Bloomberg | | Posted by Zarafshan Shiraz
Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. expects to suspend Hong Kong flights from Friday afternoon through Saturday morning as Super Typhoon Saola nears the Asian financial hub, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Saola has the potential to be the strongest typhoon to hit Hong Kong since Mangkhut battered the city five years ago. The storm earlier caused more than 69,000 people in the Philippines to evacuate and led to more than a dozen flight cancellations in Taiwan.
The local weather agency raised the storm signal to No. 3, the second lowest level, at 3.40 p.m. on Thursday and may elevate the alert by one level on Friday to No. 8 — the threshold at which schools close and most public transportation is stopped.
Cathay and its sister budget carrier HK Express account for about half of all flights in and out of Hong Kong International Airport. Cathay expects significant disruptions from the storm and is working to keep aircraft out of the city for a period of time, according to information seen by Bloomberg News.
A Cathay spokesman didn’t respond to multiple phone and email requests for comment. Airport Authority Hong Kong, which operates HKIA, said it would make an announcement later Thursday.
Separately, the city plans to shut schools — kindergarten to secondary schools — on Friday, local broadcaster TVB reported, without saying where it got the information.
Cathay said it’s waiving refund, rebooking and rerouting charges ahead of the super typhoon to encourage passengers to reschedule travel on Sept. 1 and Sept. 2. The airline said tickets issued by Thursday would need to be changed by Sept. 2 and would be authorized for travel through the end of the month.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.