HK Express announces that it will suspend all flight operations on a short-term basis starting from March 23 until April 30, 2020 inclusive, in light of the significant drop in travel demand as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and growing travel restrictions imposed by Hong Kong SAR Government as well as various governments across Asia.
The airline is looking into resuming flight operations on May 1, 2020 and closely monitoring the development of the situation.
As of today, HK Express has already cancelled about 2,000 flight sectors, covering 23 out of our 25 routes across Asia.
In light of the upcoming temporary suspension of flight operations, HK Express is bringing forward leave plans for crew by reallocating leave originally assigned in the second half of the year to the period between April and June 2020. This is being done so as to reserve manpower for when demand returns.
HK Express has already taken a number of measures to help it preserve cash, including cost containment, recruitment suspension, supplier management and the implementation of the Special No Pay Leave Scheme to mitigate the financial impact of the situation on the company.
HK Express CEO Mandy Ng said: “This is a decision we have not taken lightly. Unfortunately, it is now essential in order to ensure we see ourselves through this extremely difficult period. Given all the challenges we have been facing, preserving our cash position is key to make sure we stay together as team.”
Cathay Pacific Group will optimise the passenger fleet of its airlines – Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon and HK Express – in order to allow each airline to achieve their full development potential by leveraging their respective unique strengths.
The move is also designed to maximize each airline’s operational efficiency and synergy. This will be good for not only the Group and its airlines, but also the travelling public and our home hub, with better connections through Hong Kong that will strengthen its position as Asia’s leading international aviation hub.
In total, the Group has existing orders for 65 new aircraft that it will receive by 2024, as part of the fleet modernization plan. This includes the delivery of 21state-of-the-art Boeing 777-9 aircraft, 12 modern Airbus A350 and 32 A321neo aircraft between 2020 and 2024.
Following a comprehensive review of its airlines’ fleets, the Group has decided that Cathay Dragon will operate the first 16 of these narrow-body A321neo aircraft upon delivery from 2020 to 2022. The remaining 16 aircraft, meanwhile, will join the HK Express fleet from 2022.
Cathay Pacific Airways has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Hong Kong Express Airways (HK Express). HK Express is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer and HK Express Chairman Rupert Hogg said: “We are very excited to welcome HK Express into the group. We strongly believe that the acquisition is good for the travelling public, good for HK Express, good for the Cathay Pacific Group, and good for the development of Hong Kong as a global aviation hub.
“HK Express will continue to operate as a stand-alone airline using the low-cost carrier business model. I would also like to reassure HK Express customers that there is no change to the airline’s operating model and that business will continue as usual. There will be more value fares and more destinations available to travellers.
“We look forward to working with the HK Express teams to ensure a smooth transition and to continue to grow the airline in order to better serve its customers.”
Leading the HK Express team as CEO is Ronald Lam who has worked with the Cathay Pacific Group and HAECO for more than twenty years, most recently as Cathay Pacific Director Commercial & Cargo.
Mr Hogg explained that the acquisition of HK Express is an attractive and practical way for the Cathay Pacific Group to develop and grow its aviation business over the long term, while also enhancing the competitiveness of its Hong Kong home base as a leading aviation hub.
He said: “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.”
Cathay Pacific Airways Limited on March 27, 2019 announced it has reached agreement to acquire Hong Kong Express Holding Company Limited for HK$4.93 billion, comprising (i) a cash consideration of HK$2.25 billion payable in cash; and (ii) a non-cash consideration of HK$2.68 billion settled through the issue and novation of promissory loan notes.
Completion is conditional upon certain conditions being fulfilled, including clearances required from relevant competition authorities, consents under relevant contracts of HKE and the termination or variation of certain arrangements between HKE and its related parties.
The performance of the Seller’s obligations under the Share Purchase Agreement is guaranteed by the Seller’s Guarantor.
Upon completion of the Transaction on or before December 31, 2019, HKE will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific.
Arctic Aviation Assets Ltd. (AAA), Norwegian’s wholly owned subsidiary, has signed an agreement to lease 12 Airbus A320neo to HK Express (Hong Kong). The 12 aircraft will be delivered between 2016 and 2018.
AAA (Norwegian) has 100 Airbus A320neo airliners on order.
Arctic Aviation Assets Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle and was established on August 9, 2013. The company is based in Ireland and currently manages a portfolio of 100 aircraft in addition to Norwegian’s orders for over 267 aircraft delivered during the period 2015 to 2022. The Company also has purchase options on another 160 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw/AirlinersGallery.com. HK Express currently operates a fleet of Airbus A320s with the current engines. A320-232 B-LCE (msn 2299) approaches the runway at the Hong Kong base and hub.