Hong Kong Airlines has announced plans to double its passenger capacity by 2024, following a “rapid recovery” from the pandemic. The airline has operated for 17 years, providing passengers with diverse travel options.
Positive Business Recovery Expected in 2023
Mr. Jevey Zhang, Chairman of Hong Kong Airlines, expressed satisfaction with the airline’s progress. “We are very pleased to see that our flight operations have returned to pre-pandemic levels before year-end, surpassing our initial forecast of a full recovery by mid-2024,” he said. “We also anticipate that our average passenger load factor to rebound to 85% by 2023. With more than eight times the number of flight sectors and 38 times the number of passengers carried in the first three quarters of the year compared to the same period last year, the performance outlook is truly optimistic!”
Strong Performance in the Japanese Market
Hong Kong Airlines has expanded its presence in Japan. It now offers flights to nine destinations, including Kumamoto, Hakodate, and Yonago. In December, Fukuoka and Nagoya will also be added to the list. On the Chinese mainland, the airline has resumed flights to eight cities, covering ten destinations. Additionally, the regional route network now includes Phuket and Bali. Notably, Hong Kong Airlines will be the sole carrier offering direct flights from Hong Kong to the Maldives. This expands their network coverage to 25 destinations.
The Japanese market has shown remarkable performance thanks to the recovery in tourism and the yen exchange rate. During the summer holidays, passenger load factors remained above 90%, and Japan is expected to continue to be a preferred destination for travelers during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
“Market volatility and change in the post-pandemic era is far more significant than ever before,” the airline’s Chairman said. “The challenges we face in rebuilding our operations are more complex, including recruiting and training cabin crew, allocating available fleets, and competing globally for maintenance resources. Different opening and pandemic preparedness policies around the world, coupled with staff shortages at various airports, have slowed the pace of return to normal operations to some extent. As a result, our market strategy has to be more cautious. However, we remain optimistic about the Japanese market and will continue to explore other potential markets.”
Continued Fleet Expansion to Enhance Passenger Capacity
Hong Kong Airlines is experiencing substantial growth with the addition of several Airbus A330-300 wide-body aircraft this year. By the end of the year, their fleet will consist of 21 aircraft. These new additions not only allow for the resumption of flights, but also increase seat capacity and provide a more comfortable flying experience for passengers. Furthermore, these aircraft will meet the future operational requirements of the airline. In fact, Hong Kong Airlines plans to expand its fleet by 30% by 2024, aiming to double its overall passenger traffic. To improve operational efficiency, the company is actively introducing a new aircraft model, with the first delivery expected in the first quarter of next year.
Expansion of ‘Multi-modal Transport’ Services in the Greater Bay Area
Supporting the Belt and Road Initiative
With a focus on the Mainland China market, Hong Kong Airlines continually evaluates its investments and enhances its flight network strategy. The goal is to establish air bridges for inter-regional travel and trade. Currently, the airline operates from major airports in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hainan Island. This commitment to developing an air passenger and cargo trade hub supports the Belt and Road Initiative.
“With the completion and commissioning of a number of infrastructure projects and the third runway system at the Hong Kong International Airport, the airport’s throughput will be greatly enhanced, providing opportunities for us to optimize our network coverage and expand our service offerings,” said Mr. Jevey Zhang. “We will effectively leverage the construction of Hong Kong’s ‘Airport City’ and the surrounding regional aviation network to promote various commercial cooperation models and deepen ‘multi-modal transport’ with other cities in the Greater Bay Area, including enabling mainland and international passengers to use the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge for ‘air-land-air’ travel, seamless commuting to and from Hong Kong and striving to provide a more convenient travel experience for passengers.”
Hong Kong Airlines is committed to strengthening connections between Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area, and mainland cities. They are expanding their services to the northwest region of China to enhance connectivity with the Belt and Road markets. This initiative aims to solidify Hong Kong’s position as an international aviation hub and facilitate international business travel.
Hong Kong Airlines Is Hiring
Hong Kong Airlines is actively recruiting talent globally in line with the resumption of flights to various destinations. They invite former employees to return and conduct extensive recruitment drives in major cities in mainland China and Japan. The company plans to increase its workforce by 20% next year to accommodate business growth. Cabin crew and ground staff positions are currently in high demand. Future cabin crew recruitment days will be held in the Greater Bay Area, Thailand, and South Korea.
17th Anniversary Fares
To celebrate its 17th anniversary, Hong Kong Airlines is offering a limited-time discount on flight tickets. From 27 November to 4 December, customers can enjoy special fares as low as HK$210 for one-way trips to 14 destinations in China, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand. This offer, valid until June 2024, includes the newest routes to Kumamoto and Yonago.