Dragonair will boost its weekly schedule between Hong Kong and Shanghai to 22 flights from next week when it introduces another two weekly rotations between Hong Kong International Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport. The new Tuesday and Friday services will launch on November 10, 2015 and will be flown using Airbus A330 widebodies.
The growth brings Dragonair’s weekly schedule between Hong Kong and Shanghai Hongqiao to nine return flights and alongside its 13 times daily link between Hong Kong and Shanghai Pudong will mean it will offer 100 weekly flights between the two major Asian cities.
“As an international finance centre and key commercial city in Mainland China, Shanghai has long been one of the most important destinations in the Dragonair network,” explained Algernon Yau, Chief Executive Officer, Dragonair.
“Our Hongqiao service has proved popular with our customers and we are pleased to expand our operations to the airport, highlighting our continued commitment to serving the Mainland market,” he added.
According to OAG data there are currently around 250 return flights per week in this market by seven different airlines, comprising Cathay Pacific Airways, China Eastern Airlines, Dragonair, Hong Kong Airlines, Shanghai Airlines and low-cost carriers Juneyao Airways and Spring Airlines.
There are around 25 flights per day between Hong Kong and Shanghai Pudong, but just four a day in the Hong Kong - Shanghai Hongqiao market, which alongside Dragonair is also served on a daily basis by China Eastern Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Shanghai Airlines. Around 55,000 seats per week are available in each direction on the city pair.
In terms of available seats, Dragonair is the dominant carrier in the Hong Kong – Shanghai market but has seen its position impacted by the arrival of numerous new entrants. Back in 2005 it and China Eastern Airlines were the sole operators between the two cities with a rough 50/50 split of capacity. However, over the past ten years its own share has slipped to 41.5 per cent as competition has grown (China Eastern has feared much worse with its share slipping to just 18.6 per cent, albeit remaining the second largest carrier).