Zero-COVID policy has cost Hong Kong its aviation hub – IATA

Zero-COVID policy has cost Hong Kong its aviation hub – IATA

DOHA (Reuters) – Hong Kong has lost its status as a global aviation hub due to China’s non-spreading coronavirus policy, the head of the IATA airline group said on Wednesday, warning that the industry’s recovery from the epidemic would slow if Beijing continued its restrictions after that. general.

Willie Walsh, Director-General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), who attended the International Air Transport Association (IATA) conference in the Qatari capital Doha, said that the policy of non-spread of the Corona virus in China had “devastated” Hong Kong and badly hurt Cathay Pacific airline.

“Cathy Pacific is a shadow of what it once was as a result. Hong Kong has lost its position as a global hub and will fight to get it back because other hubs have taken advantage of that,” he said, blaming government policies rather than the virus. .

Hong Kong is traditionally a major hub where passengers move between international flights and on flights to China, which is the base of Cathay Pacific.

The recovery in global passenger demand accelerated during the northern hemisphere summer, as airline executives attributed higher-than-expected demand to an increase in people eager to travel after two years of restrictions.

But the recovery has been uneven, with China continuing to impose strict border controls and social restrictions related to COVID-19.

Walsh said the IATA is watching closely for any indications that China will ease its restrictions, and he said there had been expectations in the past that there would be changes this year.

If restrictions continue next year, the industry will suffer.

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“It will obviously have an impact on the overall strength of the recovery,” Walsh told reporters.

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