Hong Kong Airlines risks having license revoked as demand decreases

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/12/2 19:53:40

Protesters sit on the floor at Hong Kong airport on Monday. Photo: Chen Qingqing/GT

The turmoil in Hong Kong may have put more than 3,000 air workers at risk as the local government warned it may revoke the license of Hong Kong Airlines, should it fail to improve its financial situation by Saturday. 

Hong Kong Airlines, Hong Kong's third-largest airline, said in a reply to the Global Times on Monday that it will cut capacity and flights amid weak travel demand caused by non-stop turmoil in Hong Kong. The carrier also said it will further consolidate its network and focus on premier routes.

The carrier, under the cash-strapped Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, announced on Friday that it will cease flights to Canada's Vancouver, Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City and North China's Tianjin Municipality, the second time for the airline to suspend long-distance flights within one month. It announced on November 4 that it would end flights to Los Angeles, starting from February 8, 2020.

The Air Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA) of Hong Kong warned on Monday that the airline's financial position had deteriorated rapidly, and the ATLA said Hong Kong Airlines must, by Saturday ensure a cash injection or face the risk of the suspension or loss of its operating license in the region.

According to data from the Hong Kong Tourism Board, visitor arrivals in October slumped 43.7 percent year-on-year, with tourist arrivals from the Chinese mainland down 45.9 percent year-on-year.

The carrier said that it regularly provides its operational and financial improvement plans to the ATLA and the Transport and Housing Bureau in Hong Kong.

It added that it has implemented cost-saving measures, while adjusting operations from time to time to respond to worsening market demand, according to the e-mail reply sent to the Global Times. 


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