04 Aug 2006
Cathay Pacific Airways has announced that it plans to return to its normal flight schedule as far as possible from 0900 today (Friday, 4 August). Most of the airline's flights were cancelled yesterday because of excessive winds in and around Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok.
The first flights scheduled to leave this morning were bound for Manila, Sydney and Kuala Lumpur. Five Cathay Pacific inbound flights had landed at HKIA from 0800 this morning. The airline plans to deploy additional aircraft and crew in an attempt to clear the backlog of passengers who were stranded as a result of yesterday's typhoon.
Passengers booked on today's scheduled services should be able to board their flights as planned, although there might be some delays. They should call the airline's hotlines (see below) in advance or go to the Cathay Pacific website, www.cathaypacific.com, to check the status of their flights.
In the meantime the airline is doing everything it can to rebook all those passengers whose flights were cancelled yesterday. The airline has advised these passengers not to go to the airport but to call Cathay Pacific's reservations hotline on 2747-1888. The airline has also opened a help desk at Hong Kong International Airport at the Cathay Pacific check-in area for those passengers who wish to cancel their flights.
More than 50 Cathay Pacific outbound flights were cancelled yesterday and 42 other flights were diverted to regional airports including Manila, Bangkok, Taipei, Guangzhou and Xiamen. The airline paid out an ex-gratia payment of HK$500 to each Hong Kong resident passenger to cover transport and other costs.
Cathay Pacific also found 650 hotel rooms for international passengers. But this left around 2,000 other checked-in passengers to spend the night at the airport. The airline deployed additional staff to assist these passengers with food vouchers, water, blankets and other assistance.
Cathay Pacific said that bookings on today's scheduled flights were particularly heavy, as this is the peak season for holiday and other travel. The airline again expressed its regrets for the inconvenience caused by the typhoon and said its first priority was to return its schedule to normal as quickly as possible and to clear the backlog of stranded passengers at the earliest possible time. But given the large numbers of people involved and the high load factors this would take some time. Some 28,000 passengers were booked to fly out on Cathay Pacific flights today.
Regular updates will be posted on the airline's website, www.cathaypacific.com.
The passenger enquiry hotlines in Hong Kong are as follows:
Chinese language: 2747 8888
English language: 2747 8999
Reservation Hotline: 2747-1888