Cathay Pacific Cargo says its flight schedule has been progressively returning to normal since 13 August, following the stoppage of passenger flights through the airport earlier this week as a result of democracy protests.
Cathay notes in a statement today that the recent public assemblies at Hong Kong International Airport over the past few days have resulted in the Airport Authority imposing the ‘Flight Rescheduling Control System’ (FRCS), which is used in times of disruption.
While cargo flights were largely un-impacted by the shutdown of passenger flights, belly cargo was significantly affected by the the two-day closure.
“Unfortunately, this restricted the movement and frequency of flights,” Nelson Chin, general manager Cargo Commercial, Cathay Pacific says. “While our cargo freighter operations remained largely unaffected as these do not need to make use of the passenger terminal, our passenger flights were impacted by cancellations and delays.
“We have been providing updates on the situation as it unfolded on our website, cathaypacificcargo.com , and certainly regret the inconvenience that this situation has caused,” the Chin adds.
The carrier also noted that the Airport Authority Hong Kong has already deactivated the FRCS and the on 14 August secured an injunction to prevent protesters from obstructing airport operations in the future.
“While it is perfectly understandable that the events over the past few days have led to concerns about whether schedule integrity can be maintained, we trust that the improved measures at HKIA will provide greater confidence that cargo operations can fully resume and once more serve the industry through Hong Kong and on Cathay Pacific to the standard to which you are accustomed,” Chin says.
“We would like to assure you that we shall remain vigilant about developments and continue to conduct our operations in the safest, most efficient and most professional manner possible to meet your cargo needs. You can feel confident in the knowledge that our services are returning to normal,” he adds.
The Hong Kong carrier has increasingly found itself in a difficult position, as a number of its staff joined protests resulting in China’s aviation authority issuing a ban on any flight staff who participated in protests and pushing the carrier to terminate their employment.