Mandala Airlines announced plans to launch services from Jakarta to Hong Kong and Macau on 19-Jul-2010 and 21-Jul-2010, respectively (China News, 07-Jul-2010). No frequency details were disclosed. The carrier launched its first international route, to Singapore Changi, in late Jun-2010.
Mandala to expand international network with Hong Kong, Macau
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Indonesia-based Lion Group expanded its fleet by 16 aircraft in 1H2016, cementing its position as the largest airline group in Southeast Asia. Lion now has a fleet of more than 250 aircraft while its rival AirAsia – the region’s second largest group – has under 200 aircraft based in Southeast Asia.
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HK Express receives first A321 and awaits A320neo as Hong Kong's LCC rate grows to 10 percent
HK Express continues to work towards its goal of ending 2018 with 50 aircraft. HK Express will end 2016 with 18 aircraft, including its first A321s and A320neo. The A321s provide additional capacity per movement – important to bring costs down, but also to grow where traffic and slots (at Hong Kong and abroad) do not permit.
Asian LCCs are increasingly gravitating to larger aircraft to try to overcome insufficient infrastructure. Larger narrowbodies at LCCs gained wide awareness with AirAsia's A321 order, although many other LCCs will operate larger types before AirAsia receives its first A321. The A320neo brings additional range, besides the usual efficiency improvements.
HK Express plans to end 2017 with 32 aircraft. Even if sustainable markets can be found, this is rapid growth for an opaque slot system at Hong Kong International Airport. HK Express' continued growth will further boost the share of seats that LCCs operate at Hong Kong. LCCs account for 10% of capacity at Hong Kong in 2016 – up from 5% in 2012. The gains have mostly been earned due to HK Express. With as much success as HK Express claims, it might now be time for the LCC to open its books and present transparent financial reports.