Cathay Pacific planes are parked on the tarmac at Hong Kong International Airport on Oct 24 2020. (Reuters photo) HONG KONG: Hong Kong health officials have asked airlines to begin maintaining separate teams that will fly exclusively to and from mainland China to further reduce the risk of Covid-19 entering the country. The decision to separate China aircrew from those working international routes was made in light of the emerging Omicron variant, sources said, as officials weigh even tougher rules and fewer exemptions for flight personnel, the South China Morning Post has learned. The new measures, which come as Hong Kong rushes to meet Beijing’s requirements for reopening the mainland border, will add yet more cost and operational complexity for city flagship carrier Cathay Pacific. The airline is already pushing ahead with contingency measures that could see some of its pilots relocated overseas. In a memo to staff on Wednesday night, Cathay general manager of operations Mark Hoey said the company was poised for the government to act on the new rules imminently. “Expect the final decision on how our crew exemptions will be affected by these changes, if at all,” said Hoey, who went on to say the airline… Read full this story
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