Cathay Pacific resumes London flights

HONG KONG, 7 May 2021: Cathay Pacific will resume flights to London Heathrow on 8 May after suspending services since Christmas week 2020.

Initially, the airline will fly an A350-1000 three weekly services ( 8, 10 and 11 May). CX251 will depart Hong Kong at 2355 and arrive at London Heathrow at 0540 on the following morning. Starting 13 May, the airline has scheduled five flights weekly to London.

The decision to resume flights is linked to the UK’s plan to allow residents to travel overseas again, possibly as early as 17 May, based on the government’s recovery plan. UK authorities are likely to ease Covid-19 travel restrictions on residents and authorise the full resumption of international passenger flights.

Earlier in the week, the South China Morning Post said a source familiar with the situation said the flights would resume based on the reduced daily infections and fatalities due to the success of the vaccination programme.

In an official announcement two weeks ago, the Hong Kong government said it would “consider lowering country classifications from extremely high risk to very high risk where appropriate.”

The flight ban came as a more contagious Covid-19 variant that emerged in the UK late last year, leaving thousands of Hong Kong residents stranded in the UK.  Cathay Pacific, in the meantime, operated some repatriation flights from the UK.

The mandatory 21-day hotel quarantine on arrival in Hong Kong remains in place even for vaccinated travellers.