Gulf Air halts flights to Hong Kong

Gulf Air has become the first Middle East carrier to axe flights because of SARS. The carrier suspended all flights to Hong Kong from April 25.

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By  Neil Denslow Published  April 27, 2003

Gulf Air has become the first Middle East carrier to axe flights because of SARS. The carrier has suspended all flights to Hong Kong from April 25.

“This decision, which makes provision for a month-long suspension, will be evaluated in the light of new developments, and as additional information becomes available,” says James Hogan, Gulf Air’s president & chief executive. “The health and safety of our passengers and crew is our prime concern, and we will take all necessary measures, for as long as it is required, to ensure that they are effectively protected against the SARS virus.”

The suspension is in line with GCC directives and follows measures by government authorities in the airline’s owner states to prevent the spread of the SARS virus.

To ensure that passengers are not stranded, Gulf Air is working with Asian carriers to let travelers fly with another airline if they wish.

“Effectively, for the period of the suspension, Gulf Air will not operate the sector between Bangkok and Hong Kong. To minimise disruptions and inconvenience to our passengers, we are finalising arrangements with Cathay Pacific and Thai Airways to take up affected passengers and cargo on this part of the journey,” explains Fareed Al Alawi, vice president, networks, Gulf Air.

“Flights to Singapore have not been suspended [as] the uplift is predominantly transit passengers from Jakarta and Australia, who are unaffected by the restrictions. We will, however, continue to monitor the situation to consider the safety of our passengers,” he adds.

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