Following the temporary suspension of passenger services to Japan following the Coronavirus outbreak, Cathay Pacific says it is considering flying only freight to Japan onboard its passenger aircraft and no passengers. The Hong Kong airline says it is “currently evaluating how to continue serving our cargo customers to and from Japan.”
“This includes the retention of passenger services for cargo carriage only,” the carrier says in a cargo customer update.
“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused to our customers and we will communicate a revised schedule in a timely manner,” it adds.
Hong Kong is heavily reliant on perishable goods from Japan including fresh seafood and fruit, which are typically flown in the belly hold of passenger aircraft.
For the month of March, Cathay has suspended passenger flights to a total of 38 cities in 13 countries including China (19), South Korea (three), Italy, Philippines, US, Taiwan and Japan (two each), UK, Israel, Maldives, Spain, Australia and India (one each).