Hong Kong Airlines has announced it will launch dailydirect services from London to Hong Kong next year. The carrier is currently intalks with Heathrow and Gatwick ahead of the operation launch in March and willact as a gateway into other China destinations currently underserved from theUK market. The route will serve premium seats only and expects to see an evensplit between UK and Chinese passengers.
“We will take delivery of three AirbusA330 next year which will have 116 seats [Airbuses normally have 250], whichwill have a 34 Club Premier and 82 Club Classic configuration,” Gerard Clarke, UKgeneral manager at Hong Kong Airlines told Travel Daily. “Our three key markets will be thecorporate top-end clientele, the SME market and premium leisure customers”.
Thelaunch follows the UK government’s trade mission to China and its corporationin helping business between the two countries. In addition, Hong Kong is oftenseen as a ‘premium gateway’ into Hong Kong, and HNA’s five year history andestablished network will offer connections into China.
Meanwhile, Clarke saidbuilding trade relationships is a priority for the carrier. It became the firstAsian airline to join GTMC this year and Clarke marked next year’s BusinessTravel Show as a key event before the flight launch. “We are building up our UKsales team and there will be fam trips so agents can see our product and thedestination,” said Clarke.