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            september 18, 2019

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Hong Kong Airlines challenges Cathay with Airbus A380 order


Hong Kong Airlines has announced that it will be the third A380 customer this year with its order of an Airbus SAS A380s, challenging its local rival Cathay Pacific, according to the Shipping Gazette.
The carrier, controlled by the investment arm of the Hainan provincial government, will announce the deal at the June 20 Paris Air Show, reports Bloomberg, after receiving the news in a text-message reply to questions. The airline would not say how many A380s it will buy.
Hong Kong Airlines follows Japan's budget carrier Skymark Airlines and Korean's Asiana Airlines as Airbus increases its customer list this year.
"It's a good move for brand-building. It's difficult for newcomers to break into lucrative long-haul routes," Daiwa Capital Markets analyst Kelvin Lau told Bloomberg.
Hong Kong Air also agreed to order 32 Boeing 787s and six 777 freighters earlier this year. It had 30 Airbus A320s, twelve A330s and fifteen A350s on order as of the end of May. Hong Kong Airlines is affiliated with Hong Kong Express, which now operates 18 aircraft.
Orders for the A380 have been dominated by Middle East and Asia-Pacific carriers. Emirates Airline has placed orders for 90, making it the largest customer. Singapore Airlines was the first to fly the aircraft commercially. Asiana, South Korea's second-biggest carrier, signed up for six A380s in January. Skymark ordered four in February.
Cathay Pacific has so far ruled out ordering A380s and is instead building its long-haul fleet with smaller planes. It ordered fifteen Airbus A330-300s and ten 777-300ERs in March following an agreement for thirty A350s in August.

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