Pet owners desperately board private planes to fly their cats and dogs out of Hong Kong, here is the reason

China is one of the few places in the world to follow a strict zero-Covid policy that turns Hong Kong into a one-time aviation hub, a city where travel planning and canceled flights are the norm.

We can see dogs and cats board the flight with their owners as the city Hong kong have the strictest travel restrictions in the world.

The emergence of the highly transmissible Omicron variant in recent weeks has also seen authorities ban incoming flights and transit passengers from numerous countries.

Once inside Hong Kong, a traveler has to quarantine at a designated hotel for three weeks, though the government has decided to shorten that to two weeks, beginning Feb. 5. Passenger planes from eight countries, including the U.S, the U.K, and Australia, are not permitted to land in the territory.

For Lee, a Hong Konger emigrating to Britain, it also meant that ferrying his beloved elderly cats Teddy and Newman out by commercial airline was no longer possible.

“If it was just my wife and I travelling, of course we wouldn’t take a private jet. It’s only because of our cats.”

Typically favoured by the ultra-rich, private planes are now a mode of transport desperate pet owners are turning to when departing from the city.

Animal travel company Pet Holidays said in the month of December 3,000 to 4,000 cats and dogs were stranded due to flight suspensions.

Olga Radlynska, a founder of private aviation company Top Stars Air said she now receives dozens of phone calls from frantic pet owners as the flights were immediately suspended.

“This year in January, I can see that people have become desperate, and they are leaving,” she said. “Basically every flight is one-way only.”

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