Cathay Pacific’s website and that of its low-cost unit buckled under a rush of flight searches Friday as the Hong Kong government announced that mandatory quarantine and other pandemic travel restrictions will be scrapped next week.
“We are currently experiencing high traffic on our website,” Cathay said. “We have set up a virtual waiting room to better manage customer traffic to our site. You are in a queue at the moment, but you’ll be put through soon.”
Travel agency Trip.com said as of 2.30 p.m. Friday, flight searches surged 95 times from the same time last week and bookings jumped 50% on its website. Tokyo and Bangkok led with jumps of 650% and 200%.
In addition to ending hotel quarantine, Hong Kong will do away with the requirement for a pre-flight PCR test. Travelers will be allowed to go home or to their hotel after arrival, but they will be banned from venues such as bars and restaurants for three days.
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