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            november 18, 2019

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Hong Kong unrest continues to hurt demand


Travel demand to Hong Kong remains weak as months of protests and violent unrest have discouraged people from visiting the city, says Singapore Airlines.
Protests continue to rock parts of Hong Kong, particularly on weekends, and have occasionally spread to the airport, affecting operations there, reports Bloomberg.The airline cancelled some flights when there weren't enough passengers or shifted the load to other services, said Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong.
"The impact is probably stronger on the leisure side, because if you are going to Hong Kong for leisure you may actually look at alternatives," Mr Goh said. While it's too early to say that travel demand to Hong Kong is recovering, "it has somewhat stabilised", he said.
Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific has lowered its earnings outlook, while Hong Kong Airlines is cutting operations, including its Los Angeles route. Virgin Australia Holdings said Wednesday it is suspending its Melbourne-Hong Kong route.
Singapore Air said last month that its flights to East Asia in September showed a "marginal improvement" in load factor despite weakness in Hong Kong. The carrier reported second-quarter results late Tuesday that showed a 68 per cent increase in net profit, helped by associate companies and joint ventures.

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