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What is the future of Hong Kong in the Unitedís Asia Route Network? Alternatives?

What is the future of Hong Kong in the Unitedís Asia Route Network? Alternatives?

Old Jun 1, 22, 12:18 am
  #16  
 
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I used to have it bookmarked but can’t find it anymore, there was a great article in the Chicago newspaper circa 1998 about everything UA had to go through to get that ORD-HKG going - specifically negotiating with the Russians and Chinese, and lots of other behinds the scenes stuff which was just very interesting for an av-geek like me to read about. IIRC the planning for that ORD flight started in 1996, and the first flight was in June of 1998.
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Old Jun 1, 22, 12:53 am
  #17  
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Originally Posted by n198ua View Post
Canít find the data. but Iím sure someone here knows, didnít UA at one time or another have 1or2 dailiys from SFO, 1 from LAX, 1 from ORD, 1 from EWR, and (maybe) 1 from IAD to HKG at one point or another in the past ? Certainly at some point, some time, a couple of those flights have to come back. IIRC, the 2nd daily SFO flight was announced but never made it due to COVID.
During PMUA days, the following flights to/from HKG were in service:

2X SFO-HKG-SFO (one morning and one evening)
1X LAX-HKG-LAX
1X NRT-HKG-NRT
1X SIN-HKG-SIN (later became BKK-HKG, then SGN-HKG)
1X DEL-HKG-DEL (as part of RTW)
There was ORD-HKG and JFK-HKG introduced later, and then UA terminated the NRT-HKG

RTW was cancelled, and then later LAX-HKG was also cancelled, restarted and cancelled again. Finally SGN got canned.

Post Meger:
EWR-HKG (instead of JFK) GUM-HKG were added

UA never operated IAD-HKG (CX did for a few months prior to Covid, IIRC)
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Old Jun 1, 22, 1:38 am
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by UA_Flyer View Post
During PMUA days, the following flights to/from HKG were in service:

2X SFO-HKG-SFO (one morning and one evening)
1X LAX-HKG-LAX
1X NRT-HKG-NRT
1X SIN-HKG-SIN (later became BKK-HKG, then SGN-HKG)
1X DEL-HKG-DEL (as part of RTW)
There was ORD-HKG and JFK-HKG introduced later, and then UA terminated the NRT-HKG

RTW was cancelled, and then later LAX-HKG was also cancelled, restarted and cancelled again. Finally SGN got canned.

Post Meger:
EWR-HKG (instead of JFK) GUM-HKG were added

UA never operated IAD-HKG (CX did for a few months prior to Covid, IIRC)
Thank you!
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Old Jun 1, 22, 2:07 am
  #19  
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1 slight tweak - HKG-SIN and HKG-SGN tags did operate simultaneously. Both were operated by 737 for a spell, and 747. SIN tag also saw 777 service

sadly, put a fork in HKG, itís toast as a robust destination or as a connector for UA
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Old Jun 1, 22, 2:26 am
  #20  
 
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The problem building SIN up as a major connecting city for UA is that too many connections would require back tracking. Better to use NRT or ICN, both geo-strategically friendly countries where multi year investment could pay off.

Not sure how much foreign business will be left in HKG by the time it fully reopens.
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Old Jun 1, 22, 3:16 am
  #21  
 
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So this is a long complex and not aviation specific response.

I used to fly EWR-HKG 6-8 times a year. Often I was going into mainland but was sometimes going to Taiwan, South Korea, Macau, Singapore, etc. a few times I connected at NRT and while having great food options adding a stop on the already long flight back to EWR kinda sucked.

all that said I donít think we see a revival of HKG the same way as post COVID. Even in 2019 the winds were shifting and I think COVID accelerated chinas control over the islands. Ever since the train opened between HKG and Shenzhen with china boarder control on the HKG side china has been exerting more control. Companies and most importantly people are rapidly leaving HKG for other countries.

the majority of both companies and people leaving are landing at Singapore. In a lot of ways SIN is a better connecting point. As things move out of mainland china (if you donít think ever major manufacturing company isnít looking at ways to source and build elsewhere you are crazy but this is a long term project. Canít just flip a switch to a new factory entire supply chains need to move- but they will) there is less need for as much HKG demand.

as the world picks back up and things move out of china Iím betting we see more directs to SIN, NRT/HND, and maybe even TPE (depending on how aggressive china gets). I think HKG will see continued service but much reduced.

it pains me to say that as HKG was one of my favorite cities to travel to- friendly people, great food, beautiful scenic views, etc. I hope one day HKG can become an international financial hub again but I think those days are dead and gone
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Old Jun 1, 22, 3:56 am
  #22  
 
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Iíll also add I used to enjoy HKG-GUM flights.

a few times per year Iíd route home through Hawaii for a vacation. Cutting the GUM route hurt when that happened.

id love to see more Asia options to GUM in the future from wherever the new ďhubĒ is
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Old Jun 1, 22, 5:47 am
  #23  
 
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Not to wander into OMNI land too much but HKG has had such an outflow of people, especially expats, that I cannot see it ever coming back. I will treasure the only time I have visited, which was in April 2019 - before the protests started and before COVID. Incredibly vibrant and an exciting place to be.
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Old Jun 1, 22, 7:49 am
  #24  
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Originally Posted by PsiFighter37 View Post
Not to wander into OMNI land too much but HKG has had such an outflow of people, especially expats, that I cannot see it ever coming back. I will treasure the only time I have visited, which was in April 2019 - before the protests started and before COVID. Incredibly vibrant and an exciting place to be.
And NOT breaking journey to experience some time in HKG is my single biggest travel regret. Besides the two week free (flights/hotels) Europe vacation I had to cancel due to COVID
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Old Jun 1, 22, 8:15 am
  #25  
 
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Yep, a terrible shame what's happened to HKG but as noted those winds were changing well before COVID. The pandemic simply accelerated a trend long in the making. In fact, as part of the 2018 year-end process (continuing into 2020), United took about a $300m impairment charge to write down to $0 the value of its HKG portfolio, consisting of parking positions, goodwill and other assets which dated back to Pan Am. While may in large part be some fuzzy math related to certain loan maturities, UA also noted that the negative long-term trends and negative cash flows the market would generate going forward. Again this is before the pandemic-related shutdown, which goes to show how things turned.

United's operations in NRT and HKG (despite the new airport) always carried a touch of nostalgia for me owing to the Pan Am roots, and some of the unique, longstanding outes, but those days are probably behind us.
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Old Jun 1, 22, 8:33 am
  #26  
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Never mind UA. I'm skeptical that HKG continues as a hub at all, or that CX will ever reattain former glory. Between the pandemic and the political context (not going down that rabbit hole, but let's just say Hong Kong's special status is over) I believe HKG is much diminished permanently. It's a tragedy. I used to adore my HKG visits and stopovers. I may have seen the last of them.
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Old Jun 1, 22, 9:16 am
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by UA_Flyer View Post
During PMUA days, the following flights to/from HKG were in service:

2X SFO-HKG-SFO (one morning and one evening)
1X LAX-HKG-LAX
1X NRT-HKG-NRT
1X SIN-HKG-SIN (later became BKK-HKG, then SGN-HKG)
1X DEL-HKG-DEL (as part of RTW)
There was ORD-HKG and JFK-HKG introduced later, and then UA terminated the NRT-HKG

RTW was cancelled, and then later LAX-HKG was also cancelled, restarted and cancelled again. Finally SGN got canned.

Post Meger:
EWR-HKG (instead of JFK) GUM-HKG were added

UA never operated IAD-HKG (CX did for a few months prior to Covid, IIRC)
UA operated 747SPs SEA-HKG
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Old Jun 1, 22, 9:57 am
  #28  
 
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While we're on the subject. Wasn't UA supposed to resume SFO-HKG on May 28? I just checked and looks like they're not due to resume until August 1 now. Don't recall any announcement about the schedule push back.
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Old Jun 1, 22, 11:50 am
  #29  
 
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With COVID and Hong Kong's approach to it, seems like UA flights to HKG will be limited. SFO-HKG seems most likely to be first. But agree that for braoder political reasons it's unlikely HKG will, even after Covid is basically "normal" (whenever that is), the robust number of flights to HKG just won't return.

The real question to me is what Asian hub(s) UA will use to serve onward *A carriers. They've moved out of NRT for HND for a number of flights, and SIN isn't great to then backtrack. ICN is Skyteam dominated because of Korean Air (esp. if Asiana purchase goes through). PEK is unattractive as hub. Gonna be a challenge and seems likely to be a grab bag depending on where you're going.
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Old Jun 1, 22, 12:47 pm
  #30  
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Besides the tie up with NH I doubt UA is bothered with the status of onward *A connections in Asia. They fill up their flights to their own endpoints as it is (setting aside COVID)
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