Travel News

Foreign shoppers swarm Turkey after lira crash - AFP

DECEMBER 21, 2021

BY  Dmitry ZAKS

The sea of Bulgarian buses parked outside a market in Turkey's historic city of Edirne betrays the scale of the currency crisis impeding President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's path to a third decade of rule.

The mosque-filled city on Turkey's western edge was an early capital of the Ottoman Empire when it was expanding across the Middle East and Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries.

It is now the place where shoppers from Bulgaria and the Balkans -- themselves some of Europe's poorest countries -- go to stock up on everything from underwear to walnuts at a fraction of their cost back home.


"For us, the crisis is good, but it is very bad for the Turkish people," said tour guide Daniela Mircheva before boarding a bus back to her Bulgarian hometown of Yambol.

"We were in a similar situation maybe 10, 11, 12 years ago," the 49-year-old said, in reference to the 2008 global financial crisis. "It is very difficult."

- 'Half the price' -

Turkey's beleaguered lira has crashed under the weight of an unusual economic experiment Erdogan is conducting in a bid to boost support before elections due by mid-2023.

Erdogan has pushed the central bank to slash interest rates in fervently-held belief that this will finally cure Turkey's chronic inflation problem.

It has -- as economists had universally predicted -- done the exact opposite.

Consumer prices are climbing at an annual rate of more than 20 percent.

Some economists think this pace could accelerate in the coming months.

The lira has shed a third of its value since the start of November alone.

It was beginning to lose five percent a day until Erdogan announced new currency support measures Monday that managed to suspend the slide.

This means Mircheva can afford to pile a few extra jugs of sunflower oil on her bus packed with Bulgarian shoppers.

"It is half the price it is in Bulgaria. It is much cheaper for us, much cheaper," she said.

But the mood among the market's Turkish traders is grim.

- 'Humiliating' -

"It is humiliating," said Gulsen Kaya from behind her counter filled with sweaters and winter clothes. "Look at what he has done to Turkey!"

Erdogan is betting that a cheap lira will create exports-driven growth that puts Turkey on a path followed by China during an economic transformation that pulled millions out of poverty and created a new middle class.

He championed the poor when bringing his Islamic-rooted party to power against all odds in 2002.

Erdogan then surprised many by opening Turkey up to foreign investment and marshalling nearly a decade of vigorous growth.

Economists and diplomats -- as well as some Bulgarians -- struggle to understand why Erdogan has decided to reverse course so dramatically in the past few years.

"I think that the people who rule Turkey, if they do the things that I think they should do, then the lira will come back to the levels it was in the summer very, very quickly," Bulgarian shopper Tinko Garev said.

"I am very unhappy for the Turkish people because I realise what these cheaper prices mean for them."

One senior Western official said the drop in Erdogan's approval ratings in most polls to as low as 30 percent had put the veteran Turkish leader "in political survival mode".

"You can choose not to believe (individual polls) but the trajectory is clear," the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said. "He is down to the very bottom of his base of support."

- 'We are in shock' -

Bulent Reisoglu has been running the Edirne market since it opened after moving from its original location in Istanbul 15 years ago.

He said the number of weekly shoppers filling his hangar-like trading centre has ballooned from 50,000 to nearly 150,000 since the full effects of the crisis set in.

"The number of foreign shoppers have gone up four- or five-fold," he said.

Yet the merchants are making less money because the extra sales are more than offset by the depth of the lira's collapse.

"Our suppliers are sending us new price lists every week," market trader Utku Bitmez complained.

"All the raw materials come from abroad, from Europe, China and Italy," he said. "The price of these products has doubled since last year."

Reisoglu said he watches merchants nervously eyeing the latest lira exchange rates on their phones.

"We are in shock," the market manager said. "No one expected this big of a devaluation."

The Bulgarian shoppers also seemed to have mixed feelings about getting such great deals.

"Local people cannot buy all these things," said Ilyana Todorova while shopping for clothes with her teenage daughter. "For ordinary people, it is no good."

FG reinstates Emirates Airline schedule to Nigeria - BUSINESSDAY

DECEMBER 21, 2021

The Federal government has reinstated Emirates Airline’s daily schedule to Nigeria.

This was contained in a letter signed by Musa Nuhu, director-general, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), addressed to the country manager, Emirates Airlines.

Nuhu stated that “following the further consultations with various stakeholders and the letter from Dubai CAA with reference number DCAA/ASA/N-3/016 dated 17th December 2021 offering Air Peace Airlines daily slots to Dubai airports, I wish to inform you the reinstatement of the ministerial approval of Emirates Airlines Winter Schedule.”

He noted that the approval is predicted in compliance with the Dubai Travel Protocol as released by Dubai airports on Friday 26th November 2021 as it affects travellers travelling from Nigeria to UAE.

It will be recalled that Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation, and Musa Nuhu, the Director-General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), restricted Emirates to just one weekly flight to Abuja after discussions broke down over restricting Nigerian flag carrier Air Peace to just one flight to Sharjah.

In response, Emirates withdrew flight services from Nigeria which led to a diplomatic row between the two countries.

Nigeria-UAE ends row, FG reinstates Emirates’ 21-weekly flights - THE GUARDIAN

DECEMBER 22, 2021

•Airline flies 21 million vaccines to Nigeria
Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), yesterday, ended the diplomatic row as they agreed to reinstate flight services across both ends.

While the UAE granted Nigerian flag carrier, Air Peace, seven weekly slots to Dubai, the Federal Government reciprocated, reinstating the 21-weekly winter schedule earlier granted to Emirates.

The Federal Government a fortnight ago, reduced Emirates Airlines’ 21 slots a-week to just one, in reciprocity of similar treatment meted to Nigerian flag carrier, Air Peace airline that requested for three slots but got only one a-week. In response, Emirates Airlines pulled out of the Nigerian route indefinitely. As at last week, the UAE modified its stance on welcoming Air Peace airline into the Arab country, with an approval of seven weekly slots into the Dubai International Airport, Dubai.

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), in a memo to the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in UAE and Emirates yesterday, confirmed the approval of 21 weekly flights into Lagos and Abuja airports.

Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, said the approval was granted following consultations with stakeholders and the correspondence received from Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, offering Air Peace airline daily slots at Dubai Airport.

Nuhu stated: “This approval is predicated on the compliance with the Dubai Travel Protocol as released by Dubai airport on Friday, November 26, 2021 as it affects passengers travelling from Nigeria to UAE. Please be guided accordingly.”

In a related development, Emirates SkyCargo has recorded a milestone in the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines with 600 million doses flown on its flights. Since October 2020, the carrier has transported more than 2.8 million kilograms (2800 tonnes) of COVID-19 vaccines from 35 origins to over 80 destinations, including Nigeria that has received 21 million doses to date.

Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo, Nabil Sultan, said Emirates SkyCargo remains committed to the rapid distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to vulnerable communities worldwide.

“When we formulated our COVID-19 distribution strategy in 2020, Emirates SkyCargo prioritised the movement of COVID-19 vaccines through our Dubai hub to developing countries.

“I’m happy to announce that nearly two-thirds of the total vaccines we transported were headed to destinations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. With our extensive reach across six continents, our wide-body capacity and expertise in cool chain logistics, Emirates SkyCargo will continue to be a reliable partner for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the months to come,” Sultan said.

With the increasing roll-out of vaccination and booster campaigns across global markets, Emirates SkyCargo witnessed a steady increase in the demand for transportation of COVID-19 vaccines in the second half of 2021.

In October and November 2021 alone, Emirates SkyCargo moved more than 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, almost one third of the total COVID-19 vaccines transported by the carrier since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scotland cancels public New Year events as new COVID curbs announced - REUTERS

DECEMBER 22, 2021

LONDON, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday said public New Year's Eve celebrations in Scotland would be cancelled as she set out plans for post-Christmas restrictions on large scale events to try to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.

Britain has reported record levels of COVID-19 cases over the past week, with officials and ministers warning that hospitalisations are also rising.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, under pressure from many in his own party not to introduce further curbs, held off announcing new restrictions for England following a cabinet meeting on Monday but said they may yet be needed. read more

"We know from experience that if we wait until the data tells us conclusively that we have a problem for example, with hospital admissions, it will already be too late to act to avoid that problem," Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament.

She announced that from Dec. 26, for up to three weeks, there would be limit of 100 people for indoor standing events, 200 for indoor seated and 500 for any outdoor events. Social distancing of one metre would also be required.

"This will of course make sports matches, including football, effectively spectator-free over this three week period," she said.

"It will also mean unfortunately that large scale Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) celebrations, including that planned here in our capital city, will not proceed."

Edinburgh has one of the world's most famous Hogmanay street parties, drawing thousands of foreign tourists as well as local people.

Sturgeon also said that from Dec. 27, for up to three weeks, there would be extra measures for hospitality, including restricting those serving alcohol to table service only.

Reporting by James Davey, Writing by Kylie MacLellan, Editing by Angus MacSwan

Qatar Airways resumes flight to Abuja - PUNCH

DECEMBER 22, 2021

BY  Edidiong Ikpoto

Qatar Airways has commenced a direct flight to Abuja, the Nigerian capital, effective December 1, 2021. The direct flights to the Nigerian capital will no longer be linked to Lagos, offering direct connectivity between Abuja and Doha.

Served by Boeing 787 Dreamliner featuring 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class, the direct service will allow travelers to enjoy a seamless travel experience to the Hamad International Airport with connections to more than 140 destinations.

The move follows the recent addition of double-daily flights to Lagos. Qatar Airways now offers 100 weekly flights to 27 destinations in Africa.

 Qatar Airways Vice-President, Africa Mr. Hendrik Du Preez, was quoted in a statement as saying,  “Nigeria is a very important market to us and we will continue to offer more travel options and seamless connectivity to the largest network of destinations across Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and North America.

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 “We anticipate the Abuja-Doha route being especially popular with visitors to the UK, India, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Doha. After just under a year of resuming flights to Lagos and launching to Abuja, following the challenges imposed by the pandemic, it is a testament to the resilience of the African region that we have now introduced direct flights to Abuja. We look forward to welcoming passengers on board to enjoy our award-winning hospitality and service.”

With more frequencies being added to key hubs, Qatar Airways said it was offering s unrivalled connectivity to passengers, making it easy for them to travel when they want to. Qatar Airways also offers strong connectivity to Asia-Pacific with destinations such as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta and Manila among many others.

FG to spend half a Trillion Naira to complete East-West Road - TVC NEWS

DECEMBER 22, 2021

The Section I-V of the East-West road which span across five States (Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River) when completed would cost above half a Trillion Naira.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Dr. Babayo Ardo made this known at the Stakeholders’ validation workshop on “Access Management and Mitigation Action Plan” held on Monday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital.

Dr. Babayo Ardo who was represented by the Director Housing and Urban Development Department MNDA, Town Planner (TPl) Michael Oloruntola Olufemi in his keynote address stated that the dual carriage way which is designed to function as a regional spine on the East-West axis will promote unimpeded movement of goods and passengers in the Niger Delta.

The Permanent Secretary noted that the three inter connected essential parts of the complementary programme for the East-West Road include “Access Management and Mitigation Action Plan; Corridor Development Plan and Collaboration; and Corridor Preservation Project”.

Babayo Ardo further stated that the East-West road corridor, like most other Federal roads in Nigeria is being impacted by settlement developments in many towns and cities along it, which includes Ughelli, Patani, Port Harcourt and Eket.

According to him, “It is for this reason that the Ministry birthed the complementary programme to rally collective efforts to plan, protect and manage the road corridor to curtail the natural tendencies of settlement growths towards it. This would ensure that goals, targets and Return on Investment (ROI) envisaged from the road development are not diminished or lost.”

In order to facilitate the achievement of desired aspiration of the corridor, the Permanent Secretary urged all stakeholders to play their roles singularly and collectively while States should take pro-active steps based on the recommendations contained in the report.

Speaking further, Dr. Ardo, stated that after presenting the draft final report, the next stage is implementation of the plan and noted the need to work faster to recover lost grounds on the work programme.

Speaking on behalf of Pen Prime Consultancy Limited, the company that prepared the draft final report, Dr. Daniel Peverga Dam stated that from the findings, the East-West road when completed would ease traffic and improve safety of the road among other benefits which will ultimately improve socio-economic development and accessibility within and outside the region.

U.K. on Edge Heading Toward Christmas Overshadowed by Omicron - BLOOMBERG

DECEMBER 22, 2021

(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson has given Britons the Christmas he has long promised -- some light-touch pandemic restrictions but with no limits on family gatherings. The big question is over what comes next.

When the U.K. prime minister ruled out tighter restrictions in the coming days, he also urged Britons to be cautious and warned tougher curbs may yet be needed after Dec. 25 if an omicron-fueled wave of Covid-19 infections threatens to overwhelm the National Health Service.

The numbers are compelling: until this month, the daily coronavirus caseload had never exceeded 70,000. It’s now been greater than 90,000 in 4 of the past 5 days. Yet that hasn’t -- so far -- led to a significant rise in hospitalizations, meaning there’s uncertainty over the severity of the omicron strain and whether people are still in the phase between infection and serious illness.

Politico reported Wednesday that the U.K. Health Security Agency is set to publish data before Christmas showing omicron is milder than earlier strains -- but not enough to prevent large numbers needing hospital treatment. An official familiar with the matter said no such data have been presented to ministers. 

All of that means it’s unknown whether Johnson will move to tighten rules after the festive break. Complicating matters, he’s promised to recall Parliament from its current break if there are any new measures to vote on. That’s a process that typically takes about 48 hours, and U.K. newspapers are filled with speculation that any recall would be for Dec. 28.

The signs are Johnson is reluctant to make what would be a politically difficult decision to curb the freedoms of Britons again. Last week, 101 Tory MPs opposed lighter-touch Covid measures in a vote in Parliament that was only passed because of support from the opposition Labour Party. 

Tory Opposition

The prime minister would likely face a similar -- or even bigger -- rebellion if he were to try to pass the sort of measures being suggested by the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, including a ban on indoor mixing of different households, limits on the number of people who can meet outdoors, and the closing of indoor hospitality.

That leaves Johnson squeezed between his mutinous MPs and his scientific advisers, who warned last week that more stringent measures were needed “very soon” to avoid daily Covid hospitalizations rising into the thousands.

What happens in London, which has been particularly hard hit by omicron cases, may be key to what happens next. While hospitalizations in the city remain well below the peak last winter so far, they are rising steadily. They’ve more than doubled since Nov. 27, when the U.K. first reported cases of the new strain.

“If you’re going to introduce restrictions, then of course the sooner you introduce it the more effective any of those restrictions are going to be,” SAGE member Mike Tildesley told Sky News on Wednesday. “We’re not there yet in the data to really be able to say confidently the relative severity of omicron.”

Restaurants and Shows Close as Omicron Grips the U.S. - BLOOMBERG

DECEMBER 22, 2021

(Bloomberg) -- City and state officials across the U.S. have pledged to avoid the Covid-19 shutdowns that caused an economic upheaval in the first year of the pandemic. But a surge of cases and the spread of the omicron variant is leaving some restaurants, shows and schools no choice but to close their doors.

In New York City, Mayor-elect Eric Adams canceled his 3,000-person inauguration at the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn. The Rockettes ended their Christmas special at Radio City Music Hall, and more than a dozen Broadway shows including “Hamilton” and “Aladdin” canceled shows. Restaurants there and in Chicago, Houston, Atlanta and Washington, D.C., closed amid staff outbreaks. And school systems like Prince George’s County, outside of Washington, D.C., sent students back to remote learning.

There were no government orders or local restrictions prompting the closures this time around. Rather, businesses were forced to close due to too many staffers getting Covid -- or out of caution that staying open amid the case surge could contribute to the disease’s spread.

“No one saw this coming,” said Amanda McMillan, general manager of Four Horsemen, a Michelin star wine bar in Brooklyn that closed on Dec. 14 when a number of employees tested positive. “It had been a while since we had our public-health-scare hat on.” 

McMillan, who plans to reopen ahead of the New Year’s Eve holiday, said she got flashbacks to the early days of the pandemic, when the restaurant laid off 44 people. “I feel a huge responsibility to keep things going. The first time there was Payroll Protection money and stimulus money; this time I don’t think that’s going to happen. We have to trudge along now,” she said.

Case Surge

The businesses are closing in the face of daunting Covid case numbers. The seven-day average of new cases in the U.S. has surged 43% in a month. In New York City, they have jumped more than sixfold. 

But thanks to vaccinations, mask adherence and treatment breakthroughs, public health officials say hospitalizations and deaths haven’t climbed at anywhere near the rate of cases. And so, despite omicron’s rapid spread, the U.S. focus has been on persuading people to get vaccinated and boosted. 

President Joe Biden announced new measures on Tuesday to curb the virus, including sending 500 million free Covid tests to homes and dispatching the military to help overwhelmed hospitals. He said the vaccinated should proceed with Christmas plans, and has rejected lockdown measures. Cases are expected to peak in January, as they did a year ago.

“Even though the numbers are higher, we’re in much better shape this year than last year,” said Purvi Parikh, an allergist and immunologist in New York. “It’s OK if people are testing positive, as long as they’re not being hospitalized or dying.”

Still, omicron is highly contagious, whether one is vaccinated or not, Parikh said, and it has resulted in more breakthrough cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises someone with a positive test to isolate for 10 days and close contacts to quarantine for the same period -- which is creating staffing shortages at hospitals, schools, restaurants and cultural venues.

In Massachusetts, the American Repertory Theater canceled all performances of the “Wild” show starring Idina Menzel through Jan. 2 after breakthrough cases in the production team. “My heart is breaking that we are unable to continue to perform,” artistic director Diane Paulus said in an email to ticketholders.

In Atlanta, Chris Hall shut Local Three Kitchen & Bar on Saturday morning after several employees tested positive. The closing came at the worst possible time, a holiday weekend booked solid with large Christmas parties, said Hall, chef-partner at Local Three and three other restaurants. “It was not exactly the best-case scenario, but it was the right thing to do,” he said.

Atlanta’s mayor on Tuesday reenacted a mask requirement in response to the surging cases. New York City instituted a private-sector vaccine mandate that goes into effect on Dec. 27 in addition to vaccine requirements for entry to restaurants, shows and other indoor settings. Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot mandated vaccinations to enter restaurants starting Jan. 3. 

“The last thing I want to do is stand before you at a podium like this and announce that we’re shutting our city back down,” Lightfoot said Tuesday. “That would be devastating. I don’t want to have to take that step. But again, it really depends on the unvaccinated.”

‘Abundance of Caution’

Chicago’s Goodman Theatre isn’t waiting around. On Tuesday, it suspended performances of “A Christmas Carol” through Friday after three members of the performance company tested positive for Covid-19. The theater is letting ticket-holders watch a recorded performance on video at home, a throwback to darker days.

“It was clear what we needed to do,” said Roche Schulfer, the theater’s executive director and CEO. “The safety of the company and the staff and the audience is paramount.” 

The pause marked the first time the Goodman suspended paid performances since it reopened July 30 after shutting down March 13, 2020, because of the pandemic. The classic Christmas tale featuring Ebenezer Scrooge and Bob Cratchit opened on Nov. 20.

Heisler Hospitality temporarily closed its eight Chicago bars and restaurants, which include Lone Wolf Tavern and The Revel Room, “out of an abundance of caution,” a social media post said. “We will be closed Monday and Tuesday to get tested and make sure our staff is healthy.”

There were 646 Covid-related K-12 school closings this week, up from 356 the week before, according to Burbio, a data service that aggregates calendars nationwide. At the college level, Cornell University and Princeton University are among those that closed early amid outbreaks, while others, including Harvard University, already are planning remote learning in January to protect against a Covid surge.

‘No More Shutdowns’

In anticipation of a greater Covid surge, some sports and cultural events were postponed. Los Angeles decided to cancel its in-person New Year’s Eve celebration at Grand Park. The county already required masking in public settings and businesses, and vaccinations for indoor dining and some other businesses like theaters, nail salons, gyms, museums and performance venues.

But many other businesses are staying the course. MSG Entertainment said this week that big events like the WWE Live Holiday Tour on Dec. 26 and a four-night Phish run at The Garden on Dec. 29 will go on. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who on Tuesday offered $100 incentives for residents to get booster shots by Dec. 31, said the city’s massive in-person New Year’s Eve celebration was still on.

“No more shutdowns,” de Blasio said. “We’ve been through them, they were devastating. We can’t go through them again.”

Finland to Demand EU Passengers Present Negative Covid Test - BLOOMBERG

DECEMBER 22, 2021

(Bloomberg) -- South Africans contracting Covid-19 in the current fourth wave of infections are 80% less likely to be hospitalized if they catch the omicron variant, compared with other strains, according to a study released by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

Once admitted to the hospital, the risk of severe disease doesn’t differ from other variants, the authors led by scientists Nicole Walter and Cheryl Cohen said.

Compared to delta infections in South Africa between April and November, omicron infections are associated with a 70% lower risk of severe disease, they said. The omicron data was collected for the two months through November.

Since being identified by South African scientists on Nov. 25, the omicron variant has fueled record case numbers across the country. Africa’s most developed economy has fully inoculated about 44% of its adult population over a seven-month period.

In the data that are being submitted to a preprint medical publication -- MedRxiv -- the authors adjusted for various confounding factors that could influence the results, including age, gender and whether the cases were known reinfections. For severity of disease after admission, they also adjusted for the presence of other illnesses and prior immunization.

The study also showed that those with omicron may have higher viral loads.

The study is “important,” though its use of so-called historic controls when comparing to the delta infections between April and November means its outcome may be biased by time issues, said Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the U.K.’s University of East Anglia.

“So even though cases of omicron were less likely to end up in hospital than cases of delta, it is not possible to say whether this is due to inherent differences in virulence or whether this is due to higher population immunity in November compared to earlier in the year,” Hunter said. 

The authors flagged the same limitations.

Cathay Warns of ‘Several’ More Flight Cancellations in January - BLOOMBERG

DECEMBER 22, 2021

(Bloomberg) -- Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. warned of several flight cancellations to and from Hong Kong in January as operational and travel restrictions continue to affect its schedules. 

The airline said it is reviewing its passenger flights and apologized to customers. The year-end holiday season is typically a busy time for Cathay and Hong Kong as an aviation hub, but the pandemic and the government’s strict rules on quarantine have forced it to dramatically pare back services. 

On Monday, Cathay services from New York to Hong Kong were banned until Jan. 2 after three passengers on a flight on that route were found to have Covid. Cathay’s ability to serve even a skeleton schedule has been hampered as aircrew are forced into a so-called closed-loop system which keeps them away from home for several weeks. That’s prompted the airline to relocate some pilots to Los Angeles. 

Cathay already cut flights in December, again citing operational and travel restrictions. Akbar Al Baker, the chief executive officer of Qatar Airways, which holds a stake of about 10% in Cathay, recently said Hong Kong’s Covid policy was “killing” the airline, according to the South China Morning Post. Meanwhile, OAG Chief Economist John Grant warned that continued border closures in Hong Kong could “utterly destroy” Cathay and the city’s position as a hub.  

The airline said at the start of the month it had healthy levels of liquidity, largely thanks to cargo operations offsetting the lengthy slump in passenger traffic. In its latest figures, the carrier said it flew 70,047 passengers in November, an increase from a year earlier but down 97% from the same month in 2019. It’s operating about 12% of its pre-pandemic flight capacity. 

The numbers “reflect the airline’s substantial capacity reductions in response to significantly reduced demand as well as travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in place in Hong Kong and other markets,” Cathay said at the time. 

Cathay’s shares were up 0.8% at 1:53 p.m. in Hong Kong. They’ve fallen 11% this year, among the worst performers on Bloomberg’s Asia Pacific airlines index. 


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