Hong Kong Express Airways Adds 7 Routes Including One-Way to Haneda & Osaka for HK$700+
Hong Kong Express Airways Limited, the only low-cost carrier (LCC) based at Hong Kong International Airport, announced at a press conference held in the Sheung Wan district of Hong Kong on September 12 that it will commence service on seven new routes starting this October.
Other than routes to resort destinations like Okinawa and Bali, Hong Kong Express has mainly secured routes catering to businesspeople traveling to and from mainland China, but now the airline will commence service to popular cities for Hong Kongers traveling on holiday. The new routes will connect Hong Kong to Tokyo (Haneda Airport), Osaka (Kansai Airport), Phuket, Chiang Mai, Taichung, Kota Kinabalu and Kunming.
The key to succeeding in the LCC business is selling a high percentage of available seats, and Hong Kong Express plans to do that by adding more routes in Asia, primarily short-haul and medium-haul. Unlike other budget airlines, the Hong Kong-based LCC also sells tickets through travel agencies, not just on its website.
Hong Kong Express CEO Kalid Razack said, "We want to raise our current profitability by 50% by the end of 2014 by adding routes, but it's hard to make a forecast since we're taking on this big challenge of flying on leisure and resort routes, something we have little experience with." He said the company wants to operate at near capacity on the new routes while it beefs up promotional efforts in China to make sure the existing routes remain profitable.
The route to Kota Kinabalu has the cheapest one-way fare at HK$228 (around JPY 2,940), followed by Phuket at HK$328 (around JPY 4,230). Many of the fares are under HK$500. For travelers to Japan, one-way fare between Hong Kong and Haneda Airport is HK$758 (around JPY 9,770) while Hong Kong-Osaka is HK$718 (around JPY 9,250). Fuel surcharges are billed separately.
The schedule for flights to and from Japan takes advantage of nighttime and early morning landing slots permitted at Hong Kong International Airport, as listed below.
Hong Kong to Haneda
Depart: 7:05 p.m.
Arrive: 1:30 a.m.
Haneda to Hong Kong
Depart: 1:30 a.m.
Arrive: 5:45 a.m.
Hong Kong to Osaka
Depart: 9:30 a.m.
Arrive: 1:55 p.m.
Osaka to Hong Kong
Depart: 2:50 p.m.
Arrive: 6:15 p.m.
Service will commence on the Haneda route on November 7 and the Kansai route on November 21. Other routes are scheduled to open earlier on October 27.