Industry Cathay Pacific buys Hong Kong Express Airways

Cathay Pacific has completed the acquisition of low-cost airline Hong Kong Express Airways.

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After the acquisition, HK Express has now become a full member and subsidiary airline of Cathay Pacific. Previously, HK Express was owned by the HNA group. Hong Kong´s only budget carrier will help Cathay to furthermore strengthen its position on the market.

After the acquisition, HK Express will continue to operate as standalone airline with a low-cost business model. This was confirmed by Cathay Pacific. HK Express is the perfect addition to the group and gives Cathay additional landing slots in Hong Kong. As one of the largest airports in the world, this provides Cathay with new opportunities.

In a statement, Cathay Pacific´s chief executive officer, Rupert Hogg, said that the acquisition enhances the overall competitiveness of the Hong Kong home base. He added, that HK Express would be a practical way for the mainline airline to grow its business over the long term. With the acquisition, Hogg has also become chairman of HK Express.

Hogg added: “Our respective businesses and business models are largely complementary. HK Express captures a unique market segment that, together with the extensive network offered by the Cathay Pacific Group, could multiply connection opportunities through Hong Kong. This will bring tremendous benefits to the travelling public with more choices and greater convenience for their travel experience.”

HK Express is being led by Ronald Lam, which is the CEO. Lam has been working with the Cathay Pacific Group and HAECO for over 20 years and has been the Director for Commercial & Cargo at Cathay previously.

Cathay Pacific Airways is the flag-carrier airline of Hong Kong and has its home base at the International Airport. The carrier operates flights to over 190 destinations in more than 60 countries worldwide. Subsidiary airlines are Air Hong Kong, Cathay Dragon and HK Express. The mainline carrier operates with a fleet of nearly 160 long-haul aircraft like the Airbus A330, A350 XWB or the Boeing 747 and 777.

Hong Kong Express Airways was initially founded in March 2004 and commenced operations a year later in September. The carrier operates with an all-Airbus fleet of 24 aircraft. Eight A320-200s, five A320neos and 11 A321-200s build the backbone of the fleet. HK Express mainly operates flights on medium-haul routes.

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