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Hong Kong’s headed in the right direction
by Eric Tamang, Valuations analyst, at Ascend by Cirium
As the world continues to recover from the pandemic, travel quarantine restrictions have largely been removed. However, there remain a handful of states/territories in Asia-Pacific that still require quarantine, including China, Chinese Taipei, and Hong Kong.
On 12 August 2022, the Hong Kong government announced that it would ease the mandatory quarantine requirements for inbound travelers with a shortened period from 14 days (7 days hotel + 7 days home medical surveillance) to 7 days (3 days hotel + 4 days home medical surveillance).
Since that announcement, Cirium’s flight tracking data shows a subtle upwards trend in the seven-day moving average of daily departures from Hong Kong.
Daily tracked departing flights 7-day moving average
In addition, Hong Kong’s de facto flag carrier Cathay Pacific has been gradually bringing their passenger fleet back from desert storage. According to Cirium Fleets Analyzer, Cathay Pacific had 92 passenger aircraft in service in June 2022. As of 5 September 2022, that number has increased to 99 passenger aircraft in service. Cathay Pacific also plans to hire 8,000 new staff by the end of 2023 to prepare for the recovery.
Cathay Pacific In-Service Passenger Fleet
After being suspended for three years, Hong Kong will be hosting the annual Rugby Sevens event in November 2022. The world class event attracts travelers from all continents and is crucial for Hong Kong to revive its economy and status as a world class aviation hub. In light of that, the Hong Kong government is planning to remove hotel quarantine for all inbound travelers from November 2022.
In anticipation for good news, airlines have scheduled more flights to prepare for the demand created by the event and holiday season. According to Ascend by Cirium’s schedules data, we can see the seven-day moving average clearly increasing from October onwards.
Scheduled daily departure flights from Hong Kong 7-day moving average
Mandatory hotel quarantine has been one of the biggest hurdles for inbound travelers. With a world class event and holiday season on the horizon, it seems it is just a matter of time before the Hong Kong government completely scraps hotel quarantine requirements.
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