The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has threatened retaliatory action as Japan continues its restrictions on flights from Hong Kong into mid-February, causing Cathay Pacific and HK Express to cancel another tranche of flights.

Speaking on Hong Kong radio on January 21, 2023, HKSAR transport and logistics secretary Lam Sai-hung said he believed Japan would lift the restrictions sometime in February, in time for the peak Easter travel period. However, if Japan did not, Lam threatened "countermeasures". The restrictions limit airlines to flying into specified airports and asks them not to add additional capacity.

Japan implemented the flight restrictions in late December following fresh waves of Covid-19 in mainland China and that country's lifting of travel restrictions. Seven airlines, including Cathay Pacific, HK Express, Hong Kong Airlines, Greater Bay Airlines, ANA - All Nippon Airways, JAL - Japan Airlines, and Peach Aviation operate scheduled passenger flights on the country pair. The dominant airline in the market, Cathay Pacific, promptly trimmed its January Japan flights by 20% and the HKSAR government estimated around 250 flights between the two countries would be cancelled across January.

Hong Kong media report Cathay Pacific and its low-cost subsidiary, HK Express, have cancelled over 100 additional flights through to February 16 as a result of the ongoing travel restrictions. Cathay Pacific's latest online advisory reveals flights between Hong Kong and Tokyo Narita, Osaka Kansai, Nagoya Chubu, and Fukuoka are impacted with over 50 cancellations listed between February 3 and 16. The airline with the second largest market share on the country-pair, HK Express, has cancelled 60 flights between February 1 and 16, impacting services between Hong Kong and Tokyo Narita, Tokyo Haneda, Osaka Kansai, and Fukuoka.