Hong Kong Airlines is giving its non-stop Auckland service the chop on May 22, in what seems to be a continuation of the carrier’s withdrawal from the Australasian market with its own metal.

The carrier previously cut its triangular Hong Kong-Gold Coast-Cairns route back in October.

In a statement published on its website, Hong Kong Airlines said it had made the decision to drop the non-stop Auckland service “following a review of its network and an adjustment of its business strategy”.

The final outbound flight to Auckland, HX027, will take off on May 19 while the last return leg HX028 will depart the New Zealand city on May 21. Affected travellers will be allowed to change to a flight on a different date or to a different destination free of charge, receive a full refund, or a complimentary transfer to a partner airline.

In a separate announcement, Hong Kong Airlines has also stated it will boost its Beijing service by launching its fourth daily flight on the route from April 15 onwards.

The new flights (HX322/HX321) will depart Hong Kong at 2125 and arrive in Beijing at 0025 or 0105 the following morning, depending on the day of travel, before departing for the return leg at 0550 and landing in Hong Kong at 0925.

There is some bad news for business travellers, however. Unlike the airline’s existing three daily flights, which are operated by Hong Kong Airlines’ Airbus A330-300s and feature flatbed seating, the new daily offering will be served by an all-economy A320-200, the airline’s booking system shows.

The lack of business class seating, let alone flatbed seating, is particularly significant considering this is a red-eye flight when sleep is likely to be on the majority of travellers’ minds.

Pitch in the economy cabin on the A320-200 is 29-30 inches while width is 17.8 inches.

Hong Kong Airlines has been making a few changes to its network over the past six to eight months.

Last summer, it launched flights to Manila, also using its all-economy A320-200, but also dropped its Phnom Penh service at the end of October citing “ongoing seasonal adjustments to its operations”.