CX vs HX

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Old Apr 5, 19, 10:51 pm
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CX vs HX

Hong Kong airlines (HX) becomes the last surviving local competitor to CX, and maybe not for long. Hence, I would like to share my recent HX experiences and comparison with CX. I must add that I mostly love CX (except its food).

Wifey and I have done quite a few “regional” HX lately (widebodies) PEK, BKK, DPS, and have been very impressed both in Y and J.

We just flew to DPS in J with HX. This is a 5 hour flight. Both flights with very comfy flat beds (332V and 332S) and more spacious then CX Cirrus; they fit only 18 seats where CX fit many more. Video is very responsive and comparable selection of movies as CX. Service (3 FAs for a max of 18 J) is excellent, faster and more motivated than CX. Food is good to excellent. Some original foie gras dish as starter. Very tasty creative main dishes as opposed to the bland and tasteless CX/KA food. Wines as bad as on CX/KA. The Autus lounge in HKG is very nice and HX uses the same lounge as CX/KA in DPS. Courtesy channel at HKG (It only saves a couple of minutes).

CX/KA used to have only regional ac on that route. They feel HX competition, which has now higher frequency than CX/KA. They have recently reintroduced some LH ac, but that is a minority and open to Russian roulette.

The guarantee of a good J seat for 5h is a must for my bad back (HX worst is an old generation 60” lie-flat). The other major point is that CX/KA public fare is three times HX (18k vs 6k). Sure, fare conditions are not the same, but for the price difference… And you can even buy a cheap refund guarantee. I know that I can get somewhat better CX/KA J fares (nonchangeable) through a TA if I combine hotel+flight. But I rent a private villa and cannot do that. In the end a couple saves 24k and gets a better J product. The only drawback is the FF, but for such a price/product difference it is a no brainer.

We all know the problems facing HX, the lack of network for corporate clients, the poor website. But HX offers a great product at a great price. When/if it disappears, that will be bad news for long regional flights.

BTW: an interesting video

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Old Apr 6, 19, 1:33 am
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Without wanting to be "critical", you want to purchase cheap tickets on an airline that might no longer be around, when your return flight goes ....

I agree with you, that this large difference in pricing might be worth the potential hassle. Especially, when your origin is HKG itself, and no further LH connections are at play.

For me, it would be a no-brainer to book an airline that would be around next week, though I probably pay significantly less for CX flights, given HKG is not my home airport. When on different airlines' tickets, I tend to book an overnight, when changing the airline, just to avoid getting stuck.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 2:58 am
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Originally Posted by Cambo View Post
Without wanting to be "critical", you want to purchase cheap tickets on an airline that might no longer be around, when your return flight goes ....
this part is very important. your ability on the return leg is also a russian roulette.
as mentioned before, i see the discount as a higher risk of not having a future ticket (like high yields on bonds).
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Old Apr 6, 19, 5:46 am
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Originally Posted by kaka View Post

this part is very important. your ability on the return leg is also a russian roulette.
as mentioned before, i see the discount as a higher risk of not having a future ticket (like high yields on bonds).
You are quite right. And as mentioned above, HX is primarily for HKG based pax (or those at the other end of the route).

But those fares have been around for a while, even before all the bad rumors on HX. And they can be available even for near-term departure.
Anyway, I hope that HX survives given my excellent experience. I go to DPS with wifey a couple of times (week stay) a year and GA 738 J (10K) or regional CX/KA (18K) are bad alternatives.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 7:44 am
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CX regional aircraft swap is infamous since a long time ago, everyone hated.
Even though I do not fly HX, I think HX is good in the sky but can be bad on the ground in case of IRROPS, which is same for some other carriers;

The price of HX is good for some price-sensitive leisure passengers.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 8:23 am
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Originally Posted by cheung.chunyuenc View Post
CX regional aircraft swap is infamous since a long time ago, everyone hated.
Even though I do not fly HX, I think HX is good in the sky but can be bad on the ground in case of IRROPS, which is same for some other carriers;

The price of HX is good for some price-sensitive leisure passengers.
I am not talking about swaps, but scheduled regional seats for a 5h flight.

I like your mention of "price-sensitive leisure pax". If you read my post the difference is from HKF18K to HKD6K for J seat, and I also pay for wifey. You would have to be very price-insensitive not to care about the difference, even if seats were equal.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 11:58 am
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I've always thought HX is able to fill its planes with the Hainan originating passengers connecting via HKG from China. Otherwise, they can't sustain the frequencies to DPS while CX and Garuda can only fly less flights a day.

I suppose you flew with them before the recent financial chaos and regulatory enquiries came about?
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Old Apr 6, 19, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
I've always thought HX is able to fill its planes with the Hainan originating passengers connecting via HKG from China. Otherwise, they can't sustain the frequencies to DPS while CX and Garuda can only fly less flights a day.

I suppose you flew with them before the recent financial chaos and regulatory enquiries came about?
HX is known for its “loss-leading” pricing- except it never got them anywhere, so its for canabalizing cx w price war using state funds.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 10:23 pm
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I did fly with them before the recent "chaos", as well as last week (DPS).

HK might be the world city where rumors are most abundant. In part from its British heritage of tabloids.
WIld assertions about the financial health of UO or HX floated around. Apparently UO was profitable, even if the owner HNA was not. This was the information provided by the airline and the hefty price (HKD2.25 billion) would confirm it. The owner of HX and UO is strangled by its enormous debt level, so it needs to sell profitable assets for cash to service its debt. It does not mean that these assets are worthless.

kaka, I am a bit surprised that you keep characterizing UO, HX and HNA group as a government enterprise. To my knowledge HNA is a private company, possibly with some debt support by the Hainan province. But it is still private not a SOE.
I am no expert of the HNA group, but I would be surprised if HX simply folds without finding buyers. Of course, the bankruptcy option is the preferred solution of CX. And in protectionist, clubby HK, they might push to prevent any takeover by other interests.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 11:47 pm
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
I did fly with them before the recent "chaos", as well as last week (DPS).

HK might be the world city where rumors are most abundant. In part from its British heritage of tabloids.
WIld assertions about the financial health of UO or HX floated around. Apparently UO was profitable, even if the owner HNA was not. This was the information provided by the airline and the hefty price (HKD2.25 billion) would confirm it. The owner of HX and UO is strangled by its enormous debt level, so it needs to sell profitable assets for cash to service its debt. It does not mean that these assets are worthless.

kaka, I am a bit surprised that you keep characterizing UO, HX and HNA group as a government enterprise. To my knowledge HNA is a private company, possibly with some debt support by the Hainan province. But it is still private not a SOE.
I am no expert of the HNA group, but I would be surprised if HX simply folds without finding buyers. Of course, the bankruptcy option is the preferred solution of CX. And in protectionist, clubby HK, they might push to prevent any takeover by other interests.
he is quite anti prc and I really think he needs to calm down and don’t turn this forum into a political one.

i agree with you for DPS HX is better than CX. Schedule and hard product wise.
however really don’t see how they can sustain the business
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Old Apr 7, 19, 12:44 am
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Originally Posted by londonexpert View Post

he is quite anti prc and I really think he needs to calm down and don’t turn this forum into a political one.

i agree with you for DPS HX is better than CX. Schedule and hard product wise.
however really don’t see how they can sustain the business
it wasnt me who turned this political when i simply stated the fact. most airlines started from being a flag carried so its by defination political.

and wrt the last bolded point by me that is exactly what i’ve said.

Originally Posted by brunos View Post
I did fly with them before the recent "chaos", as well as last week (DPS).

HK might be the world city where rumors are most abundant. In part from its British heritage of tabloids.
WIld assertions about the financial health of UO or HX floated around. Apparently UO was profitable, even if the owner HNA was not. This was the information provided by the airline and the hefty price (HKD2.25 billion) would confirm it. The owner of HX and UO is strangled by its enormous debt level, so it needs to sell profitable assets for cash to service its debt. It does not mean that these assets are worthless.

kaka, I am a bit surprised that you keep characterizing UO, HX and HNA group as a government enterprise. To my knowledge HNA is a private company, possibly with some debt support by the Hainan province. But it is still private not a SOE.
I am no expert of the HNA group, but I would be surprised if HX simply folds without finding buyers. Of course, the bankruptcy option is the preferred solution of CX. And in protectionist, clubby HK, they might push to prevent any takeover by other interests.
with all the characteristics of a soe im surprised you still dont see it this way, its rather objective.

on the value of things its a charity, would you call HNA a charity? anyways, we dont have to go back to this discussion we just had 2 weeks ago

Last edited by kaka; Apr 7, 19 at 12:50 am
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Old Apr 7, 19, 12:49 am
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
We just flew to DPS in J with HX. This is a 5 hour flight. Both flights with very comfy flat beds (332V and 332S) and more spacious then CX Cirrus; they fit only 18 seats where CX fit many more.
CX doesn't have A332s, most of the A332/333 length difference is between doors 1 and 2. On a side note - those A332s won't be around for you to enjoy much longer as HX will be dumping them.

Originally Posted by brunos View Post
WIld assertions about the financial health of UO or HX floated around. Apparently UO was profitable, even if the owner HNA was not. This was the information provided by the airline and the hefty price (HKD2.25 billion) would confirm it. The owner of HX and UO is strangled by its enormous debt level, so it needs to sell profitable assets for cash to service its debt. It does not mean that these assets are worthless.
I don't think anyone would argue they are worthless, but their value is in their slots not their leased (mismatched interior and engine) aircraft or patchy network.

UO was not profitable. CX stated UO lost $18M in 2018 even with low fuel prices.

HX cut their entire Australian network, all of their NZ flights, and are cutting all of their remaining longhaul frequencies nearly in half. They are bleeding, and badly. But looking at the route in isolation, HKG-DPS is great with their fire-sale pricing as long as you're comfortable flying knowing they may shutter or reduce operations before the actual date of flying. In the very near term, I wouldn't be concerned about booking HX 1-2 months forward.
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Old Apr 7, 19, 12:55 am
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Originally Posted by winnipegrev View Post
CX doesn't have A332s, most of the A332/333 length difference is between doors 1 and 2. On a side note - those A332s won't be around for you to enjoy much longer as HX will be dumping them.



I don't think anyone would argue they are worthless, but their value is in their slots not their leased (mismatched interior and engine) aircraft or patchy network.

UO was not profitable. CX stated UO lost $18M in 2018 even with low fuel prices.

HX cut their entire Australian network, all of their NZ flights, and are cutting all of their remaining longhaul frequencies nearly in half. They are bleeding, and badly. But looking at the route in isolation, HKG-DPS is great with their fire-sale pricing as long as you're comfortable flying knowing they may shutter or reduce operations before the actual date of flying. In the very near term, I wouldn't be concerned about booking HX 1-2 months forward.
Im pretty sure UO is operationally profitting
their losses are from the debt from political loans from HNA that got effectively written off from the sales of the airline

if its not a political trade, i dont know how do you get deals like this.
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Old Apr 7, 19, 9:09 am
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Thanks winnipegrev.
.I must agree with your comments on HX.
They could never get rights to fly to Australian main cities (SYD, MEL), so their routes to smaller cities were doomed.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 4:54 am
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HNA is NOT an SOE!
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