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asuflyer
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US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:40 am

After FX launched a formal complaint to the DOT over the Hong Kong crew quarantine requirements, the US has threatened to curtail all carriers from Hong Kong, of which CX is the only one currently flying to the US. AA and ALPA have also complained about the treatments of crew that tested positive for COVID-19 in HKG and their forced self isolation which required getting the US Consulate in Hong Kong involved.

"The manner in which Hong Kong has imposed its restrictions disproportionally impacts U.S.carriers to the exclusive benefit of Hong Kong carriers, and this imbalance denies U.S. carriers their bilateral right to a fair and equal opportunity to compete in the U.S.-Hong Kong market. The USG has relayed its objections to Hong Kong about this situation and has actively sought to reach resolution with Hong Kong that would reestablish a level playing field for both Hong Kong and U.S. carriers while providing the necessary public health protections. To date, Hong Kong has not responded in a manner that suggests a satisfactory resolution will be forthcoming." - US DOT

https://twitter.com/winglets747/status/ ... 3603744771
 
32andBelow
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:23 am

Uhhh banning Cathay cargo would be a huge deal
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:41 am

They really do not need to be pulling on that thread. It would not take much for HKG to reciprocate and halt AA & FX coming in as well...
 
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zeke
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:05 am

asuflyer wrote:
After FX launched a formal complaint to the DOT over the Hong Kong crew quarantine requirements, the US has threatened to curtail all carriers from Hong Kong, of which CX is the only one currently flying to the US. AA and ALPA have also complained about the treatments of crew that tested positive for COVID-19 in HKG and their forced self isolation which required getting the US Consulate in Hong Kong involved.

"The manner in which Hong Kong has imposed its restrictions disproportionally impacts U.S.carriers to the exclusive benefit of Hong Kong carriers, and this imbalance denies U.S. carriers their bilateral right to a fair and equal opportunity to compete in the U.S.-Hong Kong market. The USG has relayed its objections to Hong Kong about this situation and has actively sought to reach resolution with Hong Kong that would reestablish a level playing field for both Hong Kong and U.S. carriers while providing the necessary public health protections. To date, Hong Kong has not responded in a manner that suggests a satisfactory resolution will be forthcoming." - US DOT

https://twitter.com/winglets747/status/ ... 3603744771


The statements are very unreasonable, CX has been hit the hardest by these new HKG government measures having to cancel the majority of flights.

https://samchui.com/2021/02/12/cathay-p ... FGjJmTEnDs

Anecdotal reports suggest the the disregard to aircrew exemptions by foreign carriers (eg the written directive given to crew stated direct from the testing to their accommodation by pre arranged private transport, many crew were caught by police making detours in the terminal to buy alcohol and cigarettes at the 7-11) resulted in the withdrawal of the exemptions which now treat crew the same as passengers.

FX crew who tested positive for Covid were treated no differently to any other carrier, passenger, or a member of the public. I think they rounded up around 1200 people this week who were in contact with a gym outbreak and placed them into isolation. HKG sees very low numbers of people testing positive, normally under 20 a day, in total only around 200 lives lost unnecessary due to COVID in HKG, the US sees around 1200 deaths PER DAY.

Last month there was mandatory testing for everyone working at the airport, from cargo loaders, police, fire, customs, immigration, crew, around 90,000 people tested, no COVID positive cases.

CX crews are now doing 5 weeks of isolation at a time, outport flights are done contactless without catering uplift. HKG-LHR-HKG for example is done as a turn around with a super heavy crew compliment, crew don’t get off the aircraft, they have no contact with anyone on the ground.

CX has some proprietary systems in place which makes this possible, it is those systems which are giving it a competitive advantage. Other airlines without similar systems in place are not equipped to do contactless turn arounds.

Instead of working with the new restrictions FX made the business decision to move their HKG based crews and families to SFO. They could have chosen to do the same 5 weeks of isolation as CX crews are doing, they chose not to.

Apart from their choice to relocate crew state side, I don’t see how there is any business impact for FX crew. The arrive in HKG, get tested, go to their crew hotel, remain in their rooms until the next departure.

The restrictions placed on non local crew are almost identical to what Australia has in place for non local crew for over 6 months (Australia actually is slightly stricter in some states).
 
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Web500sjc
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 12:26 pm

Reading the order, it seams that HK Gov. has created an exception for local crews traveling to and from ANC. When a local HK crew goes to ANC and returns, they are not subject to the expanded HK quarantine. The only HK crews that do flights to ANC are Cathay. FX does other inter Asia turns, but their ANC flights are done by US crews - who are subject to quarantine. FX, noting the advantage of the ANC carve out, is willing to create ANC like procedures at their Intra Asia stations, but the HK Gov. is unwilling to consider these procedures. FX has now gotten the US Gov. to intervene on its behalf. In the opinion of the US Gov., the exception of ANC disproportionately advantages Cathay to the detriment of FX.
 
jayunited
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 12:33 pm

asuflyer wrote:
After FX launched a formal complaint to the DOT over the Hong Kong crew quarantine requirements, the US has threatened to curtail all carriers from Hong Kong, of which CX is the only one currently flying to the US. AA and ALPA have also complained about the treatments of crew that tested positive for COVID-19 in HKG and their forced self isolation which required getting the US Consulate in Hong Kong involved.

"The manner in which Hong Kong has imposed its restrictions disproportionally impacts U.S.carriers to the exclusive benefit of Hong Kong carriers, and this imbalance denies U.S. carriers their bilateral right to a fair and equal opportunity to compete in the U.S.-Hong Kong market. The USG has relayed its objections to Hong Kong about this situation and has actively sought to reach resolution with Hong Kong that would reestablish a level playing field for both Hong Kong and U.S. carriers while providing the necessary public health protections. To date, Hong Kong has not responded in a manner that suggests a satisfactory resolution will be forthcoming." - US DOT

https://twitter.com/winglets747/status/ ... 3603744771



There are ways for both AA and FX to deal with this internally without complaining to the DOT.

United continues to operate multiple daily cargo only flights into and out of HKG via NRT. The 3 member crew that boards the flight in NRT works the full turn NRT-HKG-NRT. United now does extensive COVID testing on pilots flying to certain locations around the world. Depending on location some test are conducted on site at the airport, other tests are conducted off site at medical clinics United has partnered with to provide rapid tests results for crew members. Just recently a UA DEL-SFO flight had to make a tech stop in FRA, reason is one of the captains tested positive out of DEL (it ended up being a false positive (long story)) but the remainder of the crew FA's included all tested negative. However you can't operate DEL-SFO with a 3 person crew so the decision was made to stop in FRA. The flight operated to FRA where UA stole the entire crew operating FRA-IAH (which UA canceled) and used that crew to continue to get the DEL passengers to SFO.

For these carriers to say Hong Kong's restriction disproportionally impacts U.S, carries is a misrepresentation of the facts. Both CX's passenger and cargo operations have been heavily impacted by the new restrictions put in place and their crew members will now be away from their families for 49 days. If I'm not mistaken as a result of the new restrictions CX only operates one passenger flight from the U.S. to Hong Kong from LAX their cargo flights to the US have impacted as well.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 1:23 pm

Why aren't pilots flying international routes given a high priority for COVID-19 vaccinations? Due to their mobility around the world I would think they would be a high priority to get vaccinated in order prevent spread of emergent variants.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 1:52 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
Why aren't pilots flying international routes given a high priority for COVID-19 vaccinations? Due to their mobility around the world I would think they would be a high priority to get vaccinated in order prevent spread of emergent variants.


Based on the vaccination environment in Tennessee, I'd guess that virtually all FX pilots who live in or around Memphis who want vaccination have been vaccinated. But I don't believe that the FX crews relevant to this thread are MEM-based, and AFAIK HK has no exemptions for folks who are vaccinated even though vaccinated folks can still test positive; they are just much less likely to spread disease or develop serious symptoms.
 
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zeke
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 1:59 pm

Web500sjc wrote:
Reading the order, it seams that HK Gov. has created an exception for local crews traveling to and from ANC. When a local HK crew goes to ANC and returns, they are not subject to the expanded HK quarantine. The only HK crews that do flights to ANC are Cathay. FX does other inter Asia turns, but their ANC flights are done by US crews - who are subject to quarantine. FX, noting the advantage of the ANC carve out, is willing to create ANC like procedures at their Intra Asia stations, but the HK Gov. is unwilling to consider these procedures. FX has now gotten the US Gov. to intervene on its behalf. In the opinion of the US Gov., the exception of ANC disproportionately advantages Cathay to the detriment of FX.


Again this is misleading.

CX has ANC based crew and they are treated exactly the same way as FX US based crew upon arrival in HKG, they are kept in isolation in the crew hotel until their next departure. The HKG department of health has mandated all HKG based crew to be in hotel isolation worldwide for some time now. Meanwhile I see YouTube videos of US based crews interacting with different communities on layovers.

FX had HKG based crew however they made a business decision to relocate them to SFO, CX does not have that luxury, as a result the majority of flights have been cancelled. Those flights that are operating generally have no passengers, generally heavy crew compliment, operating contactless turn arounds.

FX does not have this restriction, they can continue to operate their normal schedule.
 
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zeke
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:02 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
Why aren't pilots flying international routes given a high priority for COVID-19 vaccinations? Due to their mobility around the world I would think they would be a high priority to get vaccinated in order prevent spread of emergent variants.


They are, I think over half of the crew in HKG have registered.
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:04 pm

zeke wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
Why aren't pilots flying international routes given a high priority for COVID-19 vaccinations? Due to their mobility around the world I would think they would be a high priority to get vaccinated in order prevent spread of emergent variants.


They are, I think over half of the crew in HKG have registered.


Maybe in HKG, but it certain doesn't work that way in the US. In some states, transportation workers were given priority, and in others they were not.
 
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zeke
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:07 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
AFAIK HK has no exemptions for folks who are vaccinated even though vaccinated folks can still test positive; they are just much less likely to spread disease or develop serious symptoms.


That is being considered now to boost vaccination rates

“We are now considering offering incentives not only in aspects of cross-border travel, but also room to relax certain distancing measures for those who have been vaccinated,” she said.

From https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/hea ... s-could-be
 
RJNUT
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:11 pm

i expect a lot of this tit for tat around the globe as the world reopens piece meal from this pandemic
 
Okcflyer
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:17 pm

I cannot imagine that FX formally complain to Government channels, and for those Gov. channels to proceed forward on the complaint, without cold hard facts backing their complaint of unfair treatment.

From a quick reading, it sounds like China/HKG is saying "yes it is unfair but you deserved unfair treatment because a small % of USA-flag crews committed low-level crimes".

FX/USA is saying the actions of a minority group do not justify intentional, broad, wide-spread actions against a broader group.
 
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Web500sjc
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:27 pm

zeke wrote:
Web500sjc wrote:
Reading the order, it seams that HK Gov. has created an exception for local crews traveling to and from ANC. When a local HK crew goes to ANC and returns, they are not subject to the expanded HK quarantine. The only HK crews that do flights to ANC are Cathay. FX does other inter Asia turns, but their ANC flights are done by US crews - who are subject to quarantine. FX, noting the advantage of the ANC carve out, is willing to create ANC like procedures at their Intra Asia stations, but the HK Gov. is unwilling to consider these procedures. FX has now gotten the US Gov. to intervene on its behalf. In the opinion of the US Gov., the exception of ANC disproportionately advantages Cathay to the detriment of FX.


Again this is misleading.

CX has ANC based crew and they are treated exactly the same way as FX US based crew upon arrival in HKG, they are kept in isolation in the crew hotel until their next departure. The HKG department of health has mandated all HKG based crew to be in hotel isolation worldwide for some time now. Meanwhile I see YouTube videos of US based crews interacting with different communities on layovers.

FX had HKG based crew however they made a business decision to relocate them to SFO, CX does not have that luxury, as a result the majority of flights have been cancelled. Those flights that are operating generally have no passengers, generally heavy crew compliment, operating contactless turn arounds.

FX does not have this restriction, they can continue to operate their normal schedule.



The docket says, a HKG based crew traveling from HKG to ANC and back doesn’t have to complete the full 2 week quarantine. The only carrier that advantages is CX. FX does intra-Asia flying with HKG based crew.

This complaint is not about the conditions a foreign based crew gets on arrival into HKG, it is about the treatment a local based crew gets on arrival to HKG- and I get the impression that if ANC didn’t get that exemption, the US government wouldn’t have leg to stand on.

Outside the USG issue- How are CX crew members supposed to live in HKG with these restrictions? Are the schedules now 5 weeks on/ 5 weeks off. Seams like Cathay would be better off suspending operations, or sending all their crew overseas to do HKG turns.
 
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zeke
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:28 pm

Okcflyer wrote:
I cannot imagine that FX formally complain to Government channels, and for those Gov. channels to proceed forward on the complaint, without cold hard facts backing their complaint of unfair treatment.

From a quick reading, it sounds like China/HKG is saying "yes it is unfair but you deserved unfair treatment because a small % of USA-flag crews committed low-level crimes".

FX/USA is saying the actions of a minority group do not justify intentional, broad, wide-spread actions against a broader group.


This is inaccurate, the HKG government has not specifically done anything to FX, ALL airlines are being treated the same hence the ready CX has had to cancel the majority of its flights.

FX actually have it easier as cargo crew are treated differently to passengers crew as there is chance of infection from passengers with cargo.
 
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zeke
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:32 pm

Web500sjc wrote:
The docket says, a HKG based crew traveling from HKG to ANC and back doesn’t have to complete the full 2 week quarantine. The only carrier that advantages is CX. FX does intra-Asia flying with HKG based crew.


That is inaccurate, FX had HKG based crews until last month and made the business decision to relocate them to SFO.

The rules basically say if you bring passengers in, or have left the aircraft outside HKG you are required to quarantine for 2-3 weeks, that applies to crew or passengers.

Up until the 20th of last month aircrew had an exemption where they tested upon arrival and then not go out in public until the test results were known or 24 hrs had elapsed since arriving home after the flight. Some FX crew (and other airlines) were caught within that 24 hr period being in restaurants and cafes so the government withdrew the exemption.

Web500sjc wrote:
Outside the USG issue- How are CX crew members supposed to live in HKG with these restrictions? Are the schedules now 5 weeks on/ 5 weeks off. Seams like Cathay would be better off suspending operations, or sending all their crew overseas to do HKG turns.


Basically do 3 weeks of flying where we are kept isolated in a crew hotel between flights, then 2 weeks in a quarantine hotel, then 2 weeks off.
Last edited by zeke on Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:44 pm, edited 4 times in total.
 
Okcflyer
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:32 pm

DiamondFlyer wrote:
zeke wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
Why aren't pilots flying international routes given a high priority for COVID-19 vaccinations? Due to their mobility around the world I would think they would be a high priority to get vaccinated in order prevent spread of emergent variants.


They are, I think over half of the crew in HKG have registered.


Maybe in HKG, but it certain doesn't work that way in the US. In some states, transportation workers were given priority, and in others they were not.


21+% of the USA population have received one or more doses of vaccine. More than 110 million doses. And vaccinating distribution is rapidly accelerating. Most Americans who will likely to travel, or work within the travel industry, should already have received one, or will be receiving one within the next couple of weeks. Depending on which of the 3 vaccines received, they would be considered "fully vaccinated' until 35 days after first dose (Pfizer), 28 days for J&J, and a long 56 days after first dose (Moderna). Im not aware of any other large country (20+MM) making such rapid progress toward effective vaccination.

EDITED: Link to source data https://www.npr.org/sections/health-sho ... your-state
Last edited by Okcflyer on Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:45 pm, edited 4 times in total.
 
Okcflyer
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:37 pm

zeke wrote:
Okcflyer wrote:
I cannot imagine that FX formally complain to Government channels, and for those Gov. channels to proceed forward on the complaint, without cold hard facts backing their complaint of unfair treatment.

From a quick reading, it sounds like China/HKG is saying "yes it is unfair but you deserved unfair treatment because a small % of USA-flag crews committed low-level crimes".

FX/USA is saying the actions of a minority group do not justify intentional, broad, wide-spread actions against a broader group.


This is inaccurate, the HKG government has not specifically done anything to FX, ALL airlines are being treated the same hence the ready CX has had to cancel the majority of its flights.

FX actually have it easier as cargo crew are treated differently to passengers crew as there is chance of infection from passengers with cargo.


Clearly there is reason to complain, hence the official complaints. The below post was a very clear summary of the issue.

Web500sjc wrote:
zeke wrote:
Web500sjc wrote:
Reading the order, it seams that HK Gov. has created an exception for local crews traveling to and from ANC. When a local HK crew goes to ANC and returns, they are not subject to the expanded HK quarantine. The only HK crews that do flights to ANC are Cathay. FX does other inter Asia turns, but their ANC flights are done by US crews - who are subject to quarantine. FX, noting the advantage of the ANC carve out, is willing to create ANC like procedures at their Intra Asia stations, but the HK Gov. is unwilling to consider these procedures. FX has now gotten the US Gov. to intervene on its behalf. In the opinion of the US Gov., the exception of ANC disproportionately advantages Cathay to the detriment of FX.


Again this is misleading.

CX has ANC based crew and they are treated exactly the same way as FX US based crew upon arrival in HKG, they are kept in isolation in the crew hotel until their next departure. The HKG department of health has mandated all HKG based crew to be in hotel isolation worldwide for some time now. Meanwhile I see YouTube videos of US based crews interacting with different communities on layovers.

FX had HKG based crew however they made a business decision to relocate them to SFO, CX does not have that luxury, as a result the majority of flights have been cancelled. Those flights that are operating generally have no passengers, generally heavy crew compliment, operating contactless turn arounds.

FX does not have this restriction, they can continue to operate their normal schedule.



The docket says, a HKG based crew traveling from HKG to ANC and back doesn’t have to complete the full 2 week quarantine. The only carrier that advantages is CX. FX does intra-Asia flying with HKG based crew.

This complaint is not about the conditions a foreign based crew gets on arrival into HKG, it is about the treatment a local based crew gets on arrival to HKG- and I get the impression that if ANC didn’t get that exemption, the US government wouldn’t have leg to stand on.

Outside the USG issue- How are CX crew members supposed to live in HKG with these restrictions? Are the schedules now 5 weeks on/ 5 weeks off. Seams like Cathay would be better off suspending operations, or sending all their crew overseas to do HKG turns.
 
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zeke
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:54 pm

Okcflyer wrote:
Clearly there is reason to complain, hence the official complaints. The below post was a very clear summary of the issue.


The complaint is inaccurate as it cherry picks the requirements that HKG based crew have had to endure for a long time. It is also misleading in that FX had locally based crew and voluntary relocated them recently state side when these new rules were announced.

CX has had to drastically change the way it operates to meet these requirements, most flights even LHR for example are being operated as contactless turn arounds so crew are not considered exposed.

To say an airline is being given an advantage when they have had to cut 2/3 of their flights, where FX has no impact on their schedule is misleading.
 
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flyPIT
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:06 pm

This is from the pilot involved:


"The pilot, who works for FedEx Express, was eventually “extracted” from the camp by U.S. officials after spending six days in solitary confinement in a small room.

The pilot spent New Year’s Eve in the quarantine camp after arriving in Hong Kong the day before for what should have been a routine overnight stay before operating a flight back to the United States. Instead, the pilot found himself locked up for six days while U.S. government officials worked to secure his release.

Although the pilot repeatedly tested negative for COVID-19, one of his colleagues had tested positive and he was therefore classed as a ‘close contact’. Under Hong Kong’s strict virus prevention rules, close contacts must spend 14-days in isolation in a government-approved camp.

Rather than being allowed to remain in quarantine in his hotel room, the pilot described officials dressed in ‘space suits’ turning up at his hotel and telling him in “raised voices” that he would be transferred to the notorious Penny Bay quarantine camp.

“I arrived at Penny’s Bat at about 1:00 am on December 31 to find a very large facility of two-story blocks of motel-style building, surrounded by high fencing with gates for vehicles, guard shacks, bright outdoor stadium-like lighting, and constant patrols along the perimeter by PPE-clad person, who I assumed were security personnel,” the pilot wrote in a written answer to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“My small room included a one-person bed, about 5 feet long, made of two pieces of plywood and a thin mattress, a compact modular bathroom (all of which became a shower stall), a cement floor, and limited hot water, only enough for a daily 5-minute shower, and none at the sink tap.

“The room was drafty, but the heat supply was adequate. I had edible food for sustenance but poor to zero wi-fi,” the testimony continued.

The pilot described being served food through a window and staff who tried to force him to replace his mobile phone SIM card with one their own.

https://www.paddleyourownkanoo.com/2021 ... overnment/


Note he repeatedly tested negative but was still required to be incarcerated under draconian conditions by the HK authorities. To me the US gov't finally getting involved is about the safety and security of US crew members first, and any competitive disadvantage second. Me thinks that if HK would have simply let him stay in his hotel room like the rest of the world then the US gov't would not be involved.
 
raylee67
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:11 pm

It is triggered by FedEx complaining to US authorities. It seems that the other US carriers have not voiced any issues.

So my guess is, first, pax flights are not going to be affected. UA and AA have stopped flying pax to HKG since Feb 2020. CX is maintaining a very small frequency of pax flights to US.

The review is going to focus on cargo flights. Once DoT reviews the frequency of CX cargo flights vs that of all US airlines (e.g. UPS, Southern Air, Atlas, Kalitta, FedEx, AA pax-cargo, UA pax-cargo, etc.), it will probably find that CX cargo frequency is smaller than the overall US airlines frequency, so there is no basis to reduce CX frequency greatly.

If the complaint focuses on the ANC base giving CX an unfair competitive advantage, can US say CX cargo planes cannot land at ANC? That could be a possibility. What can CX do to continue its cargo flights to US in that case? Can CX re-base the crew temporarily at YVR and use YVR instead as the technical stop for west bound flights? I think the 748F can fly non-stop from HKG to US West Coast so may be the ANC based crew can be moved to San Francisco, Portland and Los Angeles temporarily? That would certainly add cost and eliminate FedEx's claim of unfair advantage.

If US really bans CX from US completely, I can see that, given the current state of US/China relationship, Beijing will step in and force a suspension of the aviation agreement between Hong Kong and US, thereby ending all flights by all carriers, FedEx included. Economically it does not make sense to do this, but we are not talking about economics here. I don't think this is the result that FedEx wants to see when it launched its complaint to DoT but it could now be out of its control.
 
vedatil4
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:21 pm

As a possible plan B, CX could fly into TIJ then passengers would walk into the US across the CBX bridge. An international terminal with an "in-transit" area to avoid Mexico immigration is about 70% completed.

Yes, I know this won't be as lucrative as flying to LAX but it may be a workable, temporary option.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:24 pm

zeke wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
AFAIK HK has no exemptions for folks who are vaccinated even though vaccinated folks can still test positive; they are just much less likely to spread disease or develop serious symptoms.


That is being considered now to boost vaccination rates

“We are now considering offering incentives not only in aspects of cross-border travel, but also room to relax certain distancing measures for those who have been vaccinated,” she said.

From https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/hea ... s-could-be


That’s good news. Vaccinated people probably aren’t meaningfully more dangerous from a COVID perspective than they are from any number of other, non-regulated diseases (flu and the like).
 
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c933103
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:27 pm

https://inews.hket.com/article/2903494?r=cpstna
According to local news in Hong Kong,
US DoT claimed that, on March 1 Hong Kong government have contacted Fedex on feasibility of exemption measure and schedule and nothing have worked out, the Hong Kong government have also not responded to US embassy to Hong Kong's proposal. Hong Kong government claim they're still continuously in discussion with Fedex to explore different options.
The Hong Kong government claim that, they already have an exemption for flights between Hong Kong and Anchorage, if the crew were enclosed monitored strictly at Anchorage then they will not need to be quarantined after returning to Hong Kong
US DoT claim that, under Hong Kong government's new quarantine measure, Cathay can still maintain multi-daily flights through Anchorage to other US destinations, indicating it have not been affected by Hong Kong government's new quarantine rule. Conversely, Fedex is only be able to maintain intra-Asia routes to Hong Kong, and have to rebase crew in Hong Kong to San Francisco, increasing operation cost.
Cathay claim that the new quarantine requirement set by Hong Kong government have already caused them to reduce the amount of flight to the US from 35-39/week to 21-28/week, and they have to cut freight capacity by 25% in addition to passenger capacity by 60% and they also lost an extra of 300-400 Million HKD cash per month under the new quarantine rule set by Hong Kong government
 
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c933103
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:35 pm

vedatil4 wrote:
As a possible plan B, CX could fly into TIJ then passengers would walk into the US across the CBX bridge. An international terminal with an "in-transit" area to avoid Mexico immigration is about 70% completed.

Yes, I know this won't be as lucrative as flying to LAX but it may be a workable, temporary option.

With Cathay's passenger load factor down to 13.9% last month I doubt that's going to be their top concern.
 
WaywardMemphian
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:01 pm

Okcflyer wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:
zeke wrote:

They are, I think over half of the crew in HKG have registered.


Maybe in HKG, but it certain doesn't work that way in the US. In some states, transportation workers were given priority, and in others they were not.


21+% of the USA population have received one or more doses of vaccine. More than 110 million doses. And vaccinating distribution is rapidly accelerating. Most Americans who will likely to travel, or work within the travel industry, should already have received one, or will be receiving one within the next couple of weeks. Depending on which of the 3 vaccines received, they would be considered "fully vaccinated' until 35 days after first dose (Pfizer), 28 days for J&J, and a long 56 days after first dose (Moderna). Im not aware of any other large country (20+MM) making such rapid progress toward effective vaccination.

EDITED: Link to source data https://www.npr.org/sections/health-sho ... your-state



The pace picked up when Walmart started giving them. The Walmarts in Northwest Arkansas go a huge allotment of J&J last week . Nearly all of our employees got it in two days AT Walmart locations in and around NWA. This week they had Moderna and all slots are spoken for sometime in the next couple of days the next batch drops to be able to be booked. Northeast Arkansas Walmarts are flush with Moderna as we speak. Appointments available right now.


New Cases in Memphis/Shelby Co has flat lined even with the now two week old knowledge of the UK strain being present.
 
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ADent
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Wed Mar 17, 2021 8:17 pm

zeke wrote:

CX crews are now doing 5 weeks of isolation at a time, outport flights are done contactless without catering uplift. HKG-LHR-HKG for example is done as a turn around with a super heavy crew compliment, crew don’t get off the aircraft, they have no contact with anyone on the ground.


Thanks for the quality information provided in several of your posts in this thread.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 2:20 am

I am surprised CX is still in business as a passenger airline. The demand to go anywhere in China must be minimal. The ME3 has greatly curtailed flights into China and flights from Europe have also been cut as well, The lack of transparency regarding the origins of Covid certainly don't inspire confidence. Cargo yes, I get it, but pax transiting through China in the current environment would have to be problematic.

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202102/1216425.shtml
 
Antarius
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 2:24 am

ElroyJetson wrote:
I am surprised CX is still in business as a passenger airline. The demand to go anywhere in China must be minimal. The ME3 has greatly curtailed flights into China and flights from Europe have also been cut as well, The lack of transparency regarding the origins of Covid certainly don't inspire confidence. Cargo yes, I get it, but pax transiting through China in the current environment would have to be problematic.

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202102/1216425.shtml


Hong Kong is quite different from mainland China. And Swire is very wealthy.
 
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zeke
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:19 am

flyPIT wrote:
This is from the pilot involved:


"The pilot, who works for FedEx Express, was eventually “extracted” from the camp by U.S. officials after spending six days in solitary confinement in a small room.

The pilot spent New Year’s Eve in the quarantine camp after arriving in Hong Kong the day before for what should have been a routine overnight stay before operating a flight back to the United States. Instead, the pilot found himself locked up for six days while U.S. government officials worked to secure his release.

Although the pilot repeatedly tested negative for COVID-19, one of his colleagues had tested positive and he was therefore classed as a ‘close contact’. Under Hong Kong’s strict virus prevention rules, close contacts must spend 14-days in isolation in a government-approved camp.

Rather than being allowed to remain in quarantine in his hotel room, the pilot described officials dressed in ‘space suits’ turning up at his hotel and telling him in “raised voices” that he would be transferred to the notorious Penny Bay quarantine camp.

“I arrived at Penny’s Bat at about 1:00 am on December 31 to find a very large facility of two-story blocks of motel-style building, surrounded by high fencing with gates for vehicles, guard shacks, bright outdoor stadium-like lighting, and constant patrols along the perimeter by PPE-clad person, who I assumed were security personnel,” the pilot wrote in a written answer to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“My small room included a one-person bed, about 5 feet long, made of two pieces of plywood and a thin mattress, a compact modular bathroom (all of which became a shower stall), a cement floor, and limited hot water, only enough for a daily 5-minute shower, and none at the sink tap.

“The room was drafty, but the heat supply was adequate. I had edible food for sustenance but poor to zero wi-fi,” the testimony continued.

The pilot described being served food through a window and staff who tried to force him to replace his mobile phone SIM card with one their own.

https://www.paddleyourownkanoo.com/2021 ... overnment/


Note he repeatedly tested negative but was still required to be incarcerated under draconian conditions by the HK authorities. To me the US gov't finally getting involved is about the safety and security of US crew members first, and any competitive disadvantage second. Me thinks that if HK would have simply let him stay in his hotel room like the rest of the world then the US gov't would not be involved.


I’m not sure if this guy has English as a second language, he is obviously unable to grasp simple concepts.

If you arrive on a flight, and one of your co-workers tests positive the two 12 hours the two pilots spent in close proximity in the cockpit, sharing a bunk facility, sharing toilet facilities, and sharing a galley a galley means they have been exposed to COVID.

The reason why governments around the world ask for 14 days quarantine is after initial exposure it can take 10 days for some people to get sick enough to be detectable. That does not mean they are contagious while producing a negative test result.

He got treated no different to any other crew member, member of the public that has been in close contact with with a confirm case. As I posted above the government rounded up and quarantined around 1200 members of the community and placed them in isolation after there was a confined case of a trainer employed at a gym.

No one is allowed to stay at home or a hotel if they have tested positive or a close contact in hkg, this was not special treatment.

Isolation to me in simple English means by yourself.

Yes people transporting people to Isolation are in full PPE to protect the community so they don’t become super spreaders.
Last edited by zeke on Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
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zeke
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:32 am

c933103 wrote:
The Hong Kong government claim that, they already have an exemption for flights between Hong Kong and Anchorage, if the crew were enclosed monitored strictly at Anchorage then they will not need to be quarantined after returning to Hong Kong


FX could have done the same, however instead the chose to relocate the HKG based crew to SFO. There is no impact FX operating in an out of HKG, crew only have to quarantine if they plan to enter the community, if they are on a layover they are not in quarantine they stay in their room in their crew hotel.

c933103 wrote:
US DoT claim that, under Hong Kong government's new quarantine measure, Cathay can still maintain multi-daily flights through Anchorage to other US destinations, indicating it have not been affected by Hong Kong government's new quarantine rule.


The reason for this is CX like FX has pilots based in ANC that do the onward flights. If a HKG based crew member goes beyond ANC they are subjected to 14 days quarantine before they can again enter the HKG community.

Conversely, Fedex is only be able to maintain intra-Asia routes to Hong Kong, and have to rebase crew in Hong Kong to San Francisco, increasing operation cost.


This is false, it is a business decision they chose to make, they could have operated the same way as CX. CX had to cut 2/3 of its network to work with the new rules.

There is no additional restriction on FX crew overnighting in HKG. Their crew are treated no differently to CX ANC based crew arriving in HKG.

c933103 wrote:
Cathay claim that the new quarantine requirement set by Hong Kong government have already caused them to reduce the amount of flight to the US from 35-39/week to 21-28/week, and they have to cut freight capacity by 25% in addition to passenger capacity by 60% and they also lost an extra of 300-400 Million HKD cash per month under the new quarantine rule set by Hong Kong government


That is all true.
 
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zeke
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:50 am

For anyone interested in the actual ruling, it’s not secret information, it’s posted on the HKG government website. There is no reason why FX could not have done this with their HKG based crew, except their HKG based crew refused to do it. They refused to be bound by the HKG requirements outside of HKG.

“ For freight crew, who have laid over in Anchorage in Alaska of the United States of America and subject to closedloop management in segregation from the local community during the layover, will be exempted and they will not be subject to self-isolation at designated quarantine hotel. They will still be subject to 21-day medical surveillance.
During their stay in Anchorage, Alaska of the United States of America, air crew members can only travel between the airport and dedicated hotels by point-to-point transportation arranged by the airline. Airlines are required to arrange a specific floor/room for its crew members in the dedicated hotel and provide pre-check-in and check-out arrangements. During their stay in Anchorage, air crew members are not allowed to leave the room until they return to the airport for next cargo duty flight to Hong Kong. Air crew members shall not contact with local residents during their stay in Anchorage and airlines shall arrange designated group of air crew members to operate cargo flights between Hong Kong and Anchorage if practicable”

From https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/exem ... s-faq.html
 
Antarius
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:06 am

zeke wrote:
c933103 wrote:
The Hong Kong government claim that, they already have an exemption for flights between Hong Kong and Anchorage, if the crew were enclosed monitored strictly at Anchorage then they will not need to be quarantined after returning to Hong Kong


FX could have done the same, however instead the chose to relocate the HKG based crew to SFO. There is no impact FX operating in an out of HKG, crew only have to quarantine if they plan to enter the community, if they are on a layover they are not in quarantine they stay in their room in their crew hotel.

c933103 wrote:
US DoT claim that, under Hong Kong government's new quarantine measure, Cathay can still maintain multi-daily flights through Anchorage to other US destinations, indicating it have not been affected by Hong Kong government's new quarantine rule.


The reason for this is CX like FX has pilots based in ANC that do the onward flights. If a HKG based crew member goes beyond ANC they are subjected to 14 days quarantine before they can again enter the HKG community.

Conversely, Fedex is only be able to maintain intra-Asia routes to Hong Kong, and have to rebase crew in Hong Kong to San Francisco, increasing operation cost.


This is false, it is a business decision they chose to make, they could have operated the same way as CX. CX had to cut 2/3 of its network to work with the new rules.

There is no additional restriction on FX crew overnighting in HKG. Their crew are treated no differently to CX ANC based crew arriving in HKG.

c933103 wrote:
Cathay claim that the new quarantine requirement set by Hong Kong government have already caused them to reduce the amount of flight to the US from 35-39/week to 21-28/week, and they have to cut freight capacity by 25% in addition to passenger capacity by 60% and they also lost an extra of 300-400 Million HKD cash per month under the new quarantine rule set by Hong Kong government


That is all true.


And yet the DOT disagrees. So, it isn't as cut and dry as this makes it seem.
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:24 am

ElroyJetson wrote:
I am surprised CX is still in business as a passenger airline. The demand to go anywhere in China must be minimal. The ME3 has greatly curtailed flights into China and flights from Europe have also been cut as well, The lack of transparency regarding the origins of Covid certainly don't inspire confidence. Cargo yes, I get it, but pax transiting through China in the current environment would have to be problematic.

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202102/1216425.shtml


It actually has nothing to do with "confidence" or transparency or whatever.

HK has fairly strong entry restrictions right now (unless you are coming from mainland...that is, I will avoid the stupid politics behind it) where basically non HK residents cannot enter the city, and anyone that does (including HK residents) has to be quarantine at a hotel for 21 days.

In another word, there is really only a tiny amount of people that actually fly to HK. HKer are not going to go on vacations either just to face 21-days quarantine coming back.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:46 am

Antarius wrote:
zeke wrote:
c933103 wrote:
The Hong Kong government claim that, they already have an exemption for flights between Hong Kong and Anchorage, if the crew were enclosed monitored strictly at Anchorage then they will not need to be quarantined after returning to Hong Kong


FX could have done the same, however instead the chose to relocate the HKG based crew to SFO. There is no impact FX operating in an out of HKG, crew only have to quarantine if they plan to enter the community, if they are on a layover they are not in quarantine they stay in their room in their crew hotel.

c933103 wrote:
US DoT claim that, under Hong Kong government's new quarantine measure, Cathay can still maintain multi-daily flights through Anchorage to other US destinations, indicating it have not been affected by Hong Kong government's new quarantine rule.


The reason for this is CX like FX has pilots based in ANC that do the onward flights. If a HKG based crew member goes beyond ANC they are subjected to 14 days quarantine before they can again enter the HKG community.

Conversely, Fedex is only be able to maintain intra-Asia routes to Hong Kong, and have to rebase crew in Hong Kong to San Francisco, increasing operation cost.


This is false, it is a business decision they chose to make, they could have operated the same way as CX. CX had to cut 2/3 of its network to work with the new rules.

There is no additional restriction on FX crew overnighting in HKG. Their crew are treated no differently to CX ANC based crew arriving in HKG.

c933103 wrote:
Cathay claim that the new quarantine requirement set by Hong Kong government have already caused them to reduce the amount of flight to the US from 35-39/week to 21-28/week, and they have to cut freight capacity by 25% in addition to passenger capacity by 60% and they also lost an extra of 300-400 Million HKD cash per month under the new quarantine rule set by Hong Kong government


That is all true.


And yet the DOT disagrees. So, it isn't as cut and dry as this makes it seem.

The US DOT manages transportation to, from and within the US; it does not manage health concerns outside of the US.
This is a health issue, that impacts transportation; not the other way around.
 
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c933103
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:50 am

ElroyJetson wrote:
I am surprised CX is still in business as a passenger airline. The demand to go anywhere in China must be minimal. The ME3 has greatly curtailed flights into China and flights from Europe have also been cut as well, The lack of transparency regarding the origins of Covid certainly don't inspire confidence. Cargo yes, I get it, but pax transiting through China in the current environment would have to be problematic.

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202102/1216425.shtml

The problem with international air service into/out of China Mainland is more a problem of supply than demand
Foreign person might not want to travel into/out of China but there are still many Chinese residents overseas who wish to return to China
But, China have been enforcing a very strict capacity restriction, previously restricting each carrier to be only able to operate 1x weekly flight into or out of China, although the rule have been relaxed and changed a bit.
The result of this is that, from what I heard, there are still a few short term VFR tourist from before the pandemic start in 2020 that are still stuck in foreign nation unable to find a way to return to China, as of year 2021.
But all these have nothing to do with Cathay, since Chinese government have exempted Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan airlines from such limitation, but such exemption come with an unspoken condition that those airlines cannot carry international traveller in-transit with China Mainland as destination.
Therefore China Mainland should not be the destination of any passengers currently flying Cathay.
 
Antarius
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:53 am

WayexTDI wrote:
Antarius wrote:
zeke wrote:

FX could have done the same, however instead the chose to relocate the HKG based crew to SFO. There is no impact FX operating in an out of HKG, crew only have to quarantine if they plan to enter the community, if they are on a layover they are not in quarantine they stay in their room in their crew hotel.



The reason for this is CX like FX has pilots based in ANC that do the onward flights. If a HKG based crew member goes beyond ANC they are subjected to 14 days quarantine before they can again enter the HKG community.



This is false, it is a business decision they chose to make, they could have operated the same way as CX. CX had to cut 2/3 of its network to work with the new rules.

There is no additional restriction on FX crew overnighting in HKG. Their crew are treated no differently to CX ANC based crew arriving in HKG.



That is all true.


And yet the DOT disagrees. So, it isn't as cut and dry as this makes it seem.

The US DOT manages transportation to, from and within the US; it does not manage health concerns outside of the US.
This is a health issue, that impacts transportation; not the other way around.


Sure, but After several sentences, you said "that impacts transportation". And therefore it's within the DOT's purview.

So, what we think is irrelevant here. What the DOT does is and they most certainly have jurisdiction to act.
 
bayareapilot
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 5:14 am

DarkSnowyNight wrote:
They really do not need to be pulling on that thread. It would not take much for HKG to reciprocate and halt AA & FX coming in as well...


HKG needs cargo carriers a lot more than cargo carriers need HKG at this point. China has already shown HK who is the boss, and they would rather grow PVG, PEK, and CAN as cargo hubs. ICN and NRT have capitalized on the quarantine shenanigans in HK and China with strong cargo growth. HKG would be cutting off their nose to spite their foot to ban cargo carriers as this juncture.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 6:48 am

Antarius wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
Antarius wrote:

And yet the DOT disagrees. So, it isn't as cut and dry as this makes it seem.

The US DOT manages transportation to, from and within the US; it does not manage health concerns outside of the US.
This is a health issue, that impacts transportation; not the other way around.


Sure, but After several sentences, you said "that impacts transportation". And therefore it's within the DOT's purview.

So, what we think is irrelevant here. What the DOT does is and they most certainly have jurisdiction to act.

The DOT is not the agency preventing people from entering the US in this time of COVID pandemic; it is the CBP (Custom and Border Protection) as directed by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and as proclaimed by the President of the US.

When have DOT agents been involved in controlling people entering the US? It's outside of their jurisdiction.
 
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zeke
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 7:22 am

Antarius wrote:
And yet the DOT disagrees. So, it isn't as cut and dry as this makes it seem.


I have read the DOT docket, and nowhere in it does it show there has been any harm to FX being able to operate "between the United States and Hong Kong", that is where the DOT agreement is concerned.

The docket states

"Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific operates a large transshipment operation at Anchorage; it conducts multiple daily all cargo operations between Hong Kong and Anchorage that connect to other Cathay flights between Anchorage and points throughout the continental United States. This carve out effectively provides Cathay Pacific with the ability to continue those operations without impact from the new crew quarantine requirements"

That is factually incorrect, the new requirements have had a significant impact on flights to ANC and the rest of the USA by CX. The statement "continue those operations without impact from the new crew quarantine requirements" is false.

The docket also says

"FedEx’s Hong Kong-based crews serve only intra-Asia routings and therefore do not benefit from the Anchorage exception.
Almost immediately after Hong Kong publicized the new requirements, FedEx announced that it would begin temporarily relocating its Hong Kong-based crews to San Francisco in order to maintain the viability of critical operations in its intra-Asia network. The carrier advised the Department that the new arrangement would incur significant operational costs and personal burden on its Hong Kong crewmembers."

This statement has left me totally flabbergasted, so the DOT agreement between the USA and HKG is related to flights between the USA and HKG, so the one exception that was made which would permit UPS and FX crew based in HKG to continue to operate to/from ANC without any imposition. Because they made a business decision not to use this, they are saying its unfair under the DOT agreement concerning flights between the USA and HKG because US carriers don't get exemptions regionally (so for flights not between HKG and the USA) which no other carrier in HKG gets. I just cannot follow the DOT logic.

It is a internal FX business process on how crews are rostered, they could have chosen to operate their HKG based crew to ANC or to do regional turn around flights which means none of their locally based crews would need to enter quarantine. They did not want to do that, their internal business decision was to do regional overnights.

Fact is FX management could not come to agreement with their HKG based crews to operate in 5 week cycles of isolation/quarantine without going back home and seeing their families like CX pilots are doing.

This has zero impact on flights between the USA and HKG.

The docket also says

"In late January 2021, U.S. all-cargo airlines advised the Department that Hong Kong was considering requiring a two- or three-week quarantine applicable to all Hong Kong-based crew members upon returning to Hong Kong from international locations."

This is factually incorrect, there is no impact to regional cargo only turn around flights. FX HKG based crew could perform regional turn around flights without the need to quarantine, they only need to quarantine if they overnight.

The docket also says

"Hong Kong already has significantly harmed the U.S. carrier’s operations and drastically upended the competitive dynamics of the market by implementing an exception for Anchorage at the outset of its new policy effective February 20"

There is no evidence in the docket to support the claim FX flights between the US HKG have been harmed. The is lots of evidence that the new measures have harmed CX significantly. with drastic cuts to services to the US.
 
Antarius
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 2:02 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
Antarius wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
The US DOT manages transportation to, from and within the US; it does not manage health concerns outside of the US.
This is a health issue, that impacts transportation; not the other way around.


Sure, but After several sentences, you said "that impacts transportation". And therefore it's within the DOT's purview.

So, what we think is irrelevant here. What the DOT does is and they most certainly have jurisdiction to act.

The DOT is not the agency preventing people from entering the US in this time of COVID pandemic; it is the CBP (Custom and Border Protection) as directed by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and as proclaimed by the President of the US.

When have DOT agents been involved in controlling people entering the US? It's outside of their jurisdiction.


Did you read the original post?
 
jjbiv
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 2:20 pm

Why can't the provisions which the HK government made for HK-based crew for ANC turns also be applied to other intra-Asia destinations? What is so special about ANC aside from CX's large transhipment operation located there? The key point is a rule which on its face is not discriminatory can have a disparate impact on different groups of people or entities based on different characteristics of those groups. In this case,, the provisions made for ANC flights provide the most benefit to CX, which just happens to be the local carrier. That can look suspicious to foreign carriers and governments. Most of the other points being made in this thread just aren't relevant to this specific complaint.

Zeke, your insights in this thread are very helpful but you might want to consider the possibility that you are too close to one of the parties affected by this dispute to view it objectively (just like a FDX pilot working HKG flights also would likely not be able to be objective either).
 
Okcflyer
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 2:32 pm

zeke wrote:
Antarius wrote:
And yet the DOT disagrees. So, it isn't as cut and dry as this makes it seem.


I have read the DOT docket, and nowhere in it does it show there has been any harm to FX being able to operate "between the United States and Hong Kong", that is where the DOT agreement is concerned.

The docket states

"Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific operates a large transshipment operation at Anchorage; it conducts multiple daily all cargo operations between Hong Kong and Anchorage that connect to other Cathay flights between Anchorage and points throughout the continental United States. This carve out effectively provides Cathay Pacific with the ability to continue those operations without impact from the new crew quarantine requirements"

That is factually incorrect, the new requirements have had a significant impact on flights to ANC and the rest of the USA by CX. The statement "continue those operations without impact from the new crew quarantine requirements" is false.

The docket also says

"FedEx’s Hong Kong-based crews serve only intra-Asia routings and therefore do not benefit from the Anchorage exception.
Almost immediately after Hong Kong publicized the new requirements, FedEx announced that it would begin temporarily relocating its Hong Kong-based crews to San Francisco in order to maintain the viability of critical operations in its intra-Asia network. The carrier advised the Department that the new arrangement would incur significant operational costs and personal burden on its Hong Kong crewmembers."

This statement has left me totally flabbergasted, so the DOT agreement between the USA and HKG is related to flights between the USA and HKG, so the one exception that was made which would permit UPS and FX crew based in HKG to continue to operate to/from ANC without any imposition. Because they made a business decision not to use this, they are saying its unfair under the DOT agreement concerning flights between the USA and HKG because US carriers don't get exemptions regionally (so for flights not between HKG and the USA) which no other carrier in HKG gets. I just cannot follow the DOT logic.

It is a internal FX business process on how crews are rostered, they could have chosen to operate their HKG based crew to ANC or to do regional turn around flights which means none of their locally based crews would need to enter quarantine. They did not want to do that, their internal business decision was to do regional overnights.

Fact is FX management could not come to agreement with their HKG based crews to operate in 5 week cycles of isolation/quarantine without going back home and seeing their families like CX pilots are doing.

This has zero impact on flights between the USA and HKG.

The docket also says

"In late January 2021, U.S. all-cargo airlines advised the Department that Hong Kong was considering requiring a two- or three-week quarantine applicable to all Hong Kong-based crew members upon returning to Hong Kong from international locations."

This is factually incorrect, there is no impact to regional cargo only turn around flights. FX HKG based crew could perform regional turn around flights without the need to quarantine, they only need to quarantine if they overnight.

The docket also says

"Hong Kong already has significantly harmed the U.S. carrier’s operations and drastically upended the competitive dynamics of the market by implementing an exception for Anchorage at the outset of its new policy effective February 20"

There is no evidence in the docket to support the claim FX flights between the US HKG have been harmed. The is lots of evidence that the new measures have harmed CX significantly. with drastic cuts to services to the US.


Your central argument is "FX can do exactly what CX is doing, and therefore it's fair". "FX could do 5x 5x rotations." "FX could fly more through ANC."

The question is not whether the FX could copy CX. That is irrelevant.

The question is whether the exemption for, and only for, ANC is "fair". Why is ANC the only city/airport selected? Why aren't other USA city/airports included? If overnighting at a hotel can be made safe in ANC, it can done safely in any USA city.

That is the central argument. LAX, MEM, etc must also be included in the exemption list. It's "Unfair" to exempt CX's major hub (ANC) and not allow equal treatment, upon request, to other airports/cities by other airlines (FX is formal complainer on this one).

It's a very simple complaint. Everything else is a distraction.

The complaint goes away the moment HK allows the same exemption at any other USA city upon demonstration of compliance.That begs the question, why won't HK allow other airports/cities to be eligible for the same exemption? Protectionism?
 
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zeke
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:08 pm

jjbiv wrote:
Why can't the provisions which the HK government made for HK-based crew for ANC turns also be applied to other intra-Asia destinations?


I suspect this is made on a risk assessment basis, the number of COVID cases in ANC is low, similar to HKG, other destinations within Asia still have large numbers of COVID cases. The COVID infection rates are very low across the state of Alaska, much lower than the lower 48. Also this is cargo only, no passenger services are involved.

The Philippines for example still has large numbers of covid cases, CX had a passenger flight there recently that had 5 or more infected passengers on return to HKG. As a result, CX has been banned by the HKG government from conducting passenger flights to the Philippines due to this.

jjbiv wrote:
In this case,, the provisions made for ANC flights provide the most benefit to CX, which just happens to be the local carrier. That can look suspicious to foreign carriers and governments. Most of the other points being made in this thread just aren't relevant to this specific complaint.


I remember years ago when we were discussing Washington state tax incentives to Boeing people were telling me there is nothing stopping Airbus from setting up in the state and taking advantage of the same provisions to get the same advantage. There was nothing stopping FX from using those provisions, it is an internal business decision on their part not to use them, and how they roster their crew from the HKG base is also an internal business decision, the bi-lateral agreement between the USA and HKG does not cover such internal business practices.

The FX complaint in the docket refers to flights within Asia saying they cannot roster crews from HKG to do those flights without quarantine, they can, they have to do them as turn arounds.

I still is trying to understand how with these new rules CX can only operate 2/3 of your normal number of flights, meanwhile FX has had no change. Where is the actual evidence of an advantage being given to CX, especially on routes covered by the bi-lateral agreement between the USA and HKG.

jjbiv wrote:
Zeke, your insights in this thread are very helpful but you might want to consider the possibility that you are too close to one of the parties affected by this dispute to view it objectively (just like a FDX pilot working HKG flights also would likely not be able to be objective either).


I will openly admit I am aggrieved by this as I am significantly impacted personally. Firstly it was the selfish actions by those crew to flout written health directives issued to them personally that was a major contributor to the aircrew exemption being revoked, as a consequence we have to endure 5 weeks of isolation and the airline had had to make severe cuts. The people responsible for flouting the directives get relocated outside of HKG, get to remain with their families, and their airline has no schedule impact. BTW the last quarterly results by FX posted shows they doubled their revenues and profit compared the same quarter previous year, meanwhile CX numbers are getting worse.

There is no evidence that FX flights between the US and HKG were harmed by this at all which is what the DOT bi-lateral agreement covers. The DOT is not party to the agreement between HKG and the Philippines, or HKG and Japan etc.
 
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Polot
Posts: 12099
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:01 pm

Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:15 pm

zeke wrote:
I remember years ago when we were discussing Washington state tax incentives to Boeing people were telling me there is nothing stopping Airbus from setting up in the state and taking advantage of the same provisions to get the same advantage. There was nothing stopping FX from using those provisions, it is an internal business decision on their part not to use them, and how they roster their crew from the HKG base is also an internal business decision, the bi-lateral agreement between the USA and HKG does not cover such internal business practices.

Considering the WTO ruled against those tax breaks, siding with in EU’s complaints, and Washington state repealed them to get in compliance to try and avoid tariffs I’m not sure that is the comparison you want to make...
 
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zeke
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Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:38 pm

Polot wrote:
Considering the WTO ruled against those tax breaks, siding with in EU’s complaints, and Washington state repealed them to get in compliance to try and avoid tariffs I’m not sure that is the comparison you want to make...


At the time I stated the incentives were unfair, it took the WTO around a decade to make its ruling, in the mean time the harm was done and the US additionally placed tariffs in the EU.

The rules that the HKG department of health has in place is all about keeping the HKG community safe, the rules are near identical to those used in Australia.

For example
https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/mand ... ht-aircrew

“ Transportation to accommodation

Transportation to accommodation will be arranged by government officials. Dedicated buses will be provided for each individual airline crew so there is no close contact with crew from other airlines.

All buses are cleaned after each crew is transported and drivers will wear full personal protective equipment. Crew must wear face masks and maintain physical distancing at all times, including on the bus.

During quarantine

Once airline crews have entered quarantine, they will not be able to leave their rooms for 14 days or until their next flight departs Melbourne. Emergencies, mental health and medical reasons are the only exceptions.”

In Victoria the detention notice states crew are not allowed to contact anyone, not allowed to contact your airline, only allowed to contact the “Authorising Officer” which is a police officer at the hotel.
 
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Polot
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:01 pm

Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:46 pm

zeke wrote:
Polot wrote:
Considering the WTO ruled against those tax breaks, siding with in EU’s complaints, and Washington state repealed them to get in compliance to try and avoid tariffs I’m not sure that is the comparison you want to make...


At the time I stated the incentives were unfair, it took the WTO around a decade to make its ruling, in the mean time the harm was done and the US additionally placed tariffs in the EU.

Sure but this situation will not take that long to deal with since it is not involving a third party intergovernmental organization.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3233
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:53 pm

zeke wrote:
In Victoria the detention notice states crew are not allowed to contact anyone, not allowed to contact your airline, only allowed to contact the “Authorising Officer” which is a police officer at the hotel.

I hope that only means physical contact, not phone-email-zoom kind of things?
 
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c933103
Posts: 5693
Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 7:23 pm

Re: US threatens to suspend CX flights

Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:46 pm

zeke wrote:
jjbiv wrote:
Why can't the provisions which the HK government made for HK-based crew for ANC turns also be applied to other intra-Asia destinations?


I suspect this is made on a risk assessment basis, the number of COVID cases in ANC is low, similar to HKG, other destinations within Asia still have large numbers of COVID cases. The COVID infection rates are very low across the state of Alaska, much lower than the lower 48. Also this is cargo only, no passenger services are involved.

The Philippines for example still has large numbers of covid cases, CX had a passenger flight there recently that had 5 or more infected passengers on return to HKG. As a result, CX has been banned by the HKG government from conducting passenger flights to the Philippines due to this.

Australia/New Zealand/Vietnam/Taiwan/Singapore are all countries in the region with minimal amount of case, and you can also add China Mainland or North Korea to the list if you follow their data. Countries like Thailand or South Korea have also significantly contained their outbreaks with new daily infection rate per population down to same order of magnitude as Hong Kong.

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