Travellers making bookings through online travel agency Ctrip’s Hong Kong website can now book international airport car transfer services when travelling to more than 55 countries in 200 cities worldwide.
Ctrip’s Hong Kong website is the first to offer this service, though the company has said it aims to roll out the option to other trip.com sites in other languages in future. Users can book airport pick-up and drop-off services using either the English or Traditional Chinese versions of the trip.com Hong Kong website.
To start with, airport transfers will be conducted by Ctrip’s English-language transfer car service platform, Skytransfer, though other international brands offering airport transfer services are expected to be added in the near future.
“Providing international airport transfer car services plays an important role in accelerating Ctrip Group’s globalisation efforts,” said Chris An, CEO of Ctrip’s international ground transportation department.
“The service will focus on connecting airports, hotels, and tourist destinations. We will leverage our strengths in global supply chain capabilities to offer professional car services, especially in Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia.”
The new service provides a range of vehicles including five-seater sedans and limousines.
At the time of writing, a return transfer service between Hong Kong International Airport and International Finance Centre (IFC) in the city’s Central district around noon in mid-July cost HK$1,014 with a standard five-seat, HK$1,052 with a Tesla, or HK$1,468 with a standard seven-seat vehicle.
As a mark of comparison, a return fare on the Airport Express between the airport and Hong Kong Station, which shares its location with IFC, is currently HK$205 per person.
A number of companies offering airport transfers and/or chauffeur services have been expanding in Asia recently. Professional driver service Blacklane began offering its services to travellers in Asia-Pacific in December 2016 and has since been expanding its partnerships with the frequent-flyer programmes of numerous airlines in the region, notably Krisflyer, Enrich and Asia Miles.
But not all ground transportation operators have had such luck. In March this year, ride-sharing app Uber announced it would sell its Southeast Asian operations to Singapore-based rival Grab.