Cathay Pacific Caps Service Frequencies to Japan

Tokyo is limiting flights from Hong Kong and Mainland China over fears of the spread of Covid-19.

Kiyomizu-dera temple and the Kyoto skyline. (Photo: Su San Lee/Unsplash)

Hong Kong’s flag carrier is being forced to reduce its January schedule for flights to and from Japan by 20 percent, thanks to new restrictions imposed by the Japanese government in response to China’s worst coronavirus outbreak. Airlines from Hong Kong and Mainland China have been barred from increasing flights beyond the number operated this week (December 23–29), which means Cathay Pacific will only be able to run a total of 65 weekly flights to destinations such as Tokyo Narita and Haneda, Osaka Kansai, and Sapporo.

All flights to Nagoya and Fukuoka scheduled from December 30 onward have been canceled until further notice, while frequencies to Sapporo will be cut from daily to five times weekly, with Monday and Wednesday flights suspended for the foreseeable future. Tokyo Narita flight CX500 and Osaka flight CX502 will be canceled on select dates.

Japanese authorities now require customers who have booked flights to Sapporo from December 30 onward to confirm that they have not been to Mainland China within seven days of departure, and sign a self-declaration form during check-in at Hong Kong airport. Travelers who cannot meet this requirement can choose to refund or rebook their flights.

Passengers affected by the flight cancelations will be given different options depending on their chosen destination. Those bound for Tokyo, Osaka, and Sapporo will be transferred onto other available flights; Nagoya customers will be transferred onto Osaka flights. Customers heading for Fukuoka will be offered a full refund as the remaining Japan flights over the holiday period are already full.

Cathay Pacific will operate all scheduled services from Japan to Hong Kong between December 30 and January 8 as planned, including ferry flights carrying no passengers to Japan to help stranded holidaymakers return home. From January 9 until further notice, all flights from Nagoya will be canceled. Flights from Sapporo will be reduced from seven to five per week (with Monday and Wednesday flights terminated from January 11), while Fukuoka flights, Tokyo Narita flight CX501, and Osaka flight CX503 will be canceled on select dates.

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