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480 Hong Kong flights to resume as effects of Typhoon Saola wane

Hong Kong’s Airport Authority on Saturday said about 480 flights would resume as the effects of Typhoon Saola waned, with the first planes departing and landing in the city at around 11am.

Flag carrier Cathay Pacific Airways said it would resume departing flights from noon and operate additional ones to the UK or Canada amid strong demand.

Chapman Fong Shui-man, deputy director of airport operations at the authority, said: “Under our flight reassignment mechanism, we will resume about 480 flights. Tonight, both of our runways will maintain operations, so airlines will have sufficient capacity to resume and add flights.

“We predict that the first flight departing Hong Kong will be at 11.15am and the first flight arriving will be around 11.00am.”

Hong Kong’s T8 warning in force till at least 4pm as Typhoon Saola departs

The authority said it had cancelled 460 flights on Friday as Typhoon Saola approached, with some 300 passengers stranded at the airport. The Observatory on Saturday morning downgraded the highest No 10 warning signal to No 8.

The forecaster further reduced the alert to No 3 at 4.20pm.

The city’s major carriers also gave details on flight resumptions on Saturday morning.

Walter Li Chun-ting, head of Cathay Pacific’s airport operations in Hong Kong, said CX139 to Sydney would be the carrier’s first flight out of the city close to noon.

Noting the large number of passengers stranded in Hong Kong, particularly those headed to the United Kingdom and Canada, Cathay said it would add one additional flight for each destination.

Hong Kong Airlines said it would resume operations for 40 flights in the afternoon.

Budget carrier HK Express, meanwhile, said it would resume flights from 2pm, with additional trips planned for Sunday to meet demand.

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But Greater Bay Airlines said its departing flights would still be cancelled or postponed because of the weather, predicting incoming flights would land later on Saturday as the storm inched away.

Ambrose Ng Wah-chiu, general manager of ground services for the airline, said all flights in and out of the city would gradually resume on Sunday.

More than 400 flights were on Friday cancelled in Hong Kong as Saola battered the city. Photo: Edmond So

Meanwhile, the MTR Corporation said it had resumed operations but with limited service and longer intervals between trains. For example, the Tung Chung line will operate at a frequency of 30 minutes.

The airport express will also have 30-minute intervals between trains, but its in-town check-in service will remain closed. The high-speed rail link to mainland China is still suspended.


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