Hong Kong Airlines has announced it will launch its first ever flights to Australia from next year, to two Australian destinations.
The airline, which is a subsidiary of China’s HNA Group, will commence flights to both Cairns and the Gold Coast on January 8, 2016 on a triangular route which will operate from Hong Kong to the Gold Coast, continuing onto Cairns.
Hong Kong Airlines will operate the route three-times-weekly, departing Hong Kong every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at 21:30pm, landing into the Gold Coast at 08:30am the following day. The service will then leave the Gold Coast at 10:30am, continuing to Cairns and landing at 12:45pm. After departing Cairns at 13:50pm, passengers will arrive back into Hong Kong at 19:10pm.
“Hong Kong Airlines is delighted to announce this long-anticipated triangular service between Hong Kong and Australia. The route is designed to cater to the growing demand for tourism in Gold Coast and Cairns, both of which are popular destinations for leisure travel,” said Li Dianchun, commercial director of Hong Kong Airlines.
Operated by an Airbus A330-300 aircraft with 32 seats in business class and 260 in economy, the new service will be the only direct connection between Hong Kong, the Gold Coast and Cairns. Qantas and Cathay Pacific both operate direct services between Hong Kong and Queensland’s capital city, Brisbane.
“Leveraging our connectivity in Asia via the international hub Hong Kong, we believe the new service will be well received by the passengers especially those from Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chengdu, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Okinawa, Bangkok and Taipei, bringing them more travel options,” added Li Dianchun.
David Collins, Chief Operating Officer of Gold Coast Airport said that the introduction of services from Hong Kong Airlines is a positive step towards strengthening the Gold Coast’s partnership with the airline, and the greater China market.
“Our Business Development and Marketing team have been working with Hong Kong Airlines and distribution contacts in China for two years to bring this service to fruition. We are well aware of the demand for services between Gold Coast and China, and are confident this thrice-weekly service will perform strongly during the extended charter period,” he said.
Australia has seen a rise of Hong Kong travellers visiting Australia in the past 6 years, with holiday makers from Hong Kong contributing to 72.5 percent of Hong Kong visitors to Queensland in 2014.
The total visitor count from Hong Kong to Queensland also rose by 15 percent year-on-year in the same period.