Hong Kong’s flag carrier Cathay Pacific Airways is temporarily suspending all long-haul cargo operations for a week due to stricter COVID-19 quarantine requirements for air crews.
The mandatory quarantine rules for air crew were tightened after a Cathay Pacific pilot tested positive for COVID-19 on the fifth day after he arrived in Hong Kong, South China, according to The South China Morning Post newspaper.
In an internal memo, the carrier revealed that it would need to “activate closed-loop operations for cargo crew”, which could result in extended work trips for pilots. In line with the updated quarantine policy, air crew will now be required to quarantine for seven days rather than three.
Cathay has reportedly reduced its schedule of passenger flights from 61 to 17, and cancelled five out of 17 cargo operations as of December 31, 2021.
The stricter quarantine policy will come into effect after midnight on December 31, 2021. The move will help the Hong Kong government to secure its zero-COVID policy.