Return to Stories

Cathay Pacific flights to and from Sapporo in Japan – information update

Cathay Pacific has been trying very hard to resume flight services out of Sapporo amid adverse weather conditions and severe traffic constraints at the New Chitose Airport. We plan to operate four flights from Sapporo today and hope to bring approximately 1,600 passengers affected by the Hokkaido snowstorms back to Hong Kong. 

The estimated departure and arrival time of the four flights today (25 December) from Sapporo to Hong Kong are as indicated below. While Cathay Pacific is trying its very hardest to ensure these schedules remain as stated, the continuing constraints at the airport mean there are likely to be some delays. 

25 December 


(Sapporo-Hong Kong) 

Actual / Estimated departure

(local time)

Estimated arrival

(local time)


18.54 (departed)



19.06 (departed)







00.23/ 26Dec

There are also plans to operate three pairs of flights between Hong Kong and Sapporo, most of which were previously delayed, on 26 December and 27 December to clear the backlog of passengers. Flight details are available on 

Cathay Pacific flight services to and from Sapporo have been significantly disrupted since 22 December 2016 by severe snowstorms, which led to the closure of the airport's runways. 

Cathay Pacific Chief Operating Officer Rupert Hogg said: “We are trying very hard to operate flight services in order to fly our passengers out of Sapporo and back to Hong Kong as soon as possible. However, intense and sustained snowstorms over a few days have made it hard for all carriers, Cathay Pacific included, to operate, let alone stick to scheduled services. 

“Our assessment, based on local forecasts, and the basis of decisions made with respect to flight cancellations, is that poor weather will be a continuing factor over the next four to five days, thereby exacerbating an already difficult situation. 

"We understand that Sapporo is a very popular travel destination for Hong Kong people, but we would like our passengers to understand that Sapporo’s New Chitose Airport, the only international air gateway to the Hokkaido region, is a very small airport with only six parking bays available for international flights. This is a significant challenge for airlines that operate international flights, compared to those Japanese carriers operating domestic services.

“Resources at this airport are also very constrained. We have despatched staff volunteers from other parts in Japan as well as from the Hong Kong airport team to provide necessary assistance to the passengers and also to the local staff who have been working round the clock for the past few days. These staff volunteers have arrived on the ground now. 

“According to the forecast, the weather conditions at Sapporo are likely to get worse over the next few days. While we would like to do everything to keep our passengers’ travel plans unaffected, we have had to make the very difficult decision to cancel some of our scheduled services over the next few days. 

“Meanwhile, we are trying our best to get the passengers already in Sapporo back to Hong Kong as soon as possible. We would like to thank our passengers for their patience and understanding at this time, and sincerely apologise to all those affected in Sapporo for the inconvenience that the flight disruptions have caused.” 

Cathay Pacific has cancelled the following seven scheduled flights between Hong Kong and Sapporo on 26 December and 27 December: 


26 December:

From Hong Kong to Sapporo: CX580 and CX582

From Sapporo to Hong Kong: CX581 and CX583 

27 December:

From Hong Kong to Sapporo: CX580 and CX582

From Sapporo to Hong Kong: CX583 


Alternative flight arrangements will be provided to passengers affected by the cancelled flights, or they can choose to refund their tickets. 

Other passengers are encouraged to postpone their travel plans. Fees are waived for rebooking or rerouting for all tickets issued worldwide (irrespective of fare type) on or before 29 December 2016 for travel on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon involving Sapporo between 25 December and 29 December 2016. Revised travel date must be on or before 20 January 2017. 

Cathay Pacific teams are actively reaching out to affected passengers via SMS and email with news regarding flight updates and status. 

Passengers are advised to refer to the Travel Advisory on the Cathay Pacific website,, for details.