I’ve been very fascinated in Hong Kong Airlines’ business model. While I haven’t flown with them since 2013, I’ve stayed tuned to all their updates, including the fact that they actually have a more-than-decent business class product on select shorthaul flights, staggered Solstys-style seats.
Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A330-200 (courtesy Wikimedia)
One thing I didn’t report (I wanted to, but then there was work, and I’ve consistently been sleeping at 3 AM these days, so) was Hong Kong Airlines’ new flight to the Gold Coast, which runs under the schedule:
HX 15 HKG – OOL 21:20 – 08:30 333
HX 16 OOL – CNS 10:30 – 12:45 333
HX 16 CNS – HKG 13:55 – 19:10 333
While going via Cairns isn’t really the best thing ever, at least they explain it on their website, with numerous pop-ups with red text saying “STOPOVER IN CAIRNS”.
So a few days ago I decided to see how the route was doing. All screenshots are as of today. Economy was still selling, which was surprising given how popular of a destination the Gold Coast is. You’d think that Hong Kong Airlines blanked out those dates because they were full, but that’s because they don’t fly on those dates, so…
Economy class is filled to the brim with 13 assigned seats, four of which are middle seats despite everything else being available. That’s currently a 5% load.
Business class is somewhat more impressive, with 6.25% of the cabin marked. Unfortunately, that translates to two business class seats.
And that’s saying that February 9th is the day everyone’s flying, given that all the Chinese New Year dinners finish that night. Hell, even I’m flying that afternoon.
And that’s saying that Hong Kong Airlines makes it mandatory for each passenger to choose either a seat or a meal. On the Hong Kong to Bangkok flight (which has one seat remaining), 75% of people chose a seat, so I’m guessing that’s the same here. If that’s the case, it translates to 17 seats in economy (business class gets to select both). That’s still a measly 6.5% load…
Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A330-300 Economy Class
I’m sure hoping that’s not the case and there are enough seats for Hong Kong Airlines to sustain a profit, as I have no plans to get to the Gold Coast though would actually really like to in the future. There’s tremendous value in not having to go through Brisbane, especially at their prices.