Cathay resumes more European flights

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  • stevescoots
    Participant

    Apparently CX are now almost at break-even. Let’s hope this will make their service a bit more reliable

    But as stated, with the appalling problems created for incoming passengers in the event of a cancellation we will continue to book multiple refundable flights for any return to Hong Kong – and CX’s fares are so high that we haven’t made a single booking with them. Sad…

    Agree with the costs, 6 months ago i was getting around 2500 GBP in J return LHR to SGN, the last one was over 5,000!


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    I’m sure we all wish Cathay the best. It certainly isn’t having much luck at the moment

    Cathay Pilots Worried About Quarantine Urged to Call In Sick

    The SCMP is reporting that quarantine-free travel to China will start in early December, although admittedly from very small numbers, initially.

    Exclusive | Coronavirus Hong Kong: launch of quarantine-free travel to mainland China ‘brought forward to early December’, but numbers tightly limited


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    Cathay Pilots Worried About Quarantine Urged to Call In Sick

    Interesting article, Tom, and completely in line with what we are hearing on the ground. We ourselves are looking at bringing forward my planned retirement, now likely to be next year rather than 2023. If we can’t travel easily, and are forced to spend another Christmas without seeing our beloved Offspring, then the Memsahib and I are going to abandon the place that we love, where we met (albeit both expats), and have called home for almost thirty years. The sad truth is that with all the restrictions, said Offspring will probably not be able to come *home* to move out before we leave, which we know will be very difficult for them. We have friends who have already decided to abandon Fortress Hong Kong, and anecdotally there will be a huge outflux around Easter – which may seem like odd timing but apparently shipping costs over next summer are already so high that families are deciding to leave earlier in the year notwithstanding the disruption to schooling that will result.

    The brain drain has begun, and will continue. Driven not just by Covid restrictions of course, but by all the other things that HK has been through during the last few years, and the utter lack of confidence in the government that has come with all of that.

    I find it all desperately sad. I truly love living in Hong Kong. After I first came here in 1989 as an articled clerk (trainee solicitor in modern parlance) for six months (and met the Memsahib!), and returned to my parents’ home in Kent, I got desperately homesick for Hong Kong. That is how much I love it. But….

    Also, anecdotally, there is a huge building programme going on to expand the quarantine facility at Penny’s Bay, with rumours that in future hotel quarantine will be abandoned and anyone coming in will have to undergo their quarantine at PB. Dear God….

    PS With apologies for going somewhat off-topic above, and continuing to do so, I am very much looking forward to my retirement. I had hoped to continue working until the Offspring were off the payroll, but heigh-ho. Our plan is to move to a small but prosperous British financial centre on a rock in the sea, sharing a land border with a much larger country which desperately wants to regain sovereignty over it. It’ll be just like old times!

    8 users thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    Ian, thank you for your heart warming account of your time in HK and what it means to you and your loved ones! I feel similarly about my time here in Singapore, which has been a home to me now for 12 years. I have in that time spent elongated periods in the Caribbean and Australia and Phuket but always headed back here because it was a good safe and clean environment to live in. I met my husband here, I love (ed) the food, the ease to live and I thought everything about it!

    It seems that whilst the world was open and pre the covid sh1tstorm the reason we all loved this little island was because we could escape and get off it as often as we could because when you cannot get off the island and you are stuck in the heat of the city state you begin to realise it is not all its cracked up to be, and with now the exodus from Singapore back to Europe, the US and Australia in full swing we all see that whilst it professes to be this idyllic place to live it is indeed so far from that truth and the numbers leaving bare testament to this!

    The inept handling of the “crisis” the almost permanent lock down (not as bad as some parts of Australia or NZ) but this is a smaller more condensed place the “Singapore First Mentality” has made life here untenable for long timers like me. In fact in the last month 14 families who were in our social network have left Singapore for good heading back to their lives elsewhere!

    This won’t stop newbies jumping at the chance of finding themselves here, but as to our plans, I am also bringing forward my retirement, albeit my husband is Singaporean we will be heading to Europe when we can finalise everything here and head to the place that isn’t quite the big country near the rock you mention but a similar size country suitably located where we can live out our retirement closer to the mother ship but certainly not on it!

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    More problems for Hong Kong flights (SCMP)

    Coronavirus: British Airways temporarily suspends passenger flights to and from Hong Kong

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    More problems for Hong Kong flights (SCMP)

    Coronavirus: British Airways temporarily suspends passenger flights to and from Hong Kong

    A friend travelling from here was caught up in this cancellation but thankfully managed to get a flight at short notice on AY. However, this set of cancellations is going to cause huge upset for many other families trying to reunite for Christmas.

    We heard that one lady trying to check in at Heathrow for the first flight that was cancelled estimated that about 70% of the people waiting to check in were students – and here is the problem (or at least a part of it). Apparently many parents here in HK have lobbied and persuaded UK boarding schools to permit students to leave early (and spend the remainder of the term working online during quarantine) so that they could leave quarantine in time for a family Christmas. Even one day’s change in plans – as I have said before – can screw up everything, PCR tests and quarantine hotel availability being but two of these. It seems almost inevitable that many families will not be able to put alternative plans in place, and so children will be forced to remain in the UK over the holidays even if they have no family there, or will spend Christmas in quarantine.

    The sooner the HK government begin to understand the damage that they are causing to families by being so rigid with aircrew, the better.

    I am just waiting for the headline “Rudolph and his travelling companions sent to Penny’s Bay due to suspiciously red nose, suspected Covid superspreader”. Sigh….

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    stevescoots
    Participant

    More problems for Hong Kong flights (SCMP)

    Coronavirus: British Airways temporarily suspends passenger flights to and from Hong Kong

    A friend travelling from here was caught up in this cancellation but thankfully managed to get a flight at short notice on AY. However, this set of cancellations is going to cause huge upset for many other families trying to reunite for Christmas.

    We heard that one lady trying to check in at Heathrow for the first flight that was cancelled estimated that about 70% of the people waiting to check in were students – and here is the problem (or at least a part of it). Apparently many parents here in HK have lobbied and persuaded UK boarding schools to permit students to leave early (and spend the remainder of the term working online during quarantine) so that they could leave quarantine in time for a family Christmas. Even one day’s change in plans – as I have said before – can screw up everything, PCR tests and quarantine hotel availability being but two of these. It seems almost inevitable that many families will not be able to put alternative plans in place, and so children will be forced to remain in the UK over the holidays even if they have no family there, or will spend Christmas in quarantine.

    The sooner the HK government begin to understand the damage that they are causing to families by being so rigid with aircrew, the better.

    I am just waiting for the headline “Rudolph and his travelling companions sent to Penny’s Bay due to suspiciously red nose, suspected Covid superspreader”. Sigh….

    Sadly HKSAR priorities are a few thousand miles due north, not families

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    Reading between the lines this could be the biggest over reaction ever, as more and more countries rush themselves to oblivion! Currently and things could change but there is no evidence that this new strain is anything other than …… a new strain! A tad more contagious perhaps but all reports are stating mild symptoms only and nothing more! Now before all you naysayers jump down my throat this is my opinion only, I am talking about currently but even today the WHO are saying to show constraint and to wait and see which just tells me something!

    According to reports here, the South Africans made a point of notifying the relevant organisations about the discovery and things just snowballed from there! I hope I am right and we can again start to move to normality, surely in the 21st century that’s not too much to ask???

    5 users thanked author for this post.

    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    According to reports here, the South Africans made a point of notifying the relevant organisations about the discovery and things just snowballed from there! I hope I am right and we can again start to move to normality, surely in the 21st century that’s not too much to ask???

    And kudos to SA for detecting the variant so quickly – anecdotally this is because they have such good testing centres because of the (sadly rampant) extent of HIV in the country (and continent for that matter).

    Was playing bridge with friends last night, and more talk about people giving up on Fortress HK.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    Nobody left here to play bridge with Ian! They’ve either left for the holidays panicked and ran to get out of dodge, or packed up and never to return!

    I guess its time to open that 21 year old Middleton Whiskey I was waiting to share with Martyn to ease the pain 🙂

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Polly
    Participant

    Hi K1ngston

    Finally made it back to Asia, not HKT after your dire warnings earlier. But, here in Singapore actually.. now at the W for a few more days. A VERY interesting start to our trip, definitely not part of my holiday plans, let’s leave it at that….. just hoping now we can get back to the U.K. next week. But after that shaky start, it’s been fabulous being back in the this part of the world. People, food, sun! Been a dream. The testing is the nightmare tho, and now even more stringent regimes announced today. 3 tests after arrival. Doubt many will travel sadly. Cabbies v worried too.
    If you are near Sentosa and want to meet up, do let us know. Hubby loves bridge too! Lovely Asian eatery right by the W which we are frequenting…..
    Hope you make it back to the U.K. for the holidays….Polly


    K1ngston
    Participant

    Hi Polly, welcome to the madness that is Singapore. I go to the W every weekend riding my bike, so know where you are next to Jasons I would summise? I am wondering how best to get in touch I am not sure if we are allowed to plant email addresses on this forum but would welcome the opportunity to meet up

    Look forward to hearing back and devising a plan 🙂


    Polly
    Participant

    Hi K

    Will double check this pm when we eat there, but it’s literally 2 mins walk from the W.nice happy hour Prosecco and beers near by..just let me know which day/days suit, and we can be there from 6.45 or whatever is best. Or lunch…lovely place to bike, so green. Feels like a different world to the city…our room faces the marina, gorgeous.. we will spot you w the bike!
    such a risk getting here, but absolutely worth it to feel Asia again…see you soon P


    K1ngston
    Participant

    P,

    If I am going to ride I would prefer lunch as riding at night not ideal in Singapore, there is a famous cafe that cyclists frequent just where you eat on the corner. I am using my good friend Martyn who will pass me Toms email to forward my details to you. Lets aim for lunch tomorrow if that works?? Look out for some comms from Tom with my phone and email. Look forward to meeting you both K

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