All Hail Hong Kong’s Low Cost Carrier!

It’s been a funny old week for me aviation wise (here she goes again droning on about planes).  Exactly one week ago I was on a 747’s final flight from London to Hong Kong as the jumbos are to be replaced by the fresh-faced A380.  Then one week later, I was on the inaugural flight of Hong Kong’s first low-cost carrier (LCC) Hong Kong Express, from Hong Kong to Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Hong Kong Express Inaugural Flight

Hong Kong Express is a welcome addition to the Hong Kong travel market.  For many years we’ve had no choice but to pay through the nose on certain routes due to lack of competition.  Hong Kong Express offers cheaper seats thanks to its no frills e.g. seat back TV, food, checked bag.  I don’t know about you but as long as the plane is safe, I’m quite happy to save money forgo extras on a shorthaul flight.  I’ve also been disappointed by the lack of ‘frills’ on the ‘not-so-low-cost airlines’ operating old planes with very little onboard entertainment and patchy service.

HK Express

I want to see Hong Kong Express succeed and they have grand expansion plans in the works.  Their relatively new fleet (A320s) are comfortable and more importantly, ticket prices are good value.  They currently fly to 8 destinations in Asia and I’m looking forward to seeing what new destinations open up next year (I’ve got my fingers crossed for direct flights to Luang Prabang and Siem Reap).  More importantly, it will be interesting to examine what effect this level of competition has on Hong Kong’s airline industry.  Fingers crossed, a positive outcome for the traveller….

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