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AirAsia flight from Manila banned after 9 passengers test positive on arrival

04 January 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap 

AirAsia had 9 infected passengers on board when it landed in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has banned another airline that flew passengers direct from Manila after nine of its passengers tested positive for Covid-19 with the Omicron-related strains on Jan. 2.

The banned flight is ZZ1264 operated by Air Asia, which appears to have resumed flying to Hong Kong after the three main carriers that regularly ply the route – Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Cathay Pacific - were each meted two-week suspensions for bringing in a number of infected passengers.


The passengers from Manila comprised seven foreign domestic helpers, six females and one male; and two returning residents who are both males. They are identified as case numbers 12734, 12738, 12739, 12740, 12741, 12742, 12743, 12744 and 12766.

All were asymptomatic except for case no 12742 who had symptoms on arrival. All tested positive at Hong Kong Airport.

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Another Filipina domestic helper aged 39 tested positive on her third-day test at Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre. She was the 21st passenger from the Philippine Airlines flight PR300 on Dec 30 to have tested positive for Covid-19 with the Omicron strains.

The 10 passengers from Manila were among 39 confirmed Covid-19 carriers reported in Hong Kong as of midnight last night.


ZZ1264 was just one of an unprecedented five flights suspended for two weeks from today, Jan 4, for flying in with at least three passengers who tested positive on arrival in Hong Kong:

The others are: 

-        CX419 operated by Cathay Pacific which arrived from Seoul, Korea on Jan 2 with three infected passengers;

-        AI1314) operated by Air India which arrived from Delhi, India on Jan 2 with three infected passengers;

-        AC007 operated by Air Canada which came from Vancouver, Canada on Jan 2 with four infected passengers;

-        and TG600 operated by Thai Airways which came from Bangkok, Thailand on Jan 2 with infected five passengers.

5 flights coming into HK were banned today for bringing in at least 32 infected passengers

According to the statement issued by the Centre for Health Protection, 26 of the newly confirmed cases were asymptomatic while the remaining 13 had symptoms.

They took Hong Kong’s total confirmed cases to 12,761.


Thirty-six of the cases were imported while three were linked to an imported case. They comprised 23 females and 16 males, aged 13 to 66.

Thirty-four of the cases had the N501Y and T478K mutant strains associated with Omicron, while the test results for the remaining five are pending.


Two of the import-related cases, 12746 and 12754, are family members of an earlier imported case whom they lived with. They have no recent travel history.

The third, case 12747 is a 66-year-old female retiree who dined at Moon Palace restaurant in Kowloon Tong on Dec 27, at the same time that an infected Cathay air crew had lunch with two relatives. She is unvaccinated.

The CHP also announced that 12 more infected patients were confirmed to carry Omicron after a genome sequencing analysis. They are made up of eight males and four females aged 1 to 61 years old.

So far, a total of 114 Omicron cases have been detected in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, an online search showed AirAsia has no listed flight in the near future, while PAL and Cathay have teamed up to fly passengers from Manila-Cebu-Hong Kong at a slightly higher fare than that for the direct flight.

The travel time is between 5 to 9 hours, instead of the usual 1 hour, 45 minutes for a direct flight, and costs over $5,000, one way.

Other airlines offer flights from Manila with one stop in another country before flying on to Hong Kong, including Asiana, ANA, Japan Airlines and Scoot. Fares are between $7,000 to a whopping $15,000 and the travel time could last the entire day.

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