Latest news, in-depth features and opinion on aviation, with a particular focus on the industry in Hong Kong, mainland China and Asia.

Coronavirus: huge cuts by Hong Kong’s Cathay deepen global airline woes
Hong Kong’s carrier Cathay Pacific has joined US, European and other Asian airlines in making drastic job cuts as coronavirus-enforced travel restrictions continue to hammer the aviation industry. Cathay announced on Wednesday it is to shed 8,500 jobs, making 5,900 staff redundant, mostly in Hong Kong. As well as losing over a fifth of its headcount, it will shut one of its regional carriers, Cathay Dragon, with immediate effect as it battles to survive the pandemic. The airline had a $5 billion bailout in June, with the Hong Kong government contributing $3.52 billion to prevent its collapse. But the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents the global airline industry
Longing to travel? These Taiwan airlines offer to take you to nowhere
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to make travel abroad difficult, two Taiwanese airlines are offering those itching to fly a rare opportunity to take off – and return to where they come from. Next weekend, an EVA Air A330 will take off from Taoyuan International Airport, fly over the northeast cape, circle Japan’s Ryukyu Islands and head home again via Taiwan’s southeast coast. “There will not be a stopover in Japan,” a spokesperson said. The brief weekend getaway – the flight will last two hours and 45 minutes – is an example of airlines’ attempt to keep their business afloat as the virus has wiped out the majority of international flights. Globally, airlines could lose more than $345 bi
‘We are abandoned’: Chinese stranded overseas protest Beijing’s flight ban
Millions of Chinese citizens living abroad watched in distress as the coronavirus pandemic plunged their home country into crisis early this year, holding their breath until the virus was wrangled under control last month.  But even as life slowly returns to normal in China, the strict measures that helped the country contain Covid-19 are preventing some overseas Chinese from going home. Despite their willingness to pay for expensive flights and endure a two-week quarantine in a hotel, some Chinese citizens abroad are effectively blocked from returning home owing to China’s strict limits on the number of inbound flights.  The tough measures have triggered a collective outrage among the mostl
How Covid-19 has disrupted air travel
Airline tracking site Flight Radar 24 documented a massive reduction in the number of aircraft flying around the world as the new coronavirus spread after it was first reported in central China. The International Air Transport Association predicts that air traffic in 2020 may fall by at least 38%.
China blocks foreigners as coronavirus center shifts to US and Europe
China will ban most foreigners from entering the country starting at midnight on Friday in an effort to block the spread of the coronavirus through imported cases. Entry visas issued to foreigners will be suspended as an “interim measure,” according to a statement late Thursday by the country’s foreign ministry. “In view of the rapid spread of the new coronavirus epidemic worldwide, China has decided to temporarily suspend entry of foreigners with currently valid visas and residence permits in China,” the ministry said. “The Chinese side will adjust the above measures according to the epidemic situation through separate announcements.” While the global pandemic originated in China months ago
Pilot grounded for life for inviting a woman to the cockpit
A Chinese pilot has been banned from flying for life for allowing a young woman to visit the cockpit. The incident happened on an Air Guilin flight 10 months ago, but the photos taken by the woman – later identified as Chen Yuying, a student who planned to become a flight attendant after graduation – only went viral on Sunday. Chen, a third-year student at Guilin Tourism University, was seen posing in front of a tea set sitting in a pilot’s seat. A caption of the photo reads: “I am super thankful to the pilot! I am so thrilled!” The picture, which was spotted this week on the Weibo social media site by someone working in the airline industry, caused an uproar among aviation specialists. They
What you need to know about Beijing’s shiny new airport
Traveling to Beijing? You will be landing at one of two airports, now that the capital’s highly anticipated Daxing International Airport has opened. Known as PKX to flight insiders, the brand new airport designed by late British architect Zaha Hadid cost $11 billion and took five years to build. If you’re traveling through Beijing, whether you transit through Daxing (pronounced da-SHEEN, as in Charlie Sheen) or the older Capital International Airport will be determined by your airline. US carriers American and Delta, both currently at Capital, have said they’re still evaluating a move, according to travel site The Points Guy. British Airways says its whole operation will be moved to the ne
Beijing’s new ‘starfish’ airport opens for business
China’s new Daxing International Airport in the capital Beijing formally opened for business on Wednesday.   President Xi Jinping presided over the official launch of the new aviation hub, just days before the People's Republic celebrates its 70th anniversary on October 1. British architect Zaha Hadid designed the unique starfish-shaped airport before her death in 2016.
Shanghai plane sets off for Beijing. It lands 17 hours later – at origin
A Beijing-bound flight from Shanghai landed at its origin more than 17 hours after the journey began, as severe thunderstorms at its destination forced the aircraft to turn back twice. The China Eastern Airlines plane took off from Shanghai’s Hongqiao airport at 2:11 am Monday morning, after a five-hour delay, bound for Beijing. The Airbus A330-300 aircraft, carrying 250 passengers, was delayed due to inclement weather in the Chinese capital. More than 400 flights were canceled. About 62 miles from its destination, the flight made a U-turn and returned to Shanghai, landing at the Pudong airport (on the east side of the city) about three hours later, at 4:59 am, according to data provided by
Air China incident highlights stigma against mental illness
China is embroiled in a debate about whether people with a history of mental illness should be allowed to use public transportation, which was sparked by an incident last week at Air China. The airline was criticized after an off-duty employee made a scene during a flight and accused three passengers of attacking her, leading them to be questioned by police for hours after their arrival in Beijing. Later, it emerged that the employee had bipolar disorder. The passengers were eventually released. On China’s Twitter-like Weibo, a poll titled “Should mentally ill patients be allowed to take a flight?” gathered 85,000 votes by Thursday. About 55% of the respondents voted “no,” saying that patie