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Cathay suspends flights as huge storm hits Hong Kong

September 23, 2013 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59As the worst storm to threaten Hong Kong in 34 years bore down on the territory yesterday, Cathay Pacific suspended all operations for Sunday and today. The Hong Kong-based airline is monitoring the situation and hopes to resume flights this evening.

Super Typhoon Usagi has affected at least 400 flights around the world. Driven by gusts up to 200 km/h, the storm is battering Hong Kong and China’s southern Guangdong province with extreme winds and heavy rain. It is also pounding Taiwan and the Philippines.

“Cathay Pacific advises that due to the anticipated impact of Severe Typhoon Usagi approaching, the operations at Hong Kong will stop from 18:00 on 22 September (Sunday) through 23 September (Monday),” the airline stated yesterday.

“The airline is monitoring the situation very closely and will issue further advice on the resumption of flight services. It is anticipated that disruptions will continue through 23 September due to the impact of adverse weather and operational constraints. Cathay Pacific will only resume operations when it is safe to do so.

“You are encouraged to defer non-essential travel on Sunday 22 September to Monday 23 September. The airline will waive re-booking fees for all tickets issued worldwide (irrespective of fare type) on or before 21 September for travel on Cathay Pacific between 22 September (Hong Kong time) to 24 September.

“For details, please refer to the Special Ticketing Guidelines.

Please check Flight Status and local transport arrangements before departing for the airport.

To ensure you receive the latest flight status updates via SMS or email, please update contact details in Manage Booking.

Hong Kong International Airport advised passengers departing the city to check flight information with their airlines or on the airport’s website: hongkongairport.com.

It’s not just Cathay Pacific. Hundred of flights have been affected around the world. Hong Kong’s airport authority advised last night that airlines had cancelled 179 arriving flights and nearly 200 departing flights to Hong Kong’s international airport. Many other flights (43, both arriving or departing, last night) had been delayed and travellers were stranded everywhere from Sydney to Europe.

Chu Kong Passenger Transport, which runs ferries between Hong Kong and mainland China, also suspended operations as Hong Kong hunkered down before the storm’s onslaught.

The disruptions fall, unfortunately, at a very busy time – a long weekend in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan for the Mid-Autumn Festival. South Korea  held its Chuseok holiday at the weekend.

Many people are travelling – or at least, they had planned to do so.

 

Written by Peter Needham

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