Hong Kong Airlines’ New Expansion Plans: New Destinations, New Lounges And More!

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Last month Hong Kong Airlines took delivery of their first A350, which is currently sitting on the ground at Hong Kong Airport. Hong Kong Airlines is singlehandedly the airline I haven’t flown that I most want to fly – they feature a business class product that I’m really intrigued in, they’re growing substantially, and they’re also starting to launch routes with their A350, which will be the core of the airline’s expansion in the next few years. While I have flights on Hong Kong Airlines in the future, they won’t be in Hong Kong Airlines’ flagship business class product (unless there’s an equipment swap), so I’m still aspiring to book myself on one of Hong Kong Airlines’ flagship business class planes.

a plane flying in the skyHong Kong Airlines Airbus A330-300 Hong Kong Airport

Hong Kong Airlines has always had reasonable fares, aside from their new Hong Kong to Los Angeles route, which is pricing at the market average of HK$35,000 (you’d figure they wouldn’t charge so much, since Cathay Pacific and American Airlines have long established themselves, and both charge around the same amount).

Hong Kong Airlines released two aspects of their expansion plan recently, so I decided I’d share them below:

Hong Kong Airlines wants to expand to London, New York and San Francisco

Now that Hong Kong is launching to Los Angeles, Hong Kong Airlines has announced plans to fly their A350s to London, New York and San Francisco. Hong Kong Airlines used to operate all-business class A330s to London Gatwick, though that didn’t work out for them. They’re currently predicting that their A350s will be able to earn them profits on these three routes.

Cathay Pacific currently monopolises the Hong Kong to New York route, so I think that Hong Kong Airlines will be able to drive down prices in that market.

London and San Francisco are both pretty high-yield routes – on the London route, Hong Kong Airlines’ new A350 product will undoubtedly be better than British Airways’ business class product, especially when their next few A350s are delivered with reverse herringbone seats. They’d be able to compete with Cathay Pacific with seat comfort in business class, which travelers treasure.

a row of red and white seatsHong Kong Airlines Airbus A350-900 Business Class

I’d even take Hong Kong Airlines’ business class product over Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class, which charges prices at over HK$36,000 – this is something that I’m pretty sure business travelers will be able to pick up on.

inside an airplane with purple lightsVirgin Atlantic Boeing 787-9 Upper Class

I’m not sure how Hong Kong Airlines would perform on the San Francisco route, though, as they’re going up against both Cathay Pacific and United, which offer their flagship business class products. They’d have to charge pretty low prices or improve their onboard experience reputation significantly in order for passengers to choose them over Cathay Pacific or United.

a large white airplane flying in the skyUnited Boeing 777-300ER Departing Hong Kong Airport

However, I’m excited to see that these markets will have a new competitor, and wouldn’t hesitate to fly Hong Kong Airlines’ A350 if the price was write.

Hong Kong Airlines’ New Autus Lounge

Per AusBT, Hong Kong Airlines has opened their new Autus lounge at Hong Kong Airport, located at the midfield terminal. While this lounge is definitely built in respect to Hong Kong Airlines’ expansion and ownership of Hong Kong Airport’s midfield terminal, those on Hong Kong Airlines departing from the main terminal will have access as well, simply by taking the “Automated People Mover” train one stop past gates 40-80.

The Autus lounge looks really nice, and is probably Hong Kong Airlines’ better lounge at Hong Kong Airport (the Bauhinia lounge looks like it’s starting to show its age). It’ll probably be able to compare with some of Cathay Pacific’s lounges at Hong Kong, including their lounges The Bridge and The Wing. Cathay Pacific has a truly world-class business class lounge at Hong Kong called The Pier, though, which I don’t think the Autus lounge will be able to compete with.

a room with chairs and tables Hong Kong Airlines Autus Lounge Hong Kong Airport

a room with a dog on a couch Hong Kong Airlines Autus Lounge Hong Kong Airport

a room with a large white counter Hong Kong Airlines Autus Lounge Hong Kong Airport

a room with a couch and tables Hong Kong Airlines Autus Lounge Hong Kong Airport

a room with tables and chairs Hong Kong Airlines Autus Lounge Hong Kong Airport

a room with a television and a tableHong Kong Airlines Autus Lounge Hong Kong Airport

You bet I’ll be visiting this lounge when I’m scheduled in Hong Kong Airlines’ business class, where I’ll spend a bit more time at the lounge just to get a better review.

Bottom Line

I’m excited to see Hong Kong Airlines’ expansion, and look forward to trying them on a longhaul route in the future. I’m excited to see how Hong Kong Airlines will price these routes – they seem to have priced their Los Angeles route higher than they have any other, which may give us a signal regarding the direction they seem to be going towards in the future. I can see Hong Kong Airlines potentially becoming a big competitor to Cathay Pacific in the future.

Is anyone scheduled on Hong Kong Airlines in the future? Have you visited Hong Kong Airlines’ Autus lounge?

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