Could carry only freight cargo on passenger jets: Cathay Pacific

On Monday, in a statement Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd said, it could fly only freight to Japan, and not carry any passengers, if it decides to retain some services whose cancellation it announced at the weekend over travel curbs proposed by Japan over China’s coronavirus.

On Saturday, Cathay Pacific had cut most of its flights to Japan for the rest of March following Japan and China announcing that Hong Kong passport holders will have to face two weeks of quarantine on arrival.

“Although we do expect our passenger belly cargo operations to be impacted, we are currently evaluating how to continue serving our cargo customers to and from Japan,” said Cathay to freight clients in an update. “This includes the retention of certain passenger services for cargo carriage only.”

On Friday, the South China Morning Post newspaper had reported that there were concerns the curbs on travel to Japan could hurt Hong Kong’s supply of fresh seafood and fruit, which are typically flown in the hold of passenger jets.

The destinations of the cancelled Cathay passenger flights include Nagoya, Tokyo, Sapporo, Fukuoka and Osaka.

Cathay Pacific, one of the world’s biggest freight carriers, is also weighing options to increase its cargo carrying capacity.

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