27. June 2011 10:17
The Hong Kong Airlines has decided to vigorously compete with Cathay Pacific and will be ordering Airbus SAS A380s to augment its fleet. By adding its flights in China, the airline hopes to increase its share in the world’s rapidly growing air travel market.
The airline will be ordering the superjumbos at the Paris Air Show, which started June 20, 2011.
By acquiring A380s, the Hong Kong Airlines hopes to compete with Cathay Pacific Airways on long haul routes.
Earlier this year, the airline also ordered six 777 freighters and Boeing 787s. The move is aimed at strengthening its network and to attract business travelers.
According to a statement by Boeing, the Hong Kong Airlines has already placed orders for 12 A330s, 15 A350s and 30 Airbus A320s in May this year.
Yang Jianhong, President of Hong Airlines, has indicated that the airline is hoping to double the number of passengers this year to four million. The airline is eyeing to tap growing travel demand in China by adding the number of flights here. Presently, the airline accounts for less than 10 percent share of outbound travel market of Hong Kong.
Later this year, leading Chinese carrier China Southern is due to receive its first superjumbo. The Hong Kong Airlines will be second carrier in Greater China to place A380s orders with the Boeing.
Boeing has said that it has sold 234 A380s altogether. The planemaker has so far delivered 49 superjumbos by end of May.
While on one hand, Hong Kong Airlines is trying to compete with Cathay Pacific by ordering superjumbos, the Cathay Pacific Airways has other plans. The Cathay Pacific has decided not to place orders for A380s now. It will instead be include smaller planes to refurbish the long haul fleet. The airline has placed orders for 30 A350s, 10 Boeing 777-300ERs and 15 Airbus A33 - 300s this year. John Slosar, CEO of Cathay Pacific Airways, said, “We’ll probably have another good look at big aircraft in the next one or two years.”