Future of United at HKG

Old Jun 4, 19, 4:09 pm
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Future of United at HKG

I'm assuming that UA sees value in HKG, since they're planning on building a Polaris lounge there.

But, UA's presence at HKG isn't what it used to be.

They used to fly to NRT, LAX, SIN, and SGN (maybe more?). Now they only have ORD, SFO, EWR, and GUM (am I missing another destination?).

Does anyone know what the deal is?
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Old Jun 4, 19, 4:16 pm
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Originally Posted by NYC2SGN View Post
They used to fly to NRT, LAX, SIN, and SGN (maybe more?). Now they only have ORD, SFO, EWR, and GUM (am I missing another destination?).

Does anyone know what the deal is?
Sure. They were never able to make money on LAX-HKG. HKG-SIN and HKG-SGN weren't even intended to make money; they existed solely to keep from having to pay overnight parking fees at HKG. And NRT-HKG went away when they eliminated the UA hub at NRT in favor of more nonstop flights from the US (not to HKG, but to China and Singapore in particular).

UA has more lift to HKG than AA and DL combined. They clearly see it as an integral part of their Asia strategy.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 4:22 pm
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Originally Posted by NYC2SGN View Post
I'm assuming that UA sees value in HKG, since they're planning on building a Polaris lounge there.
I'll be very surprised (and pleased) if a Polaris lounge actually materializes. The current lounge is mediocre at best, and the food/beverage offerings are bottom-of-the-barrel.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 4:46 pm
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Originally Posted by FlytheTail View Post
I'll be very surprised (and pleased) if a Polaris lounge actually materializes. The current lounge is mediocre at best, and the food/beverage offerings are bottom-of-the-barrel.
I've never been to a Global First lounge, so I can only compare the United Club at HKG to the ones in the U.S. At least the HKG Club has more food options than the ones in the U.S.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 4:54 pm
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Originally Posted by NYC2SGN View Post
I've never been to a Global First lounge, so I can only compare the United Club at HKG to the ones in the U.S. At least the HKG Club has more food options than the ones in the U.S.
Others might feel differently, but I find the food at Thai's lounge is much better than United's. The drink is slightly better too.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 4:55 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
HKG-SIN and HKG-SGN weren't even intended to make money; they existed solely to keep from having to pay overnight parking fees at HKG.
I get that part.

So, maybe they had to give up the HKG-SIN route after they launched their second flight to SIN. But with SGN they switched that route to a 737 after a few years --so the wide-bodies were still parked overnight at HKG.

Seems like there are still a good number of UA fliers who transit through HKG (via HX, CX, and MH), but operating intra-Asia flights wouldn't be profitable for UA since that market has gotten more competitive.

Originally Posted by fumje View Post
Others might feel differently, but I find the food at Thai's lounge is much better than United's. The drink is slightly better too.
Have yet to check out the TG lounge at HKG, but I liked SQ's lounge at HKG.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jun 4, 19 at 9:04 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jun 4, 19, 5:21 pm
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Originally Posted by NYC2SGN View Post
Does anyone know what the deal is?
The 787 is the deal.

SIN is a good example of this: 2x daily made possible by the 787. Would also speculate additional markets will open with non-stop ex. US service by UA as well (e.g. BKK, SGN, etc.)

That's not to say I'm a personal fan of the 787 for ULH but rather from an ops perspective, UA's ERJ of the Pacific is allowing it hit more primary and secondary cities in Asia as non-stops negating the need for tag flights.

As for HKG specifically, my guess is you'll see UA launch new routes ex-US there (e.g. IAD/IAH/LAX > HKG) vs bringing back tag legs at HKG.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 5:46 pm
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Originally Posted by J.Edward View Post
As for HKG specifically, my guess is you'll see UA launch new routes ex-US there (e.g. IAD/IAH/LAX > HKG) vs bringing back tag legs at HKG.
Because of O/D traffic driven by both business and leisure. Itís a perfect east-west high-end mix that appeals, which is why I think the Polaris lounge will materialize.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 6:03 pm
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HKG has huge premium business. There's no way UA will be abandoning it.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 6:10 pm
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I don't understand the question. Flying point-to-point within Asia no longer makes sense for U.S. legacies, which is why it's been cut by both UA and DL. Says nothing about the profitability or ongoing viability of long-haul U.S. to HKG routes.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 6:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
I don't understand the question. Flying point-to-point within Asia no longer makes sense for U.S. legacies, which is why it's been cut by both UA and DL. Says nothing about the profitability or ongoing viability of long-haul U.S. to HKG routes.

Originally Posted by NYC2SGN View Post
But, UA's presence at HKG isn't what it used to be.

Does anyone know what the deal is?
​​​​​​

easy answer: UA got new planes that can make ULH nonstop nonstop easier/cheaper. They are chasing the higher revenue/profit passengers (who want this nonstop/Polaris/premium service), and leaving the lower revenue/cheaper/connecting flights to JV ANA via the NRT hub (or even nonalliance CX/KA/MH via HKG hub)

As to why tag flights doesn't make sense (versus paying for parking fees)? Crew costs, airline maintenance in hkg(????) and revenue doesn't cut it, especially with so many LCCs doing hkg-sin?

Back then these tag flights were cheap with low loads even before LCCs came into the pictutr

Last edited by paperwastage; Jun 4, 19 at 6:37 pm
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Old Jun 4, 19, 6:25 pm
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Unless more routes are added, I just donít see UA installing a Polaris Lounge in HK unless LH, LX and other *A partners are willing to pay for it.

HK is not as profitable as it used to be. Even CX has had to cut fares and lower on board amenity to drum up traffic and lower cost. There a lot of competition now in HK than ever before.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 6:31 pm
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Isnít HKG a vital airport for some of their corporate clients like Apple? Having direct flights to/from the the US with Polaris could be part of UAís strategy for keeping those clients from the competition.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 6:33 pm
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Originally Posted by UA_Flyer View Post
Unless more routes are added, I just don’t see UA installing a Polaris Lounge in HK unless LH, LX and other *A partners are willing to pay for it..
I think that is very much UA's expectation (that LH/LX traffic will at a minimum help support the lounge). The *A options at HKIA are not very good right now. I believe either LH or LX is currently paying to send its pax to one of the Plaza Premium lounges.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 6:47 pm
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When I'm leaving HKG for the US I hit the SQ lounge first for the comfortable seating. Next is the AMEX lounge where the champagne and the food are good. Finally it's UA so I can get the latest on any delays. If I'm leaving HKG for mainland China, I'm flying CX and spend my time at the Wing.

The seating in the AMEX lounge is the worst. These guys clearly don't want you hanging around too long.

I tried TG a couple times and didn't like it much.
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