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Airlines gone, new, and coming to HKG

Airlines gone, new, and coming to HKG

Old Aug 27, 2023, 1:15 pm
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Airlines gone, new, and coming to HKG

Having heard often that there were airlines that had yet to return to HKG but might when labor/cost issues were resolved I thought it would be interesting to make a list of those lost since the onset of the pandemic, as well as the new ones that have popped up since and those that seem to want to come.

Gone and not returned since the end of 2019:
  • Air Astana
  • Air Busan
  • Air Mauritius
  • Air Seoul
  • American Airlines
  • Cathay Dragon (merged into Cathay Pacific)
  • Eastar Jet (Korean)
  • Egyptair
  • El Al
  • Etihad
  • Eznis (Mongolian)
  • Jetstar Asia
  • Jetstar Japan
  • Jetstar Pacific
  • Jin Air (Korean)
  • Lanmei Airlines (Cambodian)
  • Malindo Air (still serving HKG but renamed Batik Air Malaysia)
  • Mandarin Airlines (Taiwanese)
  • Myanmar National Airlines
  • Royal Jordanian
  • S7 Airlines (Russian)
  • Scandinavian
  • South African Airways
  • Spicejet
  • Thai Smile (merged into Thai Airways as of 2024)
  • Tibet Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia
New since the onset of the pandemic:
  • Batik Air Malaysia (originally present as Malindo)
  • Cambodia Angkor Air
  • Greater Bay Airlines
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Jianxi Air
  • Loong Air
  • Qingdao Air
  • Royal Air Philippines
  • Ruili Airlines
  • Tianjin Airlines
  • Urumqi Air
  • Vistara (Indian)
Announced interest in flying to HKG:
  • Air Algerie
  • Alii Palau
  • Be0nd (Maldivian)
  • Really Cool Airlines (Thai)
  • Slovenia Air
  • Solomon Airlines
  • Starlux
  • Tigerair Taiwan
Thoughts on the return of old airlines / prospects of the new and coming ones? Interesting that some of these that have gone are not flying to HK anymore but do fly to the mainland or Macau.

Last edited by US HK UK flyer; Feb 29, 2024 at 7:04 pm Reason: added Ruili; Cambodia Angkor now flying to HKG
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Old Aug 27, 2023, 1:18 pm
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Old Aug 28, 2023, 10:49 am
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Interesting list but some of these are really beyond HKG's control and has nothing to do with HKG as a market. Examples of this include Thai Smile being folded back into TG (similar to KA with CX) and VA switching business models and ditching all long haul flying. SA & SK have also had tough times as airlines so I'm not surprised HKG is not an important market for those carriers right now.
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Old Aug 28, 2023, 10:54 am
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Originally Posted by kevincrumbs
Interesting list but some of these are really beyond HKG's control and has nothing to do with HKG as a market. Examples of this include Thai Smile being folded back into TG (similar to KA with CX) and VA switching business models and ditching all long haul flying. SA & SK have also had tough times as airlines so I'm not surprised HKG is not an important market for those carriers right now.
Indeed; obviously a lot going on here (the Russian airlines have their own issues for example too..) I thought it would be interesting to speculate generally, including any problems faced by some of these airlines with respect to flying to HKG and not necessarily only with respect to HKG's ability to win them back.

VA is an interesting one as there was a lot of debate about their rationale. They pulled out when Covid restrictions were still relatively tough but blamed Russian airspace restrictions. And they are still flying to Shanghai along with destinations in India and Africa which suggests long-haul is still in the mix for them.

Last edited by US HK UK flyer; Aug 28, 2023 at 11:24 am
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Old Aug 30, 2023, 3:40 pm
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AA? DL?
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Old Aug 30, 2023, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by tentseller
AA? DL?
AA is on the list. I compared December 2019 to today in order to focus on political/pandemic disruption; Delta seems to have stopped flying to HK for normal business reasons in 2018.

FWIW it's easier to imagine AA returning to take advantage of connectivity via its OneWorld partner Cathay.
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Old Aug 31, 2023, 6:05 pm
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Originally Posted by US HK UK flyer
VA is an interesting one as there was a lot of debate about their rationale. They pulled out when Covid restrictions were still relatively tough but blamed Russian airspace restrictions. And they are still flying to Shanghai along with destinations in India and Africa which suggests long-haul is still in the mix for them.
VA is not flying to PVG, India or Africa. They fly to DPS (like every Australian airline does) and have a 737MAX route to HND from CNS. They no longer have any widebody aircraft so if they ever returned to HKG, it would have to be on a 737MAX from somewhere up north in Australia.
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Old Aug 31, 2023, 6:13 pm
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Originally Posted by kevincrumbs
VA is not flying to PVG, India or Africa. They fly to DPS (like every Australian airline does) and have a 737MAX route to HND from CNS. They no longer have any widebody aircraft so if they ever returned to HKG, it would have to be on a 737MAX from somewhere up north in Australia.
To be clear - I was writing about Virgin Atlantic, which does fly to those places, not Virgin Australia.
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Old Sep 5, 2023, 1:33 am
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Originally Posted by US HK UK flyer
To be clear - I was writing about Virgin Atlantic, which does fly to those places, not Virgin Australia.
Virgin Atlantic is VS
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Old Sep 6, 2023, 10:17 am
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How about listing passenger numbers by quarter from 2019 until now? With that large of a list, it seems like their numbers must be crazy low. Also AA's numbers must be much greater through Tokyo now since they're not going through HKG.
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Old Sep 11, 2023, 7:58 am
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Originally Posted by CrazyInteg
How about listing passenger numbers by quarter from 2019 until now? With that large of a list, it seems like their numbers must be crazy low. Also AA's numbers must be much greater through Tokyo now since they're not going through HKG.
Passenger numbers were pretty nonexistent from March 2020-late 2022 due to pandemic-related long arrival quarantines and airline bans if they brought in infected passengers. That accounts for most of the departed airlines here, as well the difficulties and expense of getting services back up due to post-Covid labor shortages.
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Old Sep 11, 2023, 11:18 am
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Looks like passenger numbers are currently half of what they were in 2018/2019. How do they get those back up? Can they? I wonder how hotel occupancy is in HK.

Source : https://www.hongkongairport.com/en/t...t-figures.page
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Old Sep 11, 2023, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by CrazyInteg
Looks like passenger numbers are currently half of what they were in 2018/2019. How do they get those back up? Can they? I wonder how hotel occupancy is in HK.

Source : https://www.hongkongairport.com/en/t...t-figures.page
The biggest immediate bottleneck, so we are told, is the number of airport workers. HK is importing more to deal with this. Without more workers it's been difficult/expensive to restart flights for many airlines because of the need for baggage handling, etc. Demand isn't the biggest problem: CX flights have been running fairly full and fares are sky high as a result of the supply/demand disparity.

Some of the difficulties reconnecting are political, and not just HK politics - Russian airlines and Russian airspace also continue to be issues, particularly for US airlines flying from the East Coast.
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Old Sep 17, 2023, 11:24 am
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One to add to the list of new airlines coming above...Vistara is starting flights from Delhi:

https://simpleflying.com/vistara-del...irbus-a321neo/

This is sort of a weird one though. Not only will Vistara be competing with Cathay, IndiGo, *and* Air India on this route, but it is adding routes even as the plan is to fold it into Air India next year. So wonder if there is *that* much demand from Delhi to HK and if this means higher frequency on Air India after the merger is complete.
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Old Sep 25, 2023, 5:32 pm
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Didn't see this one coming for a much longer period of time...Aeroflot returning:

https://tass.com/economy/1678601

I've heard rumors this has to do with them solving "insurance issues" on at least some of their planes opening up more destinations.
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