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Government actively follows up on Japanese authority's restrictions on its airports to handle Hong Kong flights
     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSAR Government) is highly concerned about the Japanese authority's restrictions that require passenger flights from Hong Kong to only land at four designated airports in Japan and prohibit the increase in the number of flights from Hong Kong to Japan's airports. The HKSAR Government is following up on the incident on multiple fronts to ensure the smooth return of Hong Kong people from Japan and to minimise the impact to Hong Kong travellers caused by the incident.
     A spokesman for the HKSAR Government said today (December 28), "In response to the notification by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau to the HKSAR Government yesterday (December 27) that passenger flights from Hong Kong will only be allowed to land at Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, Kansai Airport and Chubu Airport and that relevant airlines are requested not to increase the number of passenger flights from Hong Kong to Japan with effect from Friday (December 30, 2022), the HKSAR Government has written to the Japanese authority and liaised with the Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong to express our grave concern and strongly request the Japanese authority to rescind the restrictions concerned. Meanwhile, the HKSAR Government has convened an urgent video conference with the representatives of the Japanese authority and has been in close communication with the affected local airlines."
     The HKSAR Government has learnt from the Japanese authority today and confirmed that upon the implementation of the new regulations by Japan, the flights of Hong Kong airlines can still carry passengers back to Hong Kong from various airports in Japan, without being limited to the abovementioned four airports.
     It is understood that around 250 outbound flights of Hong Kong airlines will be affected between December 30, 2022 and the end of January 2023, affecting around 60 000 passengers. Among them, about 4 000 are tour group travellers. A total of over 150 tour groups involved are affected by Japan's decision concerned.
     The Transport and Logistics Bureau (TLB) has urged the affected local airlines to provide greatest support and assistance to the affected passengers and to make proper arrangements for the affected passengers to return to Hong Kong from Japan. The TLB notes that local airlines will provide affected passengers with options to change bookings or obtain refunds, and will, starting from December 30, arrange certain flights to carry Hong Kong people in Japan to return to Hong Kong from airports other than the four abovementioned.
     For tour groups, travel agencies are actively co-ordinating with airlines to arrange seats on flights, and at the same time providing alternative arrangements for affected passengers, such as arranging other seats, adjusting itineraries, changing tour or obtaining refunds, etc.
     The spokesman said: "The TLB, the Immigration Department, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Tokyo, the Tourism Commission, the Travel Industry Authority and the airlines will maintain close contact to keep abreast of the latest situation and will provide appropriate and feasible assistance to Hong Kong residents in need. If Hong Kong residents in distress require assistance in Japan, they may call the 24-hour hotline (852) 1868 of the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit of the Immigration Department for assistance. "
Ends/Wednesday, December 28, 2022
Issued at HKT 22:43
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