HK continues to sink

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  • christ
    Participant

    Appreciate that there are more serious issues re the queen but equally as she helped HK, it is sad to watch it going further into decline and no travel.

    Bidding started for quarantine hotels until next feb – a bad sign and shows maybe rugby 7s and business conference will not happen.

    Apparently at least 45 airlines no longer fly to HK

    The director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Willie Walsh, on Wednesday said it was “disappointing” to see how the city’s pandemic-related travel curbs had continued to restrict flights into Hong Kong.
    “I can’t see many airlines returning while the uncertainty continues, and committing capacity in an environment where capacity is still constrained would be a difficult decision for many airlines,” he said during a media briefing.

    Walsh explained that while Hong Kong was still a critical aviation centre in the region, a lot of activity had now gone to other restriction-free hubs.
    “I think it will take some time for Hong Kong to recover,” he said.
    Singapore’s Changi Airport has emerged as the region’s leader in terms of international passenger traffic for the second quarter of this year, with Hong Kong not even making the top 10.

    I think HK has accepted living with COVID as few care unlike China but these ridiculous policies are creating so many issues.

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    cwoodward
    Participant

    I strongly disagree with your misleading headline which if I may say so amplifies the Hong Kong negative attitude of most of your posts.

    “Hong Kong continues to sink” is plainly not just deliberately misleading it is factually incorrect and it would seem intended to mislead.

    “Apparently at least 45 airlines no longer fly to Hong Kong”

    Is intended or not totally misleading and perhaps intentionally so as of course some airlines have ceased current operation and most of the others are still operating on generally restricted timetables across their normal schedules as is Cathay Pacific. Is there one of these airlines that has publicly stated that they will not continue to fly to HK going forward ?-I do not believe so.

    It would perhaps be better if you did a little research rather than quote a poorly reschurched and misleading piece from a company who have a history of producing negative pieces about Hong Kong which the SCMP quoted one presumes in order for a tabloid headline.

    From HK government sourced information -all currently available online

    “Hong Kong International Airport,having an extensive air network of over 220 destinations worldwide through more than 1,100 daily flights by over 120 airlines, is an international aviation hub in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.26 Jul 2022”

    “In the month of July there were 5,600 passenger flights into Hk and increase of around 7% on the previous month and IMPORTANTLY BACK TO MORE FLIGHT THAN IN THE SAME MONTH IN 2015
    Some 112 airlines offered flight to HK in July compared with 122 in 2019”

    You go on to mention that a precautionary bidding process for quarantine hotels is a bad sign. Why? Surely it is the duty of any government department to plan ahead in these uncertain times. Foolish not to do so.

    You go on to quote Willie Walsh. he is of course the previous long term CEO of British Airways.His dislike Cathay Pacific is well know and on record thus anything that he says regarding Hong Kong or its (British owned) airline should be taken with a pinch of salt. There is a long standing and mutual dislike between the airlines not helped by CX continually out performing BA and specifically on the London Hong Kong route where the failing BA was pushed to fill 2 flights a day while Cathays 6 or 7 flights per day from LHR were always very heavily loaded as were the flights out of Manchester and Gatwick airports.

    Walsh is thus very unlikely to ever say anything positive about Hong Kong or about its British owned airline

    Absolutely the quarantine situation is not assisting the general recovery of here but it is expected by most to change for the better very soon and interestingly even under the prevailing circumstances HSBC is expecting Cathay to produce a HKD 6 Billion operating profit in the balance of this year.

    There can be no doubt that Hong Kong, it’s airline and its aviation industry are recovering well and will fully recover quickly once the final restrictions are lifted

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    stevescoots
    Participant

    I transited through HKG on sunday, last time was from memory 6 months ago. the difference is like night and day. shops open, lounge open. a lot of people in transit. I agree with Cwoodward regarding the situation improving and CX is absolutley coming back. both my JFK-HKG and HKG-SGN flights were at capacity.

    where i agree with Christ is i see no signs of a sensible policy any time soon and I have been saying i do not see anything like the rest of the worlds policy until after CNY 2023 at the earliest. Many of my mainland friends who have always been somewhat optmistic of “any time now or maybe next month” are resigning themselves (privalty of course) to 2024 before normality.

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    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    cwoodword – I do not doubt your statistics, the airport is getting busier – but a couple of questions.

    1. Who is flying in and out of HKG. My reading suggests it is mostly locals finally able to return and students studying overseas coming home for holidays.

    2. I also read there is a large proportion of local HKG based travellers who willingly endure multiple quarantines, just to be able to work.

    3. Do the flight stats include the “ghost cargo flights”. Like BA9/10 to BKK. I presume that BA are still flying 27/28 and 31/32 to HKG to keep the slots live, but as cargo only flights – non passenger flights. I am sure if this is correct these flights wil lbe included into the stats.

    I remember my first post pandemic overseas trip to Malta and the ridiculous cost of the testing, at the time came to around £600 for a 4 days trip (which was billed to the client).

    Whilst I don’t doubt the fact Cathay is increasing flights & the airport is getting busier, I do still doubt that business/leisure travellers without a decent corporate cheque book are willing to endure the additional cost of the specific HKG testing requirements plus the hotel imprisonment to enter HKG, along with the current inflated flight prices….

    It will be interesting to see if the 2 big events go ahead shortly (sports and commerce related) or whether “test” entry exemptions will be created…

    and will fully recover quickly once the final restrictions are lifted

    That appears to be the key……

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    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Not sure how accurate this data is, but it does suggest that the majority of inbound passengers are locals returning and not overseas visitors.

    https://webb-site.com/dbpub/hkpax.asp?t=0&p=1&f=3

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    cwoodward
    Participant

    Martyn
    Thanks for your usual intelligent response to my post.

    I will try to answer a couple of your questions with what is my own interpretation, published stats and info from HK friends:

    1. Clearly you feel that those traveling are locals and students. Of course the rump of those traveling in and out of HK will always be locals and I would have agreed with your summary a couple of months back however in the past weeks there have weekley been significant increases in business travellers. Also there is fast increasing business traffic both in and out of China as the mainland has quietly made it easier for business people to travel abroad. Flights and pax to and from China to HK would have undoubtedly increased significantly recently. Also nd very pleasingly there is a not an insignificant flow of former residents returning and others taking up new jobs here (an international school that all of my boys attend(ed) has found half a dozen new staff from NZ and AU in the past weeks 3 of which are returnees and we have let a flat to UK lawyer who has arrived with family to to take up a position here. Small beginnings but it is happening all- be- it too slowly.

    2. There are those (self included) who believe that we are close to the lifting of restrictions and have endured multiple quarantines in order to continue to operate. A good friend and director of a large international British bank has been in and out 6 or 7 times during the past 2.5 years.

    3. The flight stats that I quoted do not include any freighter only operations and these are roughly equal in number to the pax operations quoted.
    Some airlines including CX have taken a portion of seats out of A330s and 777s to accommodate more freight as well as pax…….and so combi operations. These flights are probably included in the passenger stats as they pull up to the pax terminal. There would I estimate be only 2 or 3 a day.
    The BA operation is interesting as there are as you mention 2 or 3 BA flights a day. They pull up to the pax terminal and people that I know at the airport swear that they disembark passengers as well as freight – only a few but defiantly what appear to be normal passengers -odd

    As you say the lifting of restrictions are the key to a full revival and the demands for this from business and the general population are now deafening and increasing by the day. Clearly the CE wants to move quickly forward but is needing to work through the many layers of resistance to achieve this.

    It will happen soon because it must or Hong Kong as a business and focal hub will be lost.
    The vultures from Singapore have been circling now for some time and the US administration is increasingly putting the boot in as often as they are able although their business community are largely supportive of HK.

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    tomyam42
    Participant

    One has to wonder who will come to Hong Kong to watch the Sevens. Three days confined to a hotel followed by a plethora of tests. Then where do they stay after the 3 days? They can’t eat in restaurants and presumably go into a bar for a drink. Somebody willing to cope with that does not seem like the rugby fans I know.


    cwoodward
    Participant

    To early to be concerned tomyam42
    The sevens are not until early November and the situation re quarantine here will have changed for the better by then.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    “In the month of July there were 5,600 passenger flights into Hk and increase of around 7% on the previous month and IMPORTANTLY BACK TO MORE FLIGHT THAN IN THE SAME MONTH IN 2015
    Some 112 airlines offered flight to HK in July compared with 122 in 2019”

    If we accept the data on the enclosed graph

    https://webb-site.com/dbpub/hkpax.asp?t=0&p=1&f=3

    ..it suggests that July’s inbound passenger tally (taking the 1st August figure) = 173,171 passenger arrivals. Your aircraft arrival count of 5,600 inbound passenger flights, means the average passenger load is 31 passengers per flight. The data suggests flight movements may be up (based on your data of 5,600 inbound passenger flights), but passenger numbers remain relatively low per flight..

    A good friend and director of a large international British bank has been in and out 6 or 7 times during the past 2.5 years.

    I think we all agree, those with a corporate cheque book at hand, do not need to worry about the increased flight cost or cost of being detained / restricted during quarantine. Try talking to the locals (non corporate) who have been caught up with flight changes, positive tests, difficulties in booking flights / changes and the rule changes. I am sure corporate bankers have a team of staff to solve the issues and I would suggest they do not represent the normal HKG residents and cost conscious business travellers, trying to get in to HKG.

    Try looking at the Facebook Group “Hong Kong Quarantine Support” – it may be social media but it has over 97,000 contributors to this group alone and presents some quite harrowing stories… still… in Sept 2022.

    The BA operation is interesting as there are as you mention 2 or 3 BA flights a day. They pull up to the pax terminal and people that I know at the airport swear that they disembark passengers as well as freight – only a few but defiantly what appear to be normal passengers -odd

    “normal passengers” – interesting comment, but very unlikely.

    The sevens are not until early November and the situation re quarantine here will have changed for the better by then.

    I like your enthusiasm … I am planning my next trip to Asia for the beginning of December… HKG is not currently on the schedule… (yet)…

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    jwak_hkg
    Participant

    Interesting reading.

    https://simpleflying.com/cathay-pacific-33-percent-capacity-2023/

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    cwoodward
    Participant

    Martyn
    I am almost certain that both events will proceed.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
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