HK Airlines to quit London service

2012-08-08 12:46

Hong Kong - Hong Kong Airlines will end its service between Hong Kong and London due to poor demand, reports said on Wednesday, another blow to the carrier after authorities banned its expansion.

"The last flight from London to Hong Kong will be on September 10," Hong Kong Airlines General Manager Albert Chan told Dow Jones Newswires, meaning the service will have run for just seven months.

The airline uses three Airbus 330-200 planes for the flights which are fitted exclusively with business-class seats.

The service costs around HK$10m ($1.3m) a month to run, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported.

The airline did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The move followed an unprecedented aviation authority ban last month on the airline's expansion, limiting the types of aircraft the company can operate until the airline meets all safety requirements for operating a larger fleet.

The airline said it supported the conditions, adding they were sensible for a company at their stage of growth.

"Given the profitability of our regional routes, we believe that we now have the optimal fleet to continue to build a business... focused on Asia Pacific," an HKA spokesperson told AFP on Monday.

Hong Kong Airlines was established in 2006 and operates 21 aircraft flying to locations in mainland China and international destinations ranging from Tokyo to Bangkok.

HKA flights were severely delayed and cancelled when a typhoon lashed Hong Kong last month, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded.

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