Aviation, tourism and energy writer for the Business Herald

Hong Kong Airlines the latest new airline to land in Auckland

A Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A330
A Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A330

The newest airline to enter the New Zealand market lands this week and has announced plans to boost capacity before its first flight.

Hong Kong Airlines will begin regular daily services to Auckland on Friday and will increase this by three a week for two months over the summer high season from December 11.

Daniel Yuen Chun Yu, the airline's New Zealand country manager, said there had been a very strong market response.

The airline, which last week sold some return Auckland-Hong Kong fares for $750 return, will compete against established carriers Cathay Pacific and Air New Zealand on the route.

Cathay has just introduced a new plane on the route and recently dropped business class fares on the route and on to Europe to $3500.

Yuen Chun Yu said his airline was aware it was in for a fight on the route but believed there was room for three airlines.

''We know that we have to improve our service to the top standard to be competitive,'' he said.

It had introduced new services including dedicated crew for young children and special rewards for passengers celebrating their birthday such as cakes, cards and access to lounges. The airline is a full service carrier and will use an A330-200 on the route that will seat up to 259 in economy and 24 in business class.

It is in its 10th year of operation and has grown rapidly. It added 10 new routes, including Auckland this year.

The first half of 2016 saw Hong Kong Airlines' passenger traffic exceed 3 million, a 12 per cent growth compared to last year.

Yuen Chun Yu said there was potential for the market to grow even further in New Zealand.

- NZ Herald

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