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British Airways Cancelling One of Two Daily Flights to Hong Kong, Redeploying Airbus A380

British Airways Cancelling One of Two Daily Flights to Hong Kong, Redeploying Airbus A380

British Airways will join a growing list of airlines that have significantly reduced or cancelled flights altogether to Hong Kong due to a massive slump in demand. The airline has closed reservations for one of two daily flights between London Heathrow (LHR) and Hong Kong (HKG) beginning February 13 through March 31, 2020, at the earliest.

British Airways flight BA32 from Hong Kong to London on 14th February has already been cancelled, while further cancellations on the BA31 and BA32 rotation are expected to follow within the next few days.

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Photo Credit: British Airways

The Airbus A380 operated rotation (BA27 and BA28) will continue to operate but will be swapped out for a slightly smaller capacity Boeing 777-300 between March 29 through to April 19, 2020.

The overall capacity reduction during this period is 61 per cent or 469 seats per day if British Airways extends the cancellation period beyond March.

In a statement, the airline confirmed the move, telling us: “To match demand we are merging our two daily services to and from Hong Kong from February 13, 2020.

“We are contacting affected customers about the very slight timing change, they still have the option to take a full refund or rebook to a later date. We will continue to monitor the situation closely,” the statement continued.

In the last few days, British Airways also announced it would be extending its cancellations to Beijing and Shanghai through March 31. The airline was the first carrier to suspend services to mainland China on January 29, causing a domino effect with other airlines including Lufthansa and American Airlines quickly following.

American Airlines became the first international airline to cancel flights to Hong Kong following the novel Coronavirus outbreak. On Tuesday, American said it would extend cancellations from Dallas Fort Worth and Los Angeles to Hong Kong until April 23 and April 24 respectively.

The airline blamed a reduction in demand rather than safety concerns for the cancellations. United has also extended cancellations to both mainland China and Hong Kong until April 24.

In the last few days, Hong Kong-based carrier Cathay Pacific announced a massive 30 per cent reduction in its international network because of slumping demand. Cabin crew, pilots and many other staff have been asked to take up to a month of unpaid leave to help the embattled airline cut costs.

Despite increasing pressure from Beijing for countries to ease travel restrictions, there have been no significant changes and airlines continue to extend cancellations to mainland China.

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