Hong Kong Airlines Adds New Japanese Point To Route Map
Hong Kong Airlines will increase its network in Japan to five routes from April.
Fukuoka will become a new point in Hong Kong Airlines’ network from next month as the carrier continues to increase service to Japan, which was its second largest market before the pandemic.
Service from Hong Kong (HKG) to Fukuoka (FUK) will launch on April 7, operating four times per week. Flights on the 2,047-km (1,105-km) sector will use Airbus A320 aircraft.
“With Japan lifting its travel restrictions, the company believes that the direct flight service to Fukuoka will provide customers with more travel options,” Hong Kong Airlines said in a statement.
Hong Kong Airlines has been gradually increasing service to Japan since October 2022 when the country ended some of its strict COVID-19 border controls, including lifting a 50,000-person daily entry cap.
In addition to flying to Osaka Kansai (KIX), which resumed in April 2022, the carrier reinstated flights to Tokyo Narita (NRT) in October, as well as adding Okinawa Naha (OKA) and Sapporo New Chitose (CTS) the following month. Tokyo Narita and Osaka are currently served up to 3X-daily, while Okinawa is daily, and Sapporo is 3X-weekly.
Prior to the pandemic, Hong Kong Airlines also operated to Kagoshima (KOJ), Okayama (OKJ) and Yonago (YGS) but each remain suspended.
Fukuoka is Kyushu island's largest city and one of the top ten most populated cities in Japan. The port city in the southwest of the country is known for ancient temples, beaches and modern shopping malls.
Hong Kong Airlines will compete in the HKG-FUK market against HK Express and its parent Cathay Pacific, which serve the route 2X-daily and 5X-weekly respectively.
Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows that Hong Kong Airlines will have a capacity share of about 8.2% once it enters the market. HK Express will have 60.7% and Cathay Pacific will have 31.1%.
Alongside the Fukuoka launch, Hong Kong Airlines said it plans to resume a 5X-weekly route to Denpasar-Bali (DPS) and a daily service to Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) from April 17. Both routes have been suspended since March 2020.
This article was originally published on aviationweek.com.