper embrace of Hong Kong. (Tung in cheek but essentially true comment based on media reports)

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    christ
    Participant

    On a lot of days from the summer timetable, BA will be flying twice daily – though who knows what the position will be by then.

    I have a friend who worked on the first BA flight to HK and they said it was relatively quiet in all classes, with the exception of first. I have been considering changing my Qatar flight from Warsaw to HK (via Doha) to BA (via LHR) in business and the prices have been continually decreasing which supports that they are not near capacity (again the exception is first which is sold out many days, unless of course some days are using a 787 without first).

    I stand to be corrected but I know very few people who are flying from UK to HK for leisure but I know lots of HK who are travelling to UK for an escape (and also many other places in Asia, and with Japan and Bangkok being at the top of the list). Actually even in Warsaw, I bumped into a large group of people in the casino visiting from HK (HK locals) and which surprised me.

    I suspect that if HK removes its remaining COVID rules (including masks) then BA will be fine as travel will pick up slowly. However as much as i look forward to returning home in HK in a week or so, it will be a shock returning to masks and scanning QR codes everywhere (just as I got used to not getting up from a table and looking to put on a mask).

    It will also be interesting to see what impact the end of the World Cup and Qatar returning to cheaper fares will have on BA and Cathay. I know many in HK who prefer Qatar due to the onboard product and of course additional tier points. I would much rather fly direct at a premium and also the HK flight rarely has Q suites of recent (perhaps they will change this).

    Perhaps I missed the point but I didn’t find the UK more expensive than HK, despite inflation (public transport excepted). Nonetheless, I felt more unsafe in London and was a lot more cautious unlike HK where there is minimal need to worry re personal safety. I loved visiting UK but feel that HK is a far better quality of life (plus no strikes). Also I have got bored of telling people that HK has been relatively normal throughout COVID (no lockdowns like Europe) and people are amazed and so I do wonder what the overseas press have been saying!

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    rferguson
    Participant

    There still must be quite a few restrictions to those visiting HK?

    The BA crew operating these flights are required to stay within the hotel during the layover (for now, anyway).


    christ
    Participant

    The restrictions are that you get an amber vaccine / leave home safe code for 3 days and so cannot dine in, go to bars or gyms etc (basically you can go anywhere except those which require a vaccine pass – therefore shopping malls, public transport, hiking, theme parks etc).

    Day of arrival counts as day 0 but on day 3 at 9am, the code is meant to go to blue and so you can do all (assuming you have 3 recognised vaccines).

    You do a PCR test when arrive and also on day 2. However there is no waiting at airport and friends have told me you are through the airport in less than 30 minutes and can get your own transport home (no quarantine). Your are then meant to do RAT tests for the next 5 (I think as just changed) days.

    You have to do a RAT test before departure but I am still trying to work out if this is uploaded anywhere.


    FormerBA
    Participant

    The arrival process I saw on Wednesday just looks awful. You are met by people in full PPE as though some sort of infected extra in a dystopian disaster movie.

    Many of CX passengers are in transit as I also witnessed. No tourist in their right mind will go near HKG. Why would anyone put themselves at such risk when the rest of the world is open and you don’t need 5 days of testing, 3 days of isolation and god help you if you actually do have covid

    The idea that HKG has a better quality of life is highly questionable given the overall environment.

    I also know that BA crew are not exactly falling over themselves to grab a trip to HKG.

    Until the draconian and completely pointless zero covid policy is abandoned it will simply not be safe to travel to HKG!

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    cwoodward
    Participant

    Former BAs report above is frankly not only ridiculous it is a fabrication and deliberate attempt (by its repetition) that for presumably political reasons aims to deliberately mislead readers of this forum.

    Re FormerBAs posting above:

    Its narrative is a distortion of the truth and the ‘facts’ a pure and mischievous fiction.

    BELOW ARE THE FACTS RE THE ARRIVAL PROCESS into Hong Kong ( I have been in and out of HK 8 times in the past couple of months ( that’s 16 times passing through HK border formalities)

    1. The disembarkation from the aircraft is exactly the same as it always has been in HK

    2. You are not met by anyone other than the normal arrivals airport and Cathay arrivals team.

    3. Arriving passengers then proceed as normal towards the arrivals

    4. At some point (when depends on the arrivals gate) the walkway is blocked by health officials who check your documents (a 1 minute process) and issue you with a number card.

    5. The number corresponds with that of a small booth a few meters further on where the test is administered which takes 2 minutes maximum.

    6. Proceed as normal towards ‘arrivals’

    The processes are slick and well organised with plenty of staff and the entire procedure takes me normally 5 minutes or less the maximum that it has aver taken is 10 and that when I was ‘down the back’ of a full aircraft from Manila.

    I wish ‘FormerBA’ no ill will but I robustly state that the damaging and politically misleading nonsense posted has in my opinion no place on this forum that for many years has been an invaluable and reliable conduit of helpful information from its knowledgeable readership and contributors.

    Tom is the boss and if he deems FormerBA’s politicaland misleading grandstanding to be appropriate for this forum then I move on.

    BTW ‘FormerBA – Hongkong has no zero covid policy in place.


    cwoodward
    Participant

    rferguson It is my understanding that the policy that you mention is one made by BA not the Hong Kong authorities but I am not certain of this.
    Do you have knowledge ?


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    cwoodward – with no intention of political aims or trying to fabricate what does or does not happen on arrival….. after all, I have not entered HKG for nearly 3 years….

    BUT..

    points 4 and 5 from your list need to stop and any form of restriction of movement for the first 3 days after arrival needs to stop. All very well for the bankers and politicians having special arrangements for themselves and their private jets – but for the businessman wanting to make a short stopover, 2 night visit to HKG or friends just wanting to socialise using HKG as a stop off point for a night or two, it may currently be possible, but it is neither practical or sensible.

    G-d forbid of course you catch a cold or suffer from a false test result …

    You felt pretty confident in October, that rules would change by December for us to share a dinner (freely) in HKG. Sadly, this still remains a challenge.

    Roll on the removal of all HKG restrictions… and I look forward to using 31/32 again soon.

    Thailand is certainly taking advantage of freely welcoming both tourists and business people … immigration hall was busy and the motorways were blocked, all showing an increase in numbers.. Also interesting to see were the lines of stored Thai airways jets reducing in numbers that I had seen from my 3 post pandemic visits.

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    cwoodward
    Participant

    Martyn

    I agree with your point that the final restrictions need to go but it is what it is at the moment and we in HK have to live with it.
    Already the 3 days have been reduced to 2 in the last week and anyone who is unfortunate enough to have caught the virus prior to landing is now allowed to remain in their hotel room rather than being whisked off to one of the governments ‘excellent’ quarantine facilities.
    Your worst fears addressed Martyn…..time to purchase the ticket perhaps ?
    There is a lot of discussion among the decision makers and I am still confident of further positive changes change prior to Christmas and the Chinese NY

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    stevescoots
    Participant

    well, i arrive on Friday afternoon, leaving Monday night. I can then see how things are. i do wonder how they count dining in, for example if a resturant has an outdoor area such as those in ETST near the shang, would i be allowed to eat outside. i guess i will find out!

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    FormerBA
    Participant

    Former BAs report above is frankly not only ridiculous it is a fabrication and deliberate attempt (by its repetition) that for presumably political reasons aims to deliberately mislead readers of this forum.

    Re FormerBAs posting above:

    Its narrative is a distortion of the truth and the ‘facts’ a pure and mischievous fiction.

    BELOW ARE THE FACTS RE THE ARRIVAL PROCESS into Hong Kong ( I have been in and out of HK 8 times in the past couple of months ( that’s 16 times passing through HK border formalities)

    1. The disembarkation from the aircraft is exactly the same as it always has been in HK

    2. You are not met by anyone other than the normal arrivals airport and Cathay arrivals team.

    3. Arriving passengers then proceed as normal towards the arrivals

    4. At some point (when depends on the arrivals gate) the walkway is blocked by health officials who check your documents (a 1 minute process) and issue you with a number card.

    5. The number corresponds with that of a small booth a few meters further on where the test is administered which takes 2 minutes maximum.

    6. Proceed as normal towards ‘arrivals’

    The processes are slick and well organised with plenty of staff and the entire procedure takes me normally 5 minutes or less the maximum that it has aver taken is 10 and that when I was ‘down the back’ of a full aircraft from Manila.

    I wish ‘FormerBA’ no ill will but I robustly state that the damaging and politically misleading nonsense posted has in my opinion no place on this forum that for many years has been an invaluable and reliable conduit of helpful information from its knowledgeable readership and contributors.

    Tom is the boss and if he deems FormerBA’s politicaland misleading grandstanding to be appropriate for this forum then I move on.

    BTW ‘FormerBA – Hongkong has no zero covid policy in place.

    I did not fabricate or attempt to mislead in my post. I simply described what I saw and experienced when I was in transit at HKG. Describing it as a scene from a dystopian disaster movie was clearly hyperbole I’d accept, but it was how I felt at the time. I am not comfortable seeing people in full PPE particularly in an environment where I have little control or influence.

    I’d have to accept that HKG does not have a zero covid policy but China does. In any event from a travellers perspective, HKG maintains a draconian, and medically pointless arrivals testing regime with a requirement to isolate. No matter how efficiently they might handle this, that is a fact. As a traveller, you therefore run a risk when entering HKG that you do not encounter anywhere else. The rest of world does not do this and has moved on thanks in large part to effective immunisation.

    As I was not entering HKG I had not looked into obtaining insurance for doing so. Therefore I do not know if standard policies would cover travellers ( tourists). Most business traveller don’t need to think about this as their firms provide the cover

    This was the last stop on a 23,000 mile journey involving 7 international airports and 4 airlines. Only Cathay insisted I wear a mask throughout the flight, going as far as to remind me after the meal. (they did not attempt this ex HKG) QF encouraged it but did not enforce. Nowhere did I see staff in full PPE other than Hong Kong. Nowhere had on arrival testing as in HKG or the miles of Tensa barriers that were evident. The last time I saw such facilities was when boarding the Queen Mary 2 at Southampton in April, the last passengers who did so

    Only Hong Kong and Saigon had shops that were closed and unused. Sydney had a mcDonalds outlet which was closed.

    Expressing an opinion on something that is factual accurate is not fabrication. It is however very difficult to separate the testing regime from the political regime, as the very existence of arrival testing is a matter of government policy and not medical necessity.

    Any damage my comments may have caused ( and I don’t believe I have that much influence) is solely due to the policies and procedures that I commented on, not my comments per se.

    I look forward to returning to HKG when arrival testing and the risks of isolation have finally been consigned to history.

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    christ
    Participant

    @cwoodward – is it correct the 3 days have been removed to 2 as I have been looking and I cannot find? Hope it has as one day less of boredom for me. As far as I can see you land on day 0 and on day 3, the restrictions end at 9am? My friend lands from SFO today and so guess he can update.

    Re the eating out, I think it depends. Technically if it formally part of the restaurant, I don’t think you can – however when I left people were less strict re rules (well more so re bars and the ridiculous thing of doing RAT tests before and which anyone can make up and so pointless (I personally wouldn’t out of respect to others but i know many do). However say the more common outside eating areas at the top of IFC, i know there are only requirements if you eat inside (I am referring to the area outside shakeshack with beautiful views over the harbour (however I suspect this is as it is not technically owned by the restaurant).


    christ
    Participant

    It does feel c Woodward can rub people up the wrong way. I will experience soon but formerba comments are much the same as my friend who flew back yesterday from america on cathay.

    I really want to know the reference to 3 days to 2 as not consistent with my friend landing,

    3 users thanked author for this post.
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