Hong Kong Airlines Adds Links to China and Japan

To further strengthen its network, HNA Group subsidiary, Hong Kong Airlines, will launch services to Kagoshima in Japan and Tianjin in China from March 30, 2014.  The carrier will operate an all-Economy configured Airbus A320 on both routes.

Hong Kong Airlines will offer a twice weekly link between Hong Kong and Kagoshima, the southern gateway of Japan and will be the sole air provider on the route.  The carrier and is affiliate Hong Kong Express Airlines previously served the route between July 2007 and March 2009, stimulating the market to around 48,000 bi-directional O&D passengers a year.

Located at the southernmost of Kyushu of Japan, Kagoshima is famous by its unique history, culture and a wide selection of local cuisine, as well as natural landscape attractions including Yakushima Island, the registered world natural heritage, the active volcano Sakurajima, and abundant hot springs.

The new link to Tianjin, the airline’s 17th destination in China again represents a return to market that was previously served by the Hong Kong carrier, this time between July 2007 and June 2008.  It will compete with Air China on the route and will offer three rotations per week, increasing to four from mid-May 2014.

Over the 12 month period that Hong Kong Airlines previously served the route it secured a 54.1 per cent share of the total O&D demand stimulating the market by a fifth compared to the previous 12 month period.  The demand on the city pair has now fallen from around 104,000 O&D passengers a year when Hong Kong Airlines was active to just 60,000 in the last calendar year.

Hong Kong has for many years been one of the most significant markets across the Asia / Pacific region and a major regional and international hub.  Its gateway, Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), last year welcomed more than 59.9 million passengers and handled 372,040 aircraft movements, representing annual growth of 6.1 per cent and 5.8 per cent, respectively.  Passenger traffic to and from Mainland China, Taiwan and Japan recorded the most significant increases.

In our analysis below we look at the top ten airlines at Hong Kong International Airport by O&D passenger demand in 2013 and compare their share of the market over the past five years.  Hong Kong Airlines has seen the largest rise during this period with its market share increasing from 1.8 per cent in 2009 to 9.6 per cent last year.