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HKE-2011-05-HONG KONG EXHIBITION
HKE-2014-01 NEW LIVERY - A320
HKE-2014-09 - UPDATE
HKE-2015-04 - HONG KONG TO DA NANG-A.jpg
HKE-2015-04 - HONG KONG TO DA NANG-B.jpg
HKE-2015-07 - Hong Kong to Bangkok.jpg
HKE-2015-09 - HKG to Siem Reap.jpg
HKE-2016-11 - Hong Kong to Chiang Rai.jpg
Formed in 1997 and started operations in 2005. Regional, and
international, scheduled & charter, passenger & cargo, jet airplane services.
7/F One Citygate
20 Tat Tung Road
Tung Chung, Lantau, Hong Kong, (SAR) China
Hong Kong on July 1st, 1997 became a semi-autonomous territory (Special Administrative Region (SAR)) within Mainland China. It covers an area of 1,071 sq km, its population is 6.5 million, and its official languages are Chinese and English.
Established in 2001 and 2004, respectively, Hong Kong Airlines Limited (CRY) and Hong Kong Express Airways Limited (HKE) are both commercial airlines based in Hong Kong. With a common shareholder, the 2 sister airlines provide services with new 737-800 airplanes between Hong Kong and >30 cities in Asia.
To maximize resources allocation and operational efficiency, some functions of the 2 sister airlines are combined and under the same management team. The consolidated functions include Sales, Marketing, Administration, Check-in Services, and Ground Handling.
December 2005: Following the delivery of its 3rd E170 airplane, Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE) inaugurated nonstop service from Hong Kong to Ningbo (China). (HKE) operates 2 daily flights using the Embraer E170. This is (HKE)'s 3rd route with plans to start service to Chongqing and Nanjing in early 2006.
August 2006: Hainan Airlines (HNA) parent, the (HNA) Group took a 45% stake in Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE) (operates regional jets) following receipt of approval from the Hong Kong Economic Development & Labor Bureau. The expected move will see the balance of the airline remain with the original shareholders. (HKE), formerly Helicopters Hong Kong, was launched in 1997 and provided regular helicopter services between Hong Kong, Macao and the Pearl River Delta region. Last year, it re-launched as (HKE) with 4 Embraer E170s operating to 5 Chinese mainland cities. The move by (HNA) follows its ongoing negotiations to acquire up to 60% of Hong Kong's CR Airways (CRY). Its strategy is to build its presence in Hong Kong and launch more flights into China and internationally. Based in Xian and Ningbo, Hainan Airlines (HNA) flies to Brussels, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Osaka and Budapest.
(HKE) said it received approval to fly to Chengdu, Nanning, Wuhan, Jinan, and Yantai, bringing to 11, the number of cities it will serve on the Chinese mainland. (CEO) Andrew Tse said the new destinations are part of an expansion strategy that will see it gain access to "top tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai in the not-too-distant future."
(HKE) flew 13,899 passengers in July aboard 377 flights.
September 2006: Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE) has confirmed it will expand its fleet with the addition of 737s. (HKE) anticipates taking delivery of the new airplanes later this year, however, the number of 737s has not yet been confirmed.
June 2007: Employees = 100.
December 2007: Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE) named Macau Express, (CCO) Ronnie Choi as its new President.
(HKE) celebrated the addition of a new destination to its rapidly growing route network with the launch of services between Hong Kong and Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, and gateway to the world famous Mount Everest. The new scheduled service will operate 3x-weekly every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The inauguration of flights to Kathmandu (the 5th new route to be launched by (HKE) this year) comes shortly after (HKE)’s introduction in November of flights between Hong Kong and Yangon, plus Kuala Lumpur.
February 2008: Travelers worldwide can now enjoy the ease and convenience of making round the clock reservations on any Hong Kong Airlines flight from the comfort of their home or workplace with the launch of the airline’s new e-ticketing online booking facility. Simplifying the ticket purchasing process, customers using the new booking service will be able to search preferred travel dates, make and pay for their booking and print out an e-ticket. As part of the booking procedure, passengers with special dietary requirements will also have options to indicate their meal preference. "I am confident that our online booking facility will prove very popular,” commented Raymond Ng Director Marketing & Sales. “The Internet is an important distribution channel that adds significant reach to our sales network. We are looking forward to good growth in sales as a result of its introduction, especially from our international customers.”
April 2008: Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE) launched its newest scheduled service to Okinawa, Japan. The 1st of 5 routes that (HKE) will launch between Hong Kong and Japan in April and May, flights to Okinawa will initially operate 2x-weekly, increasing to 4x-weekly from April 28th. Located in the Ryukyu Islands, Okinawa (also referred to as the ‘Hawaii of the East’) is a popular holiday and leisure destination renowned for its tropical beaches, crystal blue seas and coral reef, and rich cultural heritage.
Following the introduction of direct flights to Okinawa earlier this month, (HKE) has launched its 2nd scheduled service to Japan: a new 3x-weekly, direct flight between Hong Kong and Kagoshima, the only direct service available between the 2 cities. The launch follows shortly after (HKE)’s introduction of chartered services to Okayama and precedes the commencement of scheduled direct services to Hiroshima. Hiroshima will be (HKE)’s 3rd scheduled service between Hong Kong and Japan, and will operate 2x-weekly (every Thursday and Sunday) from May 1st. The slew of new routes is part of (HKE)’s drive to capture a share of the Japanese market following liberalization of the country’s air traffic policy earlier this year. “By providing direct flights between Hong Kong and interesting destinations, we offer more choices and great convenience for travelers who want to explore new destinations. We have seen already growth on our Okinawa route and I believe that we will see the same with these new destinations,” said Ronnie Choi President of (HKE).
Situated at the SW tip of the Kyushu island of Japan, Kagoshima is often referred to as the ‘Naples of the Orient’ due to the similarity between Mount Sakurajima and Kinko Bay with Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples in Italy. A popular getaway destination for many city dwelling Japanese, Kagoshima is a relaxed leisure destination boasting a balmy climate and a host of cultural and scenic attractions. Equally scenic in its surroundings is Hiroshima which is famed as a center of Manga as well as for its natural hot sand baths and atomic memorials.
May 2008: Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE) launched its scheduled service to Nogoya, Japan. It is the 4th direct schedule service that (HKE) has launched between Hong Kong and Japan within the past month. Following January’s lifting of capacity restrictions on flights to Japan, (HKE) is the 1st and only Hong Kong based airline to launch more direct flights to a number of cities in Japan.
June 2008: Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE) provides scheduled services between Hong Kong and 5 cities within China, in addition to international services to the Philippines (Laoag), Taiwan (Taichung), and Thailand (Chiang Mai).
(IATA) (ITA) Code: UO - 128.
(ICAO) Code: HKE - (Callsign - HONG KONG SHUTTLE).
Employees = 200.
Parent organization/shareholders: (HNA) Group (45%); Stanley Ho (40.3%); & Andrew Tse (14.7%).
Main Base: Hong Kong International airport (HKG).
Scheduled destinations: Bangkok; Beijing; Chengdu; Hiroshima; Hong Kong; Kagoshima; Kathmandu; Kuala Lumpur; Manila; Nagoya; Okayama; Okinawa; Seoul; Shanghai; & Yangon.
Code share destinations: Guilin; Guiyang; Haikou; Hangzhou; Nanning; Ningbo; Tianjin; & Xian.
September 2008: Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE) continues to add new destinations throughout East Asia. 737-800 flights to Osaka, Phuket, and Denpasar (on the Indonesian island of Bali) all started this month, with Manila service beginning later this month. Earlier this year, (HKE) and its sister airline Hong Kong Airlines (CRY) opened new service to Okinawa, Kagoshima, Shanghai, Beijing, and Seoul. Has suspended service to Okayama and Hiroshima.
February 2009: Hong Kong visitor arrivals were up +11% in January but only due to the Chinese New Year date shift.
May 2009: Hong Kong International airport (HKG) is lowering usage fees and allowing interest-free deferred bill payments. Landing and parking charges will be lowered by -10% for the remainder of 2009, while half of the rental payments due for lounges, office space, ticket counters and storage can be deferred interest free for up to one year. (HKG) traffic fell -7% during the 1st quarter, with cargo traffic declining -23%.
March 2011: (CHAMP) Cargosystems was selected by the (HNA) Group to supply a full suite of Cargo Information Technology (IT) services to be deployed at Hong Kong Airlines (CRY) and Hong Kong Express (HKE).
September 2011: China Airlines (CHI) on September 21 ended its frequent flyer program bilateral cooperation with Air China (BEJ), and on September 28 terminated its frequent flyer program bilateral cooperation with Hainan Airlines (HNA), including Hong Kong Airlines (CRY) and Hong Kong Express (HKE).
February 2012: China has prohibited its airlines from participating in the (EU) Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS), escalating the row over the new and controversial carbon emissions tax. According to a "Reuters" report, the Chinese government’s State Council issued a statement on its website that said Chinese carriers were prohibited from participating in (EU ETS) without government approval, and they were also barred from using (ETS) as a reason to raise fares.
The Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines (AAPA) Director General Andrew Herdman told "Reuters" the ruling put Chinese carriers in a difficult position because they have to comply with (EU ETS), or risk large fines, while also being told by their government that they must not comply. “We’re now at the stage that it’s absolutely clear that a whole host of foreign governments are not going to allow the (EU) to do this,” Herdman said.
Chinese carriers are supporting Beijing’s decision to prohibit its airlines from participating in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), while still reserving the right to file a lawsuit.
“We are quite supportive of our central government’s decision and we think the real solution should be a global approach through [ICAO],” China Eastern Airlines (CEA) Chairman Liu Shaoyong said. He emphasized that domestic carriers are reserving the right to file a lawsuit against the (EU ETS).
China Air Transport Association (CATA) Director General Wei Zhenzhong said that “Beijing’s decision reflects Chinese carriers’ wishes and also is quite helpful to protect the real interest of domestic airlines and air travelers.” (CATA) estimates operating expenses of Chinese carriers will increase by +CNY800 million/+$127.2 million annually because of (EU ETS). Air China (BEJ), which operates the most European routes, is expected to see the largest rise in expenses (+CNY200 million). (CEA) is expected to follow at +CNY100 million.
Expenses associated with the (EU ETS) are predicted to keep rising as Chinese carriers open more international routes to Europe to compete with the high speed rail. This year, (BEJ) is scheduled to launch service from Shanghai - Paris and China Southern Airlines (GUN) plans to open a Guangzhou - London route.
Wei said that Beijing’s decision was just the 1st step in the escalating row over the new controversial carbon emissions tax, as Chinese carriers will most likely be suspended from flying to Europe, a consequence of “not joining (EU ETS).” As a result, the Chinese government is considering counter measures against the (EU ETS) with Russia, India, Brazil, and other countries.
Hong Kong Airlines (CRY) will launch all-premium class flights on the Hong Kong - London Gatwick route with A330-200s from March 7, becoming the 1st Chinese carrier to offer an all-premium service.
(CRY) Assistant President Wang Yankun said (CRY) will use 3 new A330-200s, with cabin configurations of 34F first and 82C business-class seats to operate the service.
(CRY), launched in 2006, operates a fleet of around 18 airplanes with its sister airline, Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE), on >30 routes. It is expected to take delivery of >50 airplanes by 2015 and is planning to launch an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to fund the fleet expansion.
Local industry analysts said (CRY) will face tough challenges on its all-premium flights because of competition from Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT) and British Airways (BAB), as well as the gloomy global economic forecast.
Hong Kong Airlines (CRY) plans to launch an Initial Public Offering (IPO) this year to raise about $200 to $300 million to fund its fleet expansion. (CRY) Chairman Yang Jianhong said (CRY) is keeping a close watch on the market for the proper timing of the (IPO). “Hopefully, we can do it this year,” he said.
(CRY), launched in 2006, operates a fleet of around 18 airplanes with its sister airline, Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE), on >30 routes.
(CRY) is scheduled to take delivery of 14 to 15 airplanes this year to open more routes from Hong Kong to other Asian countries and Europe to compete with Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT). (CRY) is expected to take delivery of >50 airplanes by 2015.
(CRY) announced earlier this month it would launch all-premium class flights on the Hong Kong (HKG) - London Gatwick (LGW) route with A330-200s from March 7. The (HKG) - (LGW) “golden” route is controlled by (CAT) and British Airways (BAB).
Yang said (CRY) plans to include sister carrier, Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE) when it launches the (IPO). (HKE) operates 5 airplanes and plans to transition to a low-cost carrier (LCC).
March 2012: Hong Kong Express (HKE) expanded its Mainland China network on March 5, when (HKE) launched 3x-weekly flights from Hong Kong (HKG) to Xi’an (XIY). The flights, operated with 737-800s, compete with China Eastern (CEA)’s daily operation on the route.
April 2012: Parent, Hainan Airlines (HNA) Chairman Chen Feng said it is considering transforming its subsidiary, Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE), into a low-cost carrier (LCC) since barriers have been removed for domestic carriers to enter the (LCC) market. China Eastern Airlines (CEA) and the Qantas (QAN) Group are planning to launch a (LCC), Jetstar Hong Kong, in 2013.
December 2012: Hong Kong Airlines (CRY)’s affiliate, Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE) will rebrand as a low-cost carrier (LCC) by mid-2013. (CRY) President Yang Jianhong said the (LCC) will confront declining international market demand.
Hong Kong Express (HKE) and Hong Kong Airlines (CRY), both subsidiaries of Hainan Airlines (HNA), were launched in 2004 and 2006, respectively, and merged. Even though they are led by the same management staff, both carriers own separate air operating licenses (AOC)s.
(HKE) offers passenger service to destinations in China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines with a fleet of Boeing 737NG airplanes.
Next year, (HKE) is expected to face fierce competition from Jetstar Hong Kong, the (LCC) launched by China Eastern Airlines (CEA) and Jetstar (IMU). (HKE) plans to operate 3 A320s initially and expand its fleet to 18 A320s by 2016. It will offer passenger service to Greater China region (China’s mainland, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan), Japan, Korea, and SE Asian countries.
China’s Shanghai-based (LCC) Spring Airlines (CQH), also plans to launch a low-cost subsidiary in Hong Kong in the near future.
July 2013: Hong Kong Express (HKE) commenced operations on 2 routes previously served by its parent company, Hong Kong Airlines (CRY). Beginning on July 12th, (HKE) offers daily flights from Hong Kong (HKG) to Chongqing (CKG) and Kota Kinabalu (BKI). Air China (BEJ) (daily), Dragonair (DRG) (daily), and Spring Airlines (CQH) (3x-weekly) provide competition on the new route to China, while AirAsia (ASW) (14x-weekly flights), Malaysia Airlines (MAS) (9x-) and Dragonair (DRG) (7x-) serve Malaysian Kota Kinabalu. Both routes are operated using A320s.
November 2013: Hong Kong Express (HKE) commenced operations on its 2nd route to Japan on November 7th and now offers daily services on the 3,000 km route from its Hong Kong (HKG) base to Tokyo Haneda (HND). The A320-operated service comes in addition to the existing 4x-weekly schedule to Osaka Kansai. Direct competition in the market comes from Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT) (2x-daily), (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL) (daily each). A further 58x-weekly flights are offered from Hong Kong to Tokyo Narita with various carriers.
(HKE), which recently re-branded itself as a genuine low cost carrier (LCC), started daily flights to Penang (PEN) in Malaysia on November 14th using its 176-seat A320s. The 2,410 km sector from Hong Kong (HKG) is also served by Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT) with 10 weekly flights. Andrew Cowen Deputy (CEO) of (HKE) said: “We are extremely pleased to commence daily flights to Penang, opening up yet another fascinating Asian location to the people of Hong Kong at yet another incredibly competitive low price!” (HKE) will serve a total of 8 destinations from Hong Kong this winter; Chiang Mai (Thailand), Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia), Kunming (China), Osaka Kansai (Japan), Phuket (Thailand), Taichung (Taiwan), Tokyo Haneda (Japan), and now Penang.
(HKE), Hong Kong’s only home-based (LCC), inaugurated flights between Hong Kong (HKG) and Japan’s 3rd largest city, Osaka Kansai (KIX) on November 21st. The service became (HKE)’s 2nd destination into Japan, and follows quickly after its November 7th launch to Tokyo Haneda. Offering a daily operation with its 174-seat A320s, the 2,453 km city pair is already hotly-contested, with 4 incumbents on the route (namely Air India (AIN) (3x-weekly), Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT) (21x-), Peach Aviation (PCA) (14x-) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) (daily).
January 2014: HK Express (UO), Hong Kong's 1st low-cost carrier (LCC), unveiled its brand new logo and livery on January 21.
SEE ATTACHED - - "HKE-2014-01 - NEW LIVERY - A320."
Both the new logo and livery design incorporate elements of Hong Kong's iconic Victoria Harbor. The "H" and "K" of HK Express are extended to remind the onlooker of Hong Kong's stunning skyline, which is graphically reinterpreted on the rear and tail of the plane, all in a vibrant violet and red that breathe energy and life into the branding.
"The new logo and livery design will be rolled out across all of our branding towards the end of March," said Andrew Cowen Deputy (CEO) of HK Express (HKE). "We wanted to establish a new brand for (HKE) to reflect and support the amazing transition that (HKE) has undergone in the past year, and the fresh, youthful and dynamic sense that the new design inspires fits perfectly with our ethos as Hong Kong's one-and-only low cost carrier (LCC)."
(HKE) said it will hold a launch event for the new brand in late March to celebrate the arrival of its 1st new airplane to Hong Kong.
(HKE) commenced flights as a budget airline in October 2013. (HKE) operates flights from Hong Kong to Phuket and Chiang Mai in Thailand, Taichung in Taiwan, Kunming in Mainland China, Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) and Penang in Malaysia, etc.
"Since going on sale as a (LCC) last September, we've experienced overwhelming demand," said Cowen. "The team is thrilled with the excellent sales performance. Almost 200,000 guests have flown with (HKE) already, with Tokyo and Osaka being the most popular destinations."
HK Express (HKE) announced it will fly once daily from Hong Kong to Seoul from March 30. (HKE) will compete with carriers such as Asiana Airlines (AAR), Korean Air (KAL), Jeju Air (JEU) and Jin Air (JIN) on the Hong Kong - Seoul Incheon route.
The budget airline plans >12 new destinations for its network and expand its fleet of A320s from 5 to 11 by the end of the year.
April 2014: HK Express (HKE) is looking to add a 2nd base to its operations in 2 to 3 years time. The move comes in the wake of news that its Hong Kong Chep Lap Kok hub will soon reach saturation with its current capacity sitting on 90% of maximum.
The Hong Kong Airlines (CRY) subsidiary officially unveiled its new Low Cost Carrier (LCC) product in January of this year with 6 A320-200s serving Chiang Mai, Fukuoka, Kota Kinabalu, Kunming Changshui, Osaka Kansai, Penang, Phuket, Seoul Incheon, Taichung Ching Chuan Kang, and Tokyo Haneda.
Despite 2 fully operational 3,800 m runways, the Hong Kong Airport Authority estimates that the airport will reach its maximum runway capacity sometime around 2020 if no extra runway is added.
Fellow carriers Cathay Pacific (CAT) and Dragonair (DRG) have used the Hong Kong airport's lack of remaining capacity as part of their arguments against the licensing of Jetstar Hong Kong.
(HKE) currently operates 6 airplanes to 7 countries and serves 11 destinations, 10 routes, and 24 daily flights.
August 2014: HK Express (HKE) commenced flights to Ningbo (NGB) in China on August 2nd. The 5x-weekly 1,109 km route from Hong Kong will be operated by (HKE)’s A320 and faces no competition. This becomes (HKE)’s 11th route in total and 2nd to China, as it already serves Kunming. Located in the east of Zhejiang, Ningbo is the 2nd largest city in the Yangtze River Delta Region after Hangzhou. Historically known as 1 of 5 important trading ports, Ningbo is famous for its thriving business culture and vibrant port city atmosphere. Last year, Ningbo Lishe International Airport handled 5.46 million passengers (+3.7%) making it China’s 36th busiest airport in 2013.
HK Express (HKE) followed the recent launch of new services to Ningbo with the addition of Busan (PUS) in South Korea to its route network. Flights on the 2,034 km route from its base at Hong Kong began on August 7th. The route will be served up to 6x-weekly using (HKE)’s A320s. Competition comes from Air Busan (ABN), Dragonair (DRG) and Korean Air (KAL), who all serve the route with daily flights. Busan is (HKE)’s 12th route from Hong Kong and 2nd to South Korea, as it already serves Seoul Incheon. Commenting back in May, when the route was announced, Andrew Cowen Deputy (CEO) of (HKE) said, “We are committed to connecting the people of Hong Kong to major travel destinations in Asia. Busan is a part of Korea, that keeps its traditional charm and unspoilt local atmosphere. We are pleased to be the only local airline operating daytime flights to Busan, offering Hong Kongers and travelers alike, the chance to fully explore Korea’s home of arts, culture, traditional cuisine and beautiful beaches.”
A320-232 (6142, B-LCC), ex-(F-WWIY), (BOC) Aviation (SIL) leased.
September 2014: HK Express (HKE) continues to expand its network from its Hong Kong (HKG) base. On September 18th, (HKE) began 6x-weekly flights on the 2,602 km route to Nagoya (NGO) in Japan. Competition on this route comes from Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT) (14x-weekly) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) (7x-weekly). On September 26th, Zhengzhou (CGO) in China was added to the network. This 1,379 km route will be served 5x-weekly and faces competition from China Southern Airlines (GUN) and Dragonair (DRG), who both operate daily flights. With 13.14 million passengers in 2013 (+12.6%), Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport ranked 18th in China in 2013.
December 2014: News Item A-1: HK Express (HKE) now serves both Tokyo airports with the launch on December 8th of daily A320 flights from Hong Kong (HKG) to Tokyo Narita (NRT). The 2,940 km route is already served by Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT) (4x-daily), All Nippon Airways (ANA) (2x-daily), Japan Airlines (JAL) (daily flights) and Vanilla Air (VNL) (3x-weekly). (HKE) has been serving the city pair since November 2013, when it launched daily flights to Tokyo Haneda. Frequency on this route has since increased to 2x-daily. This brings to 15 the number of destinations served non-stop by (HKE) this winter from Hong Kong. In a press release issued last month (HKE) revealed that it had handled almost 128,000 passengers in October 2014, an increase of +129% on the corresponding figure a year earlier.
News Item A-2: HK Express (HKE) (one of 18 low-cost carriers (LCC)s operating out of Hong Kong) has jumped on the Christmas bandwagon, launching its mega sale for the festive season with fares starting from as low as HK$5/US$0.6 to 14 destinations, including Ningbo in Zhejiang province and Busan in South Korea.
Airport taxes and fuel surcharges are not included in the promotion, which could add HK$550 or more to a passenger's bill. Hand luggage should not be >7 kgs and no airport meals will be provided in line with the services offered by low cost carriers (LCCs).
(HKE), which was incorporated in Hong Kong in 2004 and started its 1st flights as an (LCC) in October last year, is currently the city's only (LCC) operating a fleet of 9 Airbus A320s flying to 15 destinations across Asia.
But, in terms of fleet size, it lags far behind that of other regional (LCC)s, such as Lion Air (MLI), Indonesia's and the Asia-Pacific's largest single (LCC), which operates 94 in-service airplanes, and Cebu Pacific (CEB), the largest budget airline in the Philippines, which has a fleet of 50 airplanes.
"The emergence of (LCC)s in other Asian regions was much earlier and the industry has been developing rapidly for >10 years," said Andrew Cowen Deputy (CEO) of HK Express (HKE). "But, in Hong Kong, the (LCC) market is still under-developed," he added.
According to Cowen, there are 18 budget airlines operating in and out of Hong Kong at present, including (HKE). He said (HKE) closely monitors airlines operating in Singapore, which resembles Hong Kong in terms of the local economic environment and tourism.
But in Hong Kong, the average market fare is 2x- that of Singapore, while the penetration of (LCC)s in the city state is about 30%. "(LCC)s accounted for some 8% of Hong Kong's market share in December 2014, compared with 11.5% for NE Asia and 57% for SE Asia," noted David Fraser Managing Director of Greater China at Flight Center, an Australian travel agency group.
The biggest challenge, he said, lies with the capacity issue at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). "The lack of runways has become disturbing. Besides, it's very difficult to find additional airspace and slots for planes. If you look at the city's budget airlines, you'll find some of their take-up and arrival times quite inconvenient," Fraser said.
(HKE)'s headache is akin to that of Cebu Pacific (CEB), which benefits from a service agreement signed between the Hong Kong (SAR) government and the Philippine government recently to increase flights between the Philippines and the (SAR).
"There're just not enough slots at (HKIA), but we're looking for solutions," said Alex Reyes General Manager of Cebu Pacific (CEB)'s long haul division. Other problems include the shortage of airport services, such as food delivery and materials handling, congested airspace in Hong Kong and Guangdong province, and Hong Kong's unique role as a single city, which partially explains why other Asian regions may have a more advanced (LCC) network as they have airports in various cities.
Geoffrey Cheng, a Bocom International analyst, said the congestion problem at (HKIA) is also an obstacle for new airlines, regardless of whether they are (LCC)s or otherwise. "The issue here is it's difficult to grant new airlines new landing time slots, especially during peak hours," he said. "Given the nature of (LCC)s, which usually operate short-haul flights, red-eye flights during non-peak hours may not be the best option for (LCC)s to adopt," Cheng said.
He cited Singapore's experience as a possible alternative (expanding the terminal capacity for (LCC)s and charging lower passenger fees for the use of (LCC) terminals. But Cheng does not see it happening in Hong Kong in the near term.
In November this year, Hong Kong's Environmental Protection Department issued an environmental work permit for the construction of a 3rd runway at (HKIA), despite controversy over its impact on maritime ecology. According to (HKIA), the airport is fast approaching its maximum handling capacity of 420,000 airplane movements per year under the current 2-runway system. The present passenger traffic volume is well ahead of (HKIA)'s forecast plan for 2030 by 1 to 3 years. The initial phase of the 3-runway system is expected to be completed by 2023. "It's beyond the government's control to tackle all the problems at 1 time."
Despite the challenges, Cowen is confident about HK Express (HKE)'s future progress, saying that while there's still some local loyalty to major aviation players in the city, such as Cathay Pacific (CAT), the company is attracting local and foreign attention by establishing its "Hong Kong identity."
(HKE) achieved a passenger flow of 135,970 last month (a +174% increase over the same period last year. (HKE) said it hoped to break even at the end of this year with profits starting from 2015.
"There's no reason why (LCC)s in Hong Kong can't take up one-third of the market share," Cowen said.
But Fraser has reservations. "Hong Kong's (LCC) market will continue to lag behind that of other Asian cities in the near term if the challenges are not overcome," he warned.
April 2015: HK Express (HKE) introduced a new route from its Hong Kong (HKG) base to Da Nang (DAD) on April 1st. The 919 km sector to 1 of the major port cities in Vietnam will be served 3x-weekly using (HKE)’s A320s. This sector is already flown by Dragonair (DRG)’s daily flights.
See photo - "HKE-2015-04 - HONG KONG TO DA NANG.jpg."
May 2015: A320-232 (5725, B-LCF) delivery.
June 2015: A320-232 (5738, B-LCG) delivery.
July 2015: HK Express (HKE) launched services between Hong Kong (HKG) and Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) on July 20. The 1,685 km sector will be flown daily using (HKE)’s A320s. The latest city pair launched by (HKE) will face direct competition from 2 airlines starting with Thai AirAsia (THA), which operates a 3x-daily service.
(HKE) now serves almost 20 destinations across Asia, with additional new routes set to launch in September.
September 2015: HK Express (HKE) continues to grow its low-cost network with the addition of 2 new destinations. Jeju (CJU) in South Korea is now served 3x-weekly (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays). The 1,751 km route is already served by Dragonair (DRG) with 4x-weekly flights. (HKE)’s service departs Hong Kong (HKG) at 02:05 arriving in Jeju at 06:20. Return flights leave at 07:30, arriving back in Hong Kong at 09:20. Siem Reap (REP) in Cambodia will also be served 3x-weekly (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays). The 1,455 km route is also already served by (DRG) with 3x-weekly flights. Commenting on the route launch, (HKE) (CEO) Andrew Cowen said, “Siem Reap marks the 21st destination for HK Express (HKE) and we’re all very excited about adding this important tourist destination to our expanding route network. Whether it’s an extended holiday or a quick weekend getaway, Siem Reap serves as a great choice for our Hong Kong travelers, who now have a true choice when it comes to safe and affordable air travel.” Both new routes started on September 1 and will be served by (HKE)’s A320s.
November 2015: HK Express (HKE) on October 27 launched flights to its 6th destination in Japan. Hiroshima (HIJ) will be served 2x-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) using (HKE)’s growing fleet of A320s. The 2,290 km route from (HKE)’s base in Hong Kong (HKG) is already served by Dragonair (DRG) with 2x-weekly flights, also flown by A320s. HK Express (HKE) already serves Fukuoka, Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo (Haneda and Narita) with non-stop flights from Hong Kong.
December 2015: Arctic Aviation Assets (AAA) has finalized an agreement to lease 12 Airbus A320neos to Hong Kong carrier HK Express (HKE). The aircraft are scheduled to be delivered between 2016 and 2018. “We are delighted to work with HK Express to support their expanding network with the modern and fuel-efficient Airbus A320neo,” (AAA) (COO) Tore Jenssen said. (AAA) is a fully-owned subsidiary of low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG).
The agreement is a final confirmation of the letter of intent (LOI) to lease out the aircraft announced on August 12, 2015.
(HKE), a low-cost carrier (LCC), operates only A320s and plans to have >30 of various versions in service by 2018.
(AAA), based in Dublin, Ireland, manages a portfolio of 100 aircraft for the Norwegian Group and has firm orders of 267 aircraft for delivery in 2015 to 2022 in addition to 160 purchase options.
January 2016: News Item A-4: "Hainan Airlines (HNA) Subsidiaries Launch Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Alliance" by (ATW) Katie Cantle, January 18, 2016.
Hainan Airlines (HNA)’s 4 subsidiaries have formed a partnership being hailed as the world’s 1st low-cost carrier (LCC) alliance.
The U-Fly Alliance brings together Hong Kong based Hong Kong Express Airlines (HKE), Kunming based Lucky Air (LKY), Urumqi based Urumqi Airlines (URQ), and Chongqing based West Air (CHO).
Member carriers said that under the U-Fly Alliance they will deepen their cooperation and optimize slots connection. Together, they operate a total of 67 aircraft on 168 routes with 298 daily departures covering 85 Asian destinations.
“With the launch of the 1st low cost carriers (LCC) alliance in the world, the air transport market will enter into a new era, when passengers can fly to more diversified destinations and enjoy more secure flying experience with much lower air fares” U-Fly Alliance Chairman Ma Zhimin said.
Meantime, the U-Fly alliance also promoted special launch fares on certain routes. The alliance said it plans to attract more member airlines to expand its route network in the coming days, but there was no mention of shared frequent flier or loyalty benefits.
Hainan Airlines (HNA) is not a member of any of the present 3 global alliances.
April 2016: HK Express (HKE) plans to significantly boost its network in Japan this summer, as it adds flights to new leisure
destinations and increases frequencies to the Tokyo market.
September 2016: Hong Kong's low cost carrier (LCC) (HKE) reported strong growth in August, following an unprecedented performance in the 1st 6 months of the year.
During the month of August, HK Express (HKE) flew 255,351 Guests, representing a +13% increase over the same month last year. Guests carried year-to-date increased by +45% year over year, with 2,774,358 Guests flown during the past 12 months.
(HKE) continues to work on rolling out additional optional extra's for Guests including the recently launched "U-First" product. U-First allows guests to jump ahead both at check-in and at boarding. This can be purchased for an additional HK$68. (HKE) now has one of the best ancillary product offerings of all (LCC)'s in Asia with a revenue contribution of >20%. More products are in the pipeline and will be rolled out over the next 12 months.
(HKE) saw the 77.1% year to date On-Time Performance in August, making HK Express (HKE) one of the most on-time carriers in Asia, according to independent flight statistic monitoring website Flightstats.com, although this is slightly behind target, as (HKE) dealt with the impact of 2 typhoons.
"We posted unbelievable results in the 1st 8 months of 2016, which were propelled by operational efficiency and innovative new services. The continued commercial and strategic successes of HK Express (HKE) is evidence of the company's strategic position as Asia's leading low cost carrier (LCC)," said Andrew Cowen Director & (CEO) of HK Express (HKE). "After achieving profitability in 2015, we continue to be one of the fastest growing and most profitable airlines in the region."
In its nearly 3rd year of operations, (HKE) boasts a growing fleet of 15 aircraft with 12 brand new Airbus A321 and 12 brand new quieter and more fuel efficient A320neo on order, the 1st of which arrives in October this year. The additional aircraft will not only dramatically increase capacity, but the expanded fleet will also position HK Express (HKE) as the carrier of choice in Asia.
The (LCC) currently operates 27 routes, including the new destinations Chiang Rai, Nha Trang, and Hualien, which will be launched in the last quarter of this year. As the only Hong Kong carrier offering flights to these hard-to-reach destinations, HK Express (HKE) furthers its exploration into new and exciting destinations for the smart and cost conscious travelers.
(HKE) is an (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registered airline and therefore in compliance with (IOSA) standards. HK Express (HKE) is committed to delivering operational safety to its Guests and crews.
A321-231 (7363, B-LEA), ex-(D-AYAY), (CIT) Aerospace leased.
November 2016: "HK Express Launches 1st Nonstop Flights Between Hong Kong and Chiang Rai" China Aviation Daily, November 28, 2016.
Just in time for the holiday season, HK Express (HKE) has an early gift for both Thai and Hong Kong fans! The low cost carrier (LCC) (HKE) is introducing the only nonstop service between Hong Kong and Chiang Rai, Thailand. Launched on November 25, the new route took off with celebrations at both ends of the journey. At Hong Kong International Airport, (HKE) Commercial Director Luke Lovegrove met with guests at the boarding gate to welcome them aboard the 1st flight. When the inaugural flight landed at Chiang Rai International Airport, a warm Thai welcome and delightful souvenirs were on hand to greet all the inaugural flight Guests.
See attached: "HKE-2016-11 - Hong Kong to Chiang Rai.jpg" showing (HKE) Commercial Director Luke Lovegrove (on right).
"We are very pleased to witness the inaugural scheduled service by HK Express between Hong Kong and Chiang Rai, the northernmost large city and also a secluded city of beauty and serenity. We have confidence Chiang Rai will become one of the most popular Thai destinations for Hong Kong tourists and this new direct flight service will be significant in securing a strong foothold in between Hong Kong and Thai tourism," said Ms Sarima Chindamat, Director Tourism Authority of Thailand, Hong Kong.
Located in northern Thailand, Chiang Rai draws a following for its majestic mountains, elaborate Buddhist temples, and historic vestiges of the Lanna Kingdom. The most memorable photo opportunity is the striking Wat Rong Khun "white temple."
Near the border of Laos and Myanmar, Chiang Rai is also a strategic starting point for those who wish to explore more of northern Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, and the nearby "Golden Triangle." Many travellers simply make the pilgrimage to taste-test Chiang Rai's excellent street food and unique Lanna flavors.
Before HK Express (HKE) launched the 1st nonstop flight between Hong Kong and Chiang Rai, travellers would have to fly through Bangkok or take a long bus journey from Chiang Mai.
Stay tuned for new route launches (including Hualien in Taiwan, commencing December 6, 2016), Guam (commencing December 15, 2016) and Saipan (commencing January 17, 2017).
December 2016: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG)’s lessor subsidiary, Arctic Aviation Assets (AAA) has taken delivery of its 1st Airbus aircraft, the 1st of 70 A320neos the Norwegian Group has on order.
It is also the 1st of 12 A320neos that will be leased to HK Express.
(HKE). “This delivery is a milestone for us, as it is the 1st of many Airbus aircraft to be delivered in the near future,” (AAA) (CEO) Tore Jenssen said. The new aircraft will be used to expand HK Express (HKE)’s route network.
April 2017: News Item A-1: HK Express (HKE) provides scheduled air services to 28 destinations in Asia.
A320-214 (2322, B-LCB) has added special fuselage titles to promote the "Ritsuring Garden," 1 of the most famous historical gardens in Japan and a popular holiday destination.
May 2017: A320-214 (5260, B-LPE) sold to Guangxi Beibu Gulf Airlines (GXB). A320-232 (2717, B-LCA) seen stored at Hong Kong minus engines.
April 2018: News Item A-1: "Virgin Australia to Launch New Flights to Hong Kong" by Adrian Schofield, (ATW) Daily News, April 03, 2018.
Virgin Australia (VOZ) will begin flights from Sydney to Hong Kong on July 2, which will join its existing service from Melbourne to Hong Kong. (VOZ) had previously signaled it wanted to start the Sydney flights this year as it expands its reach in the Greater China market.
(VOZ) regards Hong Kong as its gateway to mainland China, thanks to existing connections with partner Hong Kong Airlines (CRY). (VOZ) has also revealed it will be adding an interline agreement with HK Express (HKE), which like (CRY) is an affiliate of the (HNA) Group. (HNA) is a major shareholder in Virgin Australia (VOZ).
The HK Express (HKE) interline flights will be sold by (VOZ) starting later this month, and will allow passengers from Sydney and Melbourne to connect to other Asian destinations beyond Hong Kong. (VOZ) also connects with Virgin Atlantic (VAA) flights in Hong Kong.
The new Sydney to Hong Kong route will use Airbus A330-200s. "Greater China is a key pillar of our strategy and the addition of Sydney services to our already popular Melbourne flights to Hong Kong strengthens our proposition immensely," (VOZ) group executive Rob Sharp said.
April 2018: SR Technics (SWS) has a 10-year Hong Kong Express (HKE) contract to provide component maintenance, pool access and logistical services out of Kuala Lumpur (pools in Hong Kong) for 20 Airbus A320ceos/12 A320neos.
May 2018: A320-271 (7598, B-LCP) ferried Toulouse to Hong Kong.
July 2018: A321-231 (8347, B-LEK), ex-(D-AYAU), BoCom Leasing leased.
Click below for photos:
HKE-737-800 - 2014-12
HKE-A320 - 2013-11
5 +4 ORDERS 737-8Q8 (CFM56-7B) (34967, B-KXF; 34968, B-KXG; 34971, B-KXH; 2611-35276, /06 B-KBR), 2008-05. WITH WINGLETS. 8C, 156Y.
4 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4) (2322, B-LCB; 4970, /11 B-LPB; 5264, B-LPF; 5266, B-LPG; 5341, /12 B-LPH), EX-(F-WWIA; F-WWIB) 2013-07. 5260 SOLD TO GUANGXI BEIBU GULF AIRLINES (GXB) 2017-05. 8C, 144Y.
2 A320-232 (5725, B-LCF, 2015-05; 5738, B-LCG, 2015-06).
1 A320-232 (6142, B-LCC), (BOC) AVIATION (SIL) LEASED 2014-08.
1 A320-271 (7598, B-LCP), 2018-05.
13 A320neo, ARCTIC AVIATION ASSETS (AAA) LEASED:
1 A321-231 (7363, B-LEA), EX-(D-AYAY), (CIT) AVIATION LEASED 2016-10.
1 A321-231 (8347, B-LEK), EX-(D-AYAU), BOCOM LEASED 2018-07.
4 EMBRAER E170LR (CF34-8E5) (00081, /05 B-KXA; 00099, /05 B-KXB; 00111, /05 B-KXC; /06 B-KXD), (GEF) LEASED. 76Y.
Click below for photos:
HKE-1-JIMMY MA - 2014-10
HKE-2-ANDREW COHEN - 2014-08
HKE-4-KEITH LOVEGROVE - 2014-10
CHEN FENG, CHAIRMAN, PARENT, HAINAN AIRLINES (HNA).
JIMMY MA ZHIMIN, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT.
ANDREW TSE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO).
ANDREW COHEN, DEPUTY (CEO).
RONNIE CHOI, PRESIDENT, EX-MACAU EXPRESS/(CAT)/DRG), (2007-12).
Ronnie joined Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE) from his position as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of Macau Express. With >40 years experience in Hong Kong’s aviation industry, Ronnie’s new role has him well placed to lead (HKE)’s future expansion. Including the development of a comprehensive long term growth plan incorporating airplane fleet, route network and product and service enhancements, his remit is to improve Hong Kong Express Airway’s current performance and also include maximizing the synergies afforded by cooperation with partner airlines. “This is a great opportunity to create new growth initiatives that will realize the airline’s potential,” Ronnie commented. “My immediate focus though is to consolidate resources in order to build the solid platform that future international expansion requires” he added. Since starting his career in 1966, Ronnie held a number of managerial positions with Jardine Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT), Swire Beverages, and Dragonair (DRG). Most recently, before he left Dragonair (DRG) upon reaching retirement age of 60, he was Director of Customer Services, responsible for leading the airline’s services on the ground and in flight. Dragonair (DRG) was ranked within the top 20 airlines in the World for service excellence. During his time in Dragonair (DRG), Ronnie was also an active member of the Executive Committee of the Hong Kong Board of Airline Representatives (BAR). He then joined (CNAC) to help build a brand new Low Cost Carrier - Macau Express, which is based in Macau. It is worth mentioning that during his 2 and a half years of career with Swire Beverages, Ronnie gained tremendous experience in a new field, running a Coca Cola Bottling Plant in Nanjing as General Manager.
RAYMOND NG, DIRECTOR MARKETING & SALES, EX-(OHK)/(DRG)/(CAT)/(CAL)/(UAL) (2008-01).
Joining Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE) from Oasis Hong Kong Airlines (OHK), Raymond brings to his new role, a wealth of strategic and tactical sales and marketing experience gained from >30 years of working within the travel industry. Best known for his successful management of United Airlines (UAL)’s agency distribution network in Hong Kong, Raymond’s career has also included key management positions with airlines including Continental Airlines (CAL), United Airlines (UAL), Dragonair (DRG), and Cathay Pacific (CAT), and travel agencies such as Citizen Thunderbird Travel and P&O Travel, with which he served as company director in Canada.
In his new role with the airline, Raymond will be responsible for formulating and driving the airline’s strategic branding and marketing plans including strengthening cooperation with industry partners, devising promotional strategies and enhancing the airline’s distribution channels with a particular focus on online platforms.
LUI FOOK CHUEN, DIRECTOR FLIGHT OPERATIONS.
LUKE LOVEGROVE, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR.
KANNY KEUNG, GENERAL MANAGER GROUND SERVICES, EX-(AIN)/(DRG) (2008-02).
Kanny’s career in the aviation industry began in 1973 when he joined Jardine Airways. During >35 years since then, Kanny has amassed a wealth of experience in the area of airport operations (notably in Hong Kong) working for a several airlines including Air-India (AIN) and Dragonair (DRG). Most recently serving as Manager, Airport Services with Dragonair (DRG) with whom he held a number of managerial positions in his 13 years with the airline, Kanny’s work saw him integrally involved in the successful transition of Dragonair (DRG)’s operations from Kai Tak International Airport to Chek Lap Kok International Airport in 1997. In his new role as General Manager, Ground Services with Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE), Kanny will be responsible for overseeing the airport operations of the whole network.
RICHARD YU, GENERAL MANAGER CHINA, EX-(DRG) (2008-02).
Richard brings 15 years experience of working with Dragonair (DRG) in China including positions held in Beijing, Tianjin, and most recently as Manager in Nanjing. In his new role as General Manager - China, Mr Yu will oversee all Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE) Marketing & Sales activities in mainland China as well as the setting up and management of new offices for (HKE) and its partner airline, Hong Kong Airlines (CRY). During his time as Airport Services Manager for Dragonair (DRG)’s Beijing office, Mr Yu’s leadership resulted in the bestowal in 2006 of the company’s Service Excellence Award amongst all mainland China stations. He was also the 1st Vice Chairman of Beijing Airport Operator’s Committee between 2004 and 2006.
BARRY LIAN, MANAGER CHINA OPERATIONS, EX-(DRG) (2008-02).
Reporting directly to Mr Yu, Barry Lian as the newly appointed Manager of Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE)’s China Operations will be responsible for overseeing the airlines operations in mainland stations. With >14 years experience in China’s aviation industry, Barry’s previous positions include roles with Dragonair (DRG), Macau Asia Express, and ground handlers, Menzies Macau Airport Services Ltd, for whom he oversaw operations in Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport as Operations Manager.