Fly Low Budget – Low Cost Airlines at HKG Airport


I was quoted in a journalism article published by a Baptist University student earlier this year. I figure it’s about time to share it with you which offers a glimpse of what some people around Hong Kong think about the low-cost carrier industry here.


There is also an article written in the South China Morning Post explaining some of the difficulty budget carriers have in Hong Kong, notably cost. I don’t 100% believe the argument over landing fees, but I really feel that there’s just too many great quality airlines flying into Hong Kong who have slots already, so it’s hard to compete. Also Cathay / Dragonair wants to protect it’s home airport. The reason why Cathay and Dragon Air are separate is so that on overlapping routes, such as Beijing or Shanghai where there are both CX and KA coded flights, they can say there are already two airlines competing, even though it’s the same company.

Despite what most people think, Hong Kong Airlines is not a budget airline. They are a full service airline and provide the same amenities as Cathay Pacific; such as included baggage allowance, in-flight meals and entertainment, assigned seating, and “normal” legroom and seat width. However, Hong Kong Airline’s cost structure is certainly lower, prone to delay, and they don’t use gates too often; most of their planes are on the runway so you’ll have to take a bus to get to the plane at HKIA. Also, I’ve heard their customer service is horrendous and don’t help much if you’re delayed or cancelled.

By the way, here’s a list of all of the budget airlines that have flights into HKG as of this writing:

  • AirAsia – Southeast Asia
  • Cebu Pacific Air – Philippines
  • Jetstar – Southeast Asia
  • Peach Aviation – Japan
  • SCOOT – Singapore
  • Spring Airlines – China
  • Tigerair – Southeast Asia

Jetstar Hong Kong is still anticipated to start service in the near future.
Vanilla Air, a subsidiary of ANA said they are considering starting service in 2014 from Narita Tokyo.


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