Hong Kong Express Airways: Wikis

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- formerly Heli-Express

Hong Kong Express
香港快運
IATA
UO
ICAO
HKE
Callsign
HONGKONG SHUTTLE
Founded 10 March 2004
Hubs Hong Kong International Airport
Frequent flyer program Fortune Wings Club
Fleet size 7 (+55 orders)
Destinations 13
Company slogan Fly. To discover
Parent company Hainan Airlines
Headquarters Hong Kong
Key people * Yang Jian Hong (President)
* Kalid Razack (CEO)
* Ronal Lim (COO)
Website www.hongkongexpress.com
Hong Kong Express Boeing 737-800
Hong Kong Express Boeing 737-800 (B-KXG)

Hong Kong Express Airways Limited (traditional Chinese: 香港快運航空有限公司, formerly 港聯航空有限公司Jyutping: hoeng1 gong2 faai3 wan6 hong4 hung1 jau5 haan6 gung1 si1), is an airline based in Hong Kong, with its main hub at Hong Kong International Airport. The airline operates scheduled passenger services to 19 destinations in seven countries across Asia, including codeshares with its sister airline, Hong Kong Airlines. It has an all Boeing fleet of narrow-body aircraft and a confirmed joint order, with Hong Kong Airlines, of 51 narrow- and wide-body aircraft with Airbus.

The airline was incorporated on 10 March 2004 and was owned by Macau casino entrepreneur Stanley Ho. It became Hong Kong's fourth passenger airline when it received a revised Air Operator's Certificate in July 2005. The same month, the airine took delivery of its first 76-seat twinjet Embraer 170 and became the Asian launch operator of the regional jet. The airline initial use of its first Embraer 170 was on charter services to Taichung on 3 September 2005, followed by scheduled passenger services to Guangzhou on 8 September. On 3 August 2006, HNA Group, the parent company of Hainan Airlines, announced a finalised agreement to acquire a 45 percent stake in the airline and the approval was received on 16 September. The airline became a sister airline with Hong Kong Airlines (formerly CR Airways), which HNA Group also owned a 45 percent stake. Since the beginning of 2007, the airline went through some major expansions and changes. These include the replacement of its four Embraer 170s with the introduction of the next generation Boeing 737-800. The introduction of scheduled passenger services to 15 new destinations across Asia as well as the introduction of a new brand identity and Chinese name.

Contents

History

Hong Kong Express Airways Limited was incorporated on 10 March 2004, with the former traditional chinese name, 港聯航空有限公司, added on 21 April 2004.[1] The airline was owned by Macau casino entrepreneur Stanley Ho.[2] In July 2004, Hong Kong's helicopter operator Heli Hong Kong officially announced plans to commence fixed-wing operation via Hong Kong Express, to become Hong Kong's fourth passenger airline. It was planning to introduce regional jet services to secondary cities in mainland China and was in negotiations with Bombardier and Embraer for the lease of several 50- or 70-seat regional jets.[3] In April 2005, the airline was granted permission to transport passengers, cargo and mail from Hong Kong to selected destinations in China and permitted to apply for traffic rights to serve 15 Chinese cities.[4] The next month, it received approval to operate scheduled air services to five cities in China, including Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Ningbo.[5] The airline had its Air Operator's Certificate varied in July 2005 for the operation of Embraer 170 aircraft.[6] The same month, it took delivery of its first of four 76-seat twinjet Embraer 170, leased from General Electric Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS), and became the Asian launch operator of this regional jet. Two more aircraft were delivered in 2005, with the remaining delivered in May 2006.[7][8][9]

The airline's initial use of its first Embraer 170 was on charter services to Taichung, Republic of China (Taiwan), on 3 September 2005; after it received approval from Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council on 30 August. Taiwanese carrier Mandarin Airlines, who also filed an application to operate the same charter flight route, was unable to gain approval from the Hong Kong Administration. It was reported that Hong Kong's refusal was because it was dissatisfied that the Taiwanese government used the charter flight route as a political campaign instrument.[10][11] The first scheduled passenger services began to Guangzhou on 8 September 2005, with services to Hangzhou and Ningbo following in October and December, respectively.[6][12] On 19 November 2005, Hong Kong Air Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA) granted the airline additional licences to operate scheduled services to 16 destinations in mainland China, as well as Koh Samui, Okinawa, Siem Reap and Taichung.[13] Scheduled passenger services to Chiang Mai and Chongqing were inaugurated on 22 June 2006 and 31 July 2006, respectively. It was the first non-stop service between Hong Kong and northern Thailand's hot spot, Chiang Mai, with a twice weekly service on Thursdays and Sundays.[14][15]

On 3 August 2006, HNA Group, the parent company of Hainan Airlines, announced a finalised agreement to acquire a 45 percent stake in Hong Kong Express; this followed an earlier purchase of a 45 percent holdings in CR Airways in June. Under the terms of the agreement, the airline would remain a Hong Kong registered airline and there would be no changes to the current operations. Analysts said that the HNA Group had the weakest international network amongst all the mainland airlines. By purchasing both Hong Kong Express and CR Airways, it would enable Hainan Airlines to expand internationally via its junior partners from Hong Kong.[16][17] On 16 September 2006, the airlines announced its receipt of approval to sell a 45 percent stake to HNA Group, as well as the purchase of Boeing 737 narrowbody twin-jet aircraft. It was anticipated that it would receive the new aircraft later in 2006, while the number of aircraft ordered was yet to be confirmed.[18]

The airline inaugurated scheduled passenger services to Chengdu on 16 November 2006.[19] This was following by Xian in April 2007, Guiyang in July 2007, Bangkok in September 2007, and Kathmandu, Kuala Lumpur and Yangon in November 2007, in addition to the resumption of services to Nanjing on 17 July 2007.[20][21] The airline took delivery of its first of seven Boeing 737-800 aircraft on 22 January 2007. The introduction of this next generation aircraft would enable the airline to extend its services beyond China to wider East Asia. The Boeing 737-800s are configured with 164 seats across two cabin classes, 8 seats in Business Class and 156 seats in Economy Class. The new aircraft was unveiled with its new brand identity in a ceremony held at Hong Kong’s Four Seasons Hotel. The new brand identity included a new look logo, aircraft livery, website, crew uniforms and a new Chinese name 香港快運航空有限公司. The new look logo consists of a contemporary and stylised representation of the mythical creature Pi Xiu.[22][23]

On 23 January 2008, the airline was the third Hong Kong carrier permitted, by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department, to operate flights to and from Beijing and Shanghai. To facilitate the expansion, it announced a further six Boeing 737-800 would be added to its fleet before the end of the year.[24]

Destinations

In 2008, the airline introduced new scheduled passenger services to Okinawa, Japan on 3 April; Kagoshima, Japan on 28 April; Nagoya, Japan on 15 May; Shanghai, China on 11 June; Seoul, South Korea on 25 July; Osaka, Japan on 6 September; Phuket, Thailand on 10 September; Denpasar, Indonesia on 11 September; and Manila, Philippines on 25 September.[25][26]

Fleet

Hong Kong Express operates four passenger aircraft, fitted with two classes of service (Business and Economy Class). All aircraft are equipped with video broadcasting system with 20 9 inches (23 cm)-wide ceiling- or wall-mounted liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors, with two in Business Class and 18 in Economy Class.[27][28]

Hong Kong Express Passenger Fleet (as of 10 August 2009 (2009 -08-10))
Aircraft Total[27] Orders[29] Passengers Note
C Y Total
Airbus A320
30
TBA
Short haul (joint order with Hong Kong Airlines)
Airbus A330-200
20
TBA
Medium/long haul (joint order with Hong Kong Airlines)
Airbus Corporate Jet
1
TBA
(joint order with Hong Kong Airlines)
Boeing 737-800
7
7
8
156
164
Short haul
Total 7 55
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Aircraft orders

On 21 June 2007, the airline signed an MOU with Airbus to acquire 30 Airbus A320s, 20 Airbus A330-200s and one Airbus Corporate Jet. The order was subsequently confirmed with the signing of a firm contract with Airbus on 12 September 2007; and it will be shared between the airline and its sister airline, Hong Kong Airlines.[29][30][31]

Retired

Aircraft that have been in service with Hong Kong Express are:

Loyalty programmes

The Fortune Wings Club is the loyalty programme for Hong Kong Express and its sister airlines, including Grand China Air, Grand China Express, Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Lucky Air and West Air. Membership benefits include air ticket redemption and upgrade; VIP members have additional privileges of dedicated First or Business Class check in counters, lounge access, bonus mileage and extra baggage allowance.[32]

Services

Codeshare agreements

Hong Kong Express has a codeshare agreement with its sister airline, Hong Kong Airlines, to Changsha, Guilin, Haikou, Hanoi, Kunming and Xiamen.[33]

References

  1. ^ "Public Services - Registration of a new company". Government of Hong Kong. http://www.cr.gov.hk/en/public/services.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  2. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International (Reed Business Information): p. 91. 2007-04-03. 
  3. ^ Ionides, Nicholas (6-12 July 2004). "Helicopter operator aims for Hong Kong airline services" (PDF). Flight International (Reed Business Information): p. 12. http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/2004/2004-09%20-%201103.html. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  4. ^ Francis, Leithen (26 April 2005). "Hong Kong pair near China rights". Flight International (Reed Business Information). http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2005/04/26/197074/hong-kong-pair-near-china-rights.html. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  5. ^ Embraer (27 September 2005). "Embraer Delivers Embraer 170 to Hong Kong Express" (PDF). Press release. http://www.embraer.com.br/institucional/download/2_083-Com-VPC-Hong_Kong_170_Delivery-I-05.pdf. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  6. ^ a b "Hong Kong 2005 - Civil Aviation". Government of Hong Kong. 2005. http://www.yearbook.gov.hk/2005/en/13_22.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  7. ^ "Embraer wins 170 Asian breakthrough" (PDF). Flight International (Reed Business Information): p. 9. 7-13 December 2004. http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/2004/2004-09%20-%202564.html. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  8. ^ a b "First E-170 for Asia arrives". Flight International (Reed Business Information). 26 July 2005. http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2005/07/26/200552/first-e-170-for-asia-arrives.html. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  9. ^ "Hong Kong 2006 - Civil Aviation". Government of Hong Kong. 2006. http://www.yearbook.gov.hk/2006/en/13_21.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  10. ^ "HK airline allowed to operate HK-Taichung charter flights". People's Daily Online. 31 August 2005. http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200508/31/eng20050831_205471.html. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  11. ^ Shih, Hsiu-Chuan (24 September 2005). "MAC urges Hong Kong to allow flights". The Taipei Times. http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2005/09/24/2003272971. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  12. ^ "Hong Kong Express launches Guangzhou flights". Asia Times Online. 14 September 2005. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China_Business/GI14Cb01.html. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  13. ^ Air Transport Licensing Authority (19 November 2005). "Decision on Hong Kong Express Airways' application for licence to operate scheduled services" (PDF). Press release. http://www.thb.gov.hk/eng/boards/transport/air/press_relase_191105hkea.pdf. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  14. ^ Hong Kong Express (22 June 2006). "Hong Kong Express Airways Launches Flights to Chiang Mai". Press release. http://www.hongkongexpress.com/web/eng/news_e.php?id=press_2006Jun22. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  15. ^ Hong Kong Express (31 July 2006). "Hong Kong Express Airways Celebrates New Route Launch". Press release. http://www.hongkongexpress.com/web/eng/news_e.php?id=press_2006Jul31. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  16. ^ Hong Kong Express (03 August 2006). "Hong Kong Express Airways Confirms HNA Group Deal". Press release. http://www.hongkongexpress.com/web/eng/news_e.php?id=press_2006Aug3. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  17. ^ Lu, Haoting (03 August 2006). "HNA in talks to buy stake in HK airline". China Daily. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2006-08/03/content_656109.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  18. ^ Hong Kong Express (13 September 2006). "Hong Kong Express Airways To Expand Fleet with Boeing 737s". Press release. http://www.hongkongexpress.com/web/eng/news_e.php?id=press_2006Sep13. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  19. ^ Hong Kong Express (16 November 2006). "Hong Kong Express Airways Launches Hong Kong Chengdu Service". Press release. http://www.hongkongexpress.com/web/eng/news_e.php?id=press_2006Nov16. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  20. ^ "Hong Kong 2007 - Transport" (PDF). Government of Hong Kong. 2007. http://www.yearbook.gov.hk/2007/en/pdf/E13.pdf. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  21. ^ Hong Kong Express (17 July 2007). "Hong Kong Express Airways Resumes Flights to Nanjing". Press release. http://www.hongkongexpress.com/web/eng/news_e.php?id=press_2007Jul17. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  22. ^ Hong Kong Express (22 January 2007). "Hong Kong Express Airways Turns New Page With Arrival Of First B737". Press release. http://www.hongkongexpress.com/web/eng/news_e.php?id=press_2007Jan22. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  23. ^ Hong Kong Express (29 January 2007). "Hong Kong Express Airways Unveils New Identity". Press release. http://www.hongkongexpress.com/web/eng/news_e.php?id=press_2007Jan29. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  24. ^ Hong Kong Express (22 January 2008). "Hong Kong Express Airways Granted Beijing and Shanghai Routes". Press release. http://www.hongkongexpress.com/web/eng/news_e.php?id=press_2008Jan22. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  25. ^ "About Us". Hong Kong Express. http://www.hongkongexpress.com/web/eng/AboutUs/profile_e.php. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  26. ^ Hong Kong Express (15 May 2008). "Hong Kong Express Airways Launches Nagoya Route". Press release. http://www.hongkongexpress.com/web/eng/news_e.php?id=press_2008May15. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  27. ^ a b "Hong Kong Express". CH-Aviation. http://ch-aviation.ch/aircraft.php?search=set&airline=HKE&al_op=1. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  28. ^ "Entertainment". Hong Kong Express. http://www.hongkongexpress.com/web/eng/Onboard/entertainment_e.php. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  29. ^ a b c "Our Fleet". Hong Kong Express. http://www.hongkongexpress.com/web/eng/AboutUs/profile2_e.php. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  30. ^ Airbus (21 June 2007). "Hong Kong airlines buys 51 widebody and single aisle Airbus aircraft". Press release. http://www.airbus.com/en/presscentre/pressreleases/pressreleases_items/07_06_21_hong_kong_wide_single.html. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  31. ^ Airbus (12 September 2007). "Hong Kong Airlines seals Airbus deal at Asian Aerospace". Press release. http://www.airbus.com/en/presscentre/pressreleases/pressreleases_items/07_09_12_hongkong.html. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  32. ^ "Fortune Wings Club". Fortune Wings Club. http://ffp.hnair.com/FFPCluben/. Retrieved 2009-08-01. 
  33. ^ Hong Kong Express (18 June 2009). "Flight Timetable (20 May - 24 October 2009)" (PDF). Press release. http://www.hongkongexpress.com/web/pdf/scheduleInPDF/Schedule-upd26Jun09_e.pdf. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 

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