Hong Kong Airlines will stop its Hong Kong-San Francisco service from October 5 this year, less than two years after first launching the service.
The decision comes “following a review of its network and a change in business plan for USA market”, the airline said in a statement published on its website.
The final flights between Hong Kong and San Francisco (HX60 and HX61) will be operated on October 4 this year. Passengers who have bought tickets for Hong Kong-San Francisco flights beyond that date will be offered alternative arrangements. They can change the departure date for flights between the two cities for free before October 5, while those who decide to cancel their flights will get a full refund.
Passengers are also eligible for a “free change” to any destination that Hong Kong Airlines flies to (though applicable fare and tax differences may apply), or a “free transfer” to other partner carriers which will be arranged by Hong Kong Airlines (subject to availability).
Hong Kong Airlines first launched this route in March 2018 and it currently flies this route four times a week. Business Traveller Asia-Pacific checked the airline’s booking website and found that the carrier will reduce the frequency of the service to three times weekly (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) starting from August 31, with its Sunday service cancelled.
Affected passengers can find contact details for Hong Kong Airlines’ customer assistance here.
Hong Kong Airlines is not the only carrier that flies non-stop between Hong Kong and San Francisco: Cathay Pacific operates this route three times daily; United Airlines has recently announced that it will add a second non-stop service between the two cities from October; and Singapore Airlines also flies daily between Hong Kong and San Francisco, though it should be noted that the flight (SQ2) is actually a direct service between Singapore and San Francisco, with a stopover in Hong Kong.
In addition to San Francisco, in the North American market Hong Kong Airlines also operates long-haul flights to Vancouver and Los Angeles. Both services were launched in 2017. Business Traveller Asia-Pacific had a first look at Hong Kong Airlines’ A350 service to Los Angeles and reviewed the business class service on this route:
- First Look: Hong Kong Airlines A350 service to Los Angeles
- Airline review: Hong Kong Airlines A350 business class
Hong Kong Airlines is a subsidiary of HNA Group, a Chinese conglomerate which is facing huge debts and a financial crisis. HK Express, once a subsidiary carrier of HNA Group, was fully acquired by Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific this month.
Ricky Chong Wai-ki, director of corporate governance and development of Hong Kong Airlines, said the airline had not ruled out a complete cut of long-haul flights in an interview with Hong Kong-based newspaper the South China Morning Post in June.
“For North American flights, even airlines like Cathay face a lot of pressure so we keep reviewing. Our North American flights will be our short-term focus that we need to consolidate,” said Chong.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong Airlines has also announced that it will discontinue its Hong Kong-Fuzhou service from September 2, while it will boost flights to three short-haul destinations.
The carrier will add a daily flight between Hong Kong and Haikou from September 2, four additional weekly flights between Hong Kong and Hangzhou from September 8 and two additional weekly flights between Hong Kong and Sapporo from September 28. The arrangements will bring the total number of its Haikou, Hangzhou and Sapporo services to three daily flights, 14 weekly flights, and 11 weekly flights, respectively.
Last month, the carrier rolled out a series of new amenity kits for its business class passengers travelling on long-haul flights to North America.