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A British Airways 777-300 lands on runway 17R with the Austin skyline in the background. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Mateen Kontoravdis)

British Airways Set To Return To Hong Kong

British Airways will soon resume passenger flights to Hong Kong, following the lifting of the Hong Kong government’s suspension on passenger services from the United Kingdom.

This good news comes as Hong Kong has been known to be one of the strictest countries when it comes down to border restrictions and Covid-19 precautions, such as imposing two-week bans on airlines when arrivals test positive for the virus. British Airways was also affected by such a policy in mid-December.

Unfortunately, it was more towards a government-imposed suspension on all passenger services from the UK that halted British Airways from accepting travelers, due to the UK variant of Covid-19 that has emerged.

While the airline had been flying to Hong Kong on a regular basis since February, the service only carried cargo between Hong Kong and the UK.

The good news also comes as Hong Kong’s national carrier, Cathay Pacific Airways, announces its resumption of seventeen flights between Hong Kong and London, following the gradual relaxation of Hong Kong’s quarantine measures for arrivals from low-risk areas.

The national carrier will make its first passenger flight on the route, departing from London’s Heathrow International Airport on Sunday (May 9), with services having previously stopped since December 2020. The carrier will also be allowed to fly back to London with passengers departing Hong Kong.

Initial services will operate twice weekly on Sundays and Fridays, although British Airways stresses that “the operation of any flight is subject to potential scheduling changes,” and advises passengers to constantly check their website for the latest flight information.

High Demands Expected

The airline is predicting “significant pent-up demand among those keen to visit family and friends as restrictions are lifted.”

Noella Ferns, Head of Sales for British Airways comments on the positive news saying, “We at British Airways can’t wait to welcome our customers on board our flights from London Heathrow to Hong Kong again, and are delighted to be able to reunite families and friends with their loved ones after such a long time apart.”

The carrier’s service to Hong Kong from London Heathrow will take the form of BA031, and has been operated by a Boeing B777-300 in recent times and is like to continue as such.

The flight will depart London Heathrow at 16:15 as an overnight service and is set to touch down in Hong Kong at 11:15 the next day.

For those with plans to return to Hong Kong, travelers can board flights only after obtaining a negative result for a COVID-19 test, with samples taken 72 hours prior to departure.

Additionally, the government states that a confirmation of a 21-night room reservation in a designated quarantine hotel is also required.

Arrivals to Hong Kong are subject to the “test-and-hold” arrangement for obtaining a negative result at the airport. After this, they are required to undergo a 21-day mandatory quarantine in a designated quarantine hotel.

“The safety of our customers and colleagues has always been at the heart of everything we do. We have also introduced a range of precautionary measures to provide stress- and hassle-free travel.” said Ferns in the same statement.

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