HK Express website down as thousands rush to book flight tickets

The website of Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd.’s low-cost airline was inundated with flight searches Friday, as wannabe travelers rushed to take advantage of an easing of pandemic travel restrictions across parts of Asia.

“Our website is busy due to the high traffic, which may cause longer time in flight search, booking, or receiving itinerary emails,” HK Express said in a pop-up message on the site. A spokesperson for the airline said the notice was posted after Japan announced it would abolish Covid border controls.

Japan plans to ease restrictions on tourists entering the country, while Hong Kong is expected to make an announcement on its contentious quarantine regime later Friday.

Japan is typically HK Express’s biggest market. Pre-pandemic, the carrier served 14 airports across the country.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters in New York on Thursday that Japan will end its cap on daily arrivals and allow tourists to enter without visas from Oct. 11.

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee is expected to announce an end to mandatory hotel quarantine at Friday’s briefing, sparking another rush for flights after months of incrementally dialing back border curbs.
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