LONDON – Turkish Airlines has been temporarily banned from operating flights into Hong Kong between June 13-17 for COVID-19 violations.
It is understood that two passengers onboard TK070 from Istanbul had failed to comply with what the Hong Kong Government call the Prevention & Control of Disease Regulation, specifically Cap 599H.
On top of this, TK070 also had passengers test positive for COVID on arrival into Hong Kong. As the authorities say:
“As this flight route of Turkish Airlines triggered the relevant criterion two times within 10 days, the DH thus invoked Cap. 599H to prohibit the landing of passenger flights in Hong Kong from Istanbul operated by Turkish Airlines from June 13 to 17.”
With this in mind, the authorities have appealed to all airlines operating into Hong Kong to follow the rules and check passengers more thoroughly “against their passengers’ compliance of the specified requirements before allowing them to board the flight”.
The document continues:
“The spokesman for the CHP stressed that as the local situation of COVID-19 infection is still severe, the CHP strongly appeals to the community to continue to comply with social distancing measures, avoid going out and refrain from participating in unnecessary or crowded activities or gatherings. This would lower the risk of infection and prevent the virus from spreading in the community.”
COVID Cases Continue in Hong Kong…
COVID-19 continues to be under the microscope in Hong Kong, especially with 106 new cases being imported from other countries.
The country is dealing with the virus still domestically, with there being over 200,000 tests yet to be confirmed if they are positive for COVID or not.
Hong Kong is still being notoriously known for having the strictest COVID requirements in the world, which has had detrimental effects to the likes of Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and others.
So long as this problem continues, the Hong Kong Government will not reverse any restrictions imposed on air travel as well as on its domestic policy as well.
Not Great News for Turkish Airlines…
For Turkish Airlines, this is not good news as they will have to compensate passengers who will be affected by the temporary cancellations.
It is unclear how many passengers in total will be affected by these cancellations, but an estimate can be made based on the equipment that the airline uses for the route.
TK070 is typically operated by its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, that offers 49 seats in Business Class and 300 in Economy.
Based on that information, this could affect up to 1,745 passengers in the scenario that every flight was sold out.
Either way, this will be more at the cost of Turkish Airlines due to the compensation it would have to pay out, as well as some PR damage that would come from this.
The airline needs to do more when it comes to checking passengers’ eligibility to travel to Hong Kong.