Airlines Cut HKG Flights During COVID-19 Crew Test

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Airlines face many challenges when operating international flights, from lack of demand to ever-changing government restrictions. Well, it seems that American airlines now have a major new problem with the operation of Hong Kong flights.

American & United cancels HKG flights

American Airlines and United Airlines had both canceled passenger flights to Hong Kong in March, and the plan was for them to resume flights to Hong Kong from this month:

  • American to fly between Dallas and Hong Kong on July 9
  • United started flying between San Francisco and Hong Kong on July 6

American Airlines to resume flights from Hong Kong today
These takeovers are made despite strict entry conditions, which essentially do not allow locals to return to Hong Kong. However, these flights are probably viable for two reasons:

  • Freight has become an even greater source of revenue for major airlines than before, in many cases flights could be profitable even with very few passengers on board
  • Hong Kong Airport started clearing transit passengers last month

In any event, unfortunately, the service in Hong Kong was short-lived for United and never took place for the Americans. United Airlines canceled its flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong yesterday…

… And American canceled its flight from Dallas to Hong Kong today.

We should expect these cancellations to continue. What exactly is going on?

Hong Kong’s new requirement for team testing

All passengers arriving in Hong Kong must be tested, which is part of Hong Kong’s plan to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Historically, airline crews have been exempt, but that has changed.

The crews of the arriving airlines should now go to the neighboring AsiaWorld-Expo and undergo coronavirus tests before their stopover. Unions representing pilots in the United States and the United States have raised objections to the point of refusing to work on flights from Hong Kong.

What problem do the pilots apparently have with this? @xJonNYC shares what’s going on at American:

According to the opinion issued by the Center for Health Protection, anyone with a positive test sample will be admitted to the hospital “as soon as possible” and anyone who refuses to be tested would be fined and a prison sentence.

Upon learning of the new testing requirements, APA immediately contacted management to discuss the situation and express concerns, contractual and otherwise, regarding the new testing requirements to which crew members would be subject. arrival. Discussions have been underway on this issue since yesterday, and management has informed the APA that it is suspending all flights to HKG until August 5, as it is working with the appropriate authorities to address concerns about the warrant. test.

I heard that the pilots specifically oppose certain aspects, in particular:

  • The amount of time that tests add to their day, especially after such a long flight
  • How invasive the PCR test is
  • The need to be hospitalized with any positive test
  • The potential implications if a crew member is positive; does this mean that the entire crew should be quarantined for 14 days in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is now testing airline crews arriving

Conclusion

I will be curious to see how this situation evolves with regard to the crew tests in Hong Kong. In this case, I cannot blame the crews for expressing concerns about what happens if a crew member is positive.

Not only should this crew member have been hospitalized, but what would happen to the rest of the crew? Would everyone be stuck with a 14-day quarantine in Hong Kong? This is why the crews request that the tests take place before departure, so that if they are positive, they will not be stuck in another country.



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