Singapore Airlines has become the latest airline to pick up a two-week ban on flying passengers to Hong Kong after a traveller tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival, combined with three passengers on the same flight having been found not to have conduced an approved pre-departure test.
This does not affect the carrier’s permission to fly passengers from Hong Kong to Singapore (and beyond), and in the meantime Cathay Pacific and Scoot retain their permissions for Singapore – Hong Kong passenger services.
Flight SQ882, operated daily by an Airbus A350 Long-Haul aircraft, will now operate as a cargo-only flight from Singapore to Hong Kong from 3rd April 2021 to 16th April 2021 inclusive, but will still carry passengers on its return trip as SQ883.
Hong Kong’s statement
Here’s what the government of Hong Kong SAR had to say yesterday about the new ban:
As a passenger flight (SQ882) operated by Singapore Airlines from Singapore to Hong Kong on March 31, 2021, had one passenger confirmed to have COVID-19 through specimen collected at the DH’s Temporary Specimen Collection Centre, while three passengers failed to comply with requirements specified under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H), the DH thus invoked the regulation to prohibit landing of passenger flights from Singapore operated by Singapore Airlines in Hong Kong from April 3 to 16, 2021.Government of Hong Kong SAR press release
Singapore Airlines is not the first
SIA is far from the first airline to be impacted by Hong Kong’s strict requirements for air carriers bringing passengers with COVID-19 (or without a valid pre-departure PCR test) into the SAR.
Recent 14-day bans include:
- Air India (BOM): Banned in Oct 2020
- Air India (DEL): Banned four times (Aug 2020, Sep 2020, Oct 2020 and Nov 2020)
- British Airways (LHR): Banned in Dec 2020
- Emirates (DXB): Banned in Jan 2021
- KLM (AMS): Banned in Dec 2020
Local carrier Cathay Pacific has also picked up several bans on individual routes for breaching the strict thresholds.