Hong Kong Airlines announced yesterday that it would start a new service between Hong Kong and Shantou at the end of April as it seeks to cash in on growing tourist and business traffic on the route.
The daily Boeing 737-800 service, with a two-class configuration of eight seats in the front and 154 in economy, will begin on April 30.
The 45-minute flight will be the shortest route operated by the carrier, according to the airline's spokeswoman Eva Chan. Travelling to Shantou by car from Hong Kong takes about four hours.
The service would target both tourist traffic and businesspeople, Chan said.
Shantou Tourism Board and Shantou Airport yesterday signed an agreement with Hong Kong Air to provide commercial and operational support for the new service. The Tourism Board will help promote the service with businessman in Shantou and Shantou Airport would provide ground handling services, the company said.
Hong Kong Air and its sister company Hong Kong Express, which share the same parent, HNA Group, operate in more than 20 Asian and mainland cities with seven Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
The airline will take delivery of one more B737-800 in July and aims to expand its fleet to 23 in the near term. Hong Kong Air will also take deliver of an Airbus 330-200 in May, the first of six ordered by the carrier. The double-aisle aircraft will be deployed on the route between Hong Kong and Moscow from May 23.
Last month, mainland and Hong Kong regulators ordered safety checks for some B737 aircraft over suspected mechanical problems with their horizontal tails. Eight B737-800 and B737-300 aircraft operated by Hong Kong Air and Hong Kong Express Airways were checked.