Cathay Pacific Airways has recommenced its operations in South Africa, following a suspension of service lasting over three years.
The suspension of flights to the region was prompted by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, which led to the imposition of stringent border controls and lockdown measures worldwide.
On the 2nd of August 2023, Cathay Pacific reinstated its direct flights between Johannesburg and Hong Kong, marking a momentous occasion for the airline and the travelling community. The restoration of these flights augurs well for improved travel times to Hong Kong and other key destinations in the Asian region, such as Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.
The pandemic had significantly impeded travel to Hong Kong for the past two years, owing to China’s rigorous Covid-19 policy. This engendered tight lockdown protocols and exacting quarantine requisites for all inbound travelers, including airline crew, rendering travel to the territory less appealing.
Cathay Pacific will initially offer a thrice-weekly service from O.R. Tambo International Airport to Hong Kong. Nevertheless, reputable sources indicate that the airline harbours ambitious plans to elevate its scheduled services between Hong Kong and South Africa, with aspirations to facilitate eleven flights per week, incorporating daily services to Johannesburg. Additionally, the airline is actively evaluating the possibility of introducing scheduled flights to Cape Town thrice a week, and instating a weekly flight service to Durban.
This strategic move by Cathay Pacific portends a propitious development for South African travellers aspiring to explore the Asian market. With the gradual relaxation of travel restrictions and the resurgence of international travel, the airline’s revival signifies a significant stride towards restoring global connectivity amidst the pandemic recovery.