‘Zero COVID’ policy cost Hong Kong air hub status: IATA

DOHASep 21 – Hong Kong lost its position as the world aviation hub due to China’s zero policy covidsaid on Wednesday the head of the airline group IATAwarning that the industry’s recovery from the pandemic will slow if Beijing continues its restrictions next year.

At a conference of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) held in the Qatari capital, Doha, the agency’s director general, Willie Walsh, stated that China’s policy of zero covid It “devastated” Hong Kong and hit Cathay Pacific airlines hard.

“As a result, Cathay Pacific is a shadow of its former self. Hong Kong lost its position as a global hub and will have a hard time regaining it because others have taken advantage of it,” she said, blaming government policies, not the virus.

Hong Kong is traditionally a major transit hub for passengers between international flights and on trips to China, and is the base for Cathay Pacific.

The pace of recovery in global passenger demand has picked up over the summer, with airline executives attributing higher-than-expected demand to a surge in people willing to travel after two years of restrictions.

However, the recovery has been uneven, as China continues to enforce strict border and social restrictions related to covid-19.

Walsh said the IATA She is watching for any signs that China will ease its restrictions and said changes were previously expected this year. If the restrictions continue next year, the industry will suffer, she said.

“Clearly it will have an impact on the overall strength of the recovery,” Walsh told reporters.

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