It is tempting to portray Hong Kong Airlines as a fresher Cathay Pacific, one of Asia’s – and the world’s – blue chip airlines. After building up a regional network centred on mainland China, Hong Kong Airlines is expanding long haul with high profile flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. London and other European destinations are inevitable. As with Cathay, Hong Kong Airlines has new aircraft, and is investing in on-board product and an airport lounge.
Yet Hong Kong Airlines is missing fundamental commercial elements and is still navigating its complicated identity of being a nearly mainland Chinese airline in the internationally minded Hong Kong, “Asia’s world city”.
Hong Kong Airlines is taking a long while to mature, and now Cathay Pacific, which has recently struggled, is restructuring to become more agile. The race is on: not for aircraft, flights, and ego – but for which company can be smarter, more modern and in touch with the market.
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