Hong Kong will give five lakh air tickets for free to promote the tourism industry, which is crippled due to Covid. Hong Kong has withdrawn several rules related to the coronavirus in recent weeks.
However, major airlines are trying to bring their flights back to pre-pandemic levels. On Wednesday, British airline Virgin Atlantic said it would cease operations in Hong Kong due to reasons related to the Ukraine war.
Hong Kong free air tickets
Dan Cheng, executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, said, “The airport authority will finalize the agreement with the airlines. Once the government announces that it will lift all the Covid-19 restrictions for incoming travellers, we will launch the advertising campaigns for the free air tickets.”
Mr. Cheng added that the free tickets, which were purchased to support Hong Kong airlines during the pandemic, will be distributed to incoming and outgoing travellers by the city’s airport authority next year.
Until recently, Hong Kong had some of the strictest rules in the world as it followed China’s zero Covid policies.
Last month, the Hong Kong government said it would no longer require people arriving in the city to quarantine in a hotel or show a negative Covid test before boarding flights to Hong Kong.
Now, within three days of arrival, travellers must be checked for possible infection. The news sparked a rush of plane tickets to and from Hong Kong.
Prudence Lai, a senior analyst at market research firm Euromonitor International, believes the offer of free air tickets will help speed up the process of repairing Hong Kong’s reputation as a popular tourist destination.
Virgin Atlantic close its office
Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic said it would close its Hong Kong office and no longer fly between the city and London Heathrow after 30 years at the Asian aviation hub.
“Significant operational complexities due to the ongoing closure of Russian airspace have contributed to the commercial decision not to resume flights in March 2023 as planned,” the British airline said.
The airline, which was founded by billionaire Richard Branson, stopped flights to Hong Kong last December.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused several airlines to suspend flights or take longer routes to avoid flying over the area.
“We are very sorry for the disappointment caused to our loyal customers on this route and anyone who has booked to travel from March 2023 will be offered a refund, a voucher or the option to rebook on an alternative Virgin Atlantic route,” Virgin added.
- How Climate Change Is Making Hurricanes More Dangerous?
- Flying Of Few, And Its Insidious Connection To Climate Change
- World’s Biggest Plastic Polluter Named Sponsor For COP27