News

Hong Kong Airlines to increase frequency to Shanghai

11 Jul 2014

Hong Kong Airlines (HX) has announced a fifth daily flight from Hong Kong to Shanghai Pudong airport, to be launched on August 1.

A 292-seat A330-300 will be deployed on the route, offering 32 business seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, and 260 economy in a 2-4-2 format. The service departs from Hong Kong at 1300 and arrives in Shanghai at 1510. The return leg leaves at 1605 and lands in Hong Kong at 1935.

There are currently 34 daily flights shuttling between the two cities, but is there enough demand to fill up more seats? Hong Kong Airlines seems to think so. “The average load factor of Hong Kong Airlines’ Shanghai route has reached over 80 per cent. Given that Shanghai-Hong Kong is a popular business travel route, the added flight will provide the business travellers with more options,” a spokesperson said to Business Traveller Asia-Pacific, adding that many of its passengers use Hong Kong as a hub to connect to other destinations in Taiwan, Southeast Asia and Japan.

The economic ties between the two cities have been increasingly close over the years. Case in point is the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, an initiative due to come into effect in October, which will allow investors of respective markets to trade designated equity securities listed in the other’s market.

The airline predicts that demand on Hong Kong-Shanghai air links will continue to climb. According to Hong Kong International Airport data, in the first four months of this year there were 1.38 million outbound passengers. So while there seems to be a healthy appetite for this route – what about the competition?

On the price front, HX has the advantage. For early August on this route, HX offers economy and business tickets for HK$2,460 (US$317) and HK$5,690 (US$734) respectively, while its direct rival, Dragonair (KA), charges $4,140 (US$543) and HK$7,990 (US$1,031). KA also offers first class, for HK$10,120 (US$1,306). See here for details on the product.

“We are competing with multiple airlines for business on different routes every day,” a KA spokesperson commented.” Dragonair operates flights to Shanghai Pudong and Hongqiao. We will continue to compete by providing passengers with the most desirable products, services and customer experience for our passengers.” He pointed to the airline’s new first class seat as well as menus from Hyatt Regency (see here) and Xin Dau Ji (see here) as examples.

For lounge access in Hong Kong, KA first and business passengers, and Marco Polo Club members with Silver status or above, can make use of the G16 Lounge and enjoy a range of food items including wonton and fishball noodles.

HX’s business passengers and Fortune Wings Club Gold and Silver members travelling on HX can enjoy the new Club Bauhinia lounge, a new 506 sqm facility that opened at the end of last month. It can accommodate up to 120 passengers and features two private meeting rooms as well as other amenities such as iMac computers and wifi access. Hong Kong-themed dishes are on offer, including egg puffs, beancurd dessert, dim sum and street-cart noodles.

KA flies to Pudong with A320s and A330s, while HX deploys only the A330 on the route. For HX, business seat products on A330-200s and A330-300s can recline 155 and 180 degrees respectively. Meanwhile, KA’s new economy, business (see here) and first class seats, launched last year, have been fitted onto its A330s.

Dragonair’s first class seat

Miles accrual and redemption comparison, based on a round trip on the Hong Kong-Shanghai (PVG) route:

 

HX’s Fortune Wings Miles

KA’s Asia Miles

Accrual

 

 

Economy

3,234 miles

1,558 miles

Business

4,976 miles

1,948 miles

First

2,338 miles

 

 

 

Redemption

 

 

Economy

26,000 miles

20,000 miles

Business

48,000 miles

40,000 miles

First

55,000 miles

Other airlines serving this route include Dragonair’s sister airline Cathay Pacific, Shanghai-based China Eastern and its subsidiary Shanghai Airlines, as well as Mainland Chinese low-cost carrier Spring Airlines.

For more information, visit hkairlines.com

Valerian Ho

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