ANSETT Australia, which has promised cheap fares aimed at attracting Hongkong tourists if it wins its application to fly to the territory, will not know for at least a month whether its application has succeeded. Ansett, which has won the right to fly the equivalent of seven 747s a week to Malaysia, has applied for the same capacity to Hongkong. It has also applied to the Australian Government's International Air Services Commission (IASC) for rights to Japan, part of an Asian expansion also taking in Singapore and Indonesia. It has not only applied for the extra capacity available in Australia on the Hongkong route, but for Qantas' existing interim capacity - that is, a further 747 or equivalent - to which Qantas has the right until mid-1995. The IASC, which will divide the spoils on the route between Qantas and the new contender, is to consider applications for rights to Japan - although they were lodged later - before the Hongkong applications. Japan is Australia's major source of overseas tourists. An IASC spokesman said it would be a month, probably longer, before a draft determination on the Hongkong route was issued. ''We are working on Japan at the moment, it is our first priority and Hongkong is number two,'' he said. Mr James Kimpton, Ansett's manager for aviation policy, said it was going head-on with the national carrier in the battle for the Hongkong route because of Qantas' acquisition of Ansett's major domestic competitor, Australian Airlines, and because Qantas was now permitted to operate on the domestic market. He said: ''We felt the appropriate strategy for Ansett was to look for opportunities to expand outwards from Australia. ''We want new opportunities plus the economy of scale and scope they will have, but there is no way you can walk out into the world and clone Qantas overnight. ''So we felt the appropriate thing to do was to push our operation out into the regional international markets.'' Ansett, which has estimated the Australia-Hongkong route will grow 7.5 per cent over the next five years, is committed to beginning its services within a year of its application being approved. In its application it said: ''Qantas has a history of resisting pressure by Cathay Pacific for increased capacity, in part to protect its yields and in part to limit through traffic to Europe via Hongkong because of its desire to carry long-haul traffic on its own aircraft via Singapore and Bangkok.'' As a dedicated regional carrier, Ansett was not inhibited by those considerations. It ''has therefore formulated specific proposals to offer reduced fares, primarily to stimulate increased tourist traffic from Hongkong to Australia.'' The application said: ''Ansett's entry strategy to the Hongkong market proposes it will become a significant player on the route within a relatively short time''. It added that its business plan provided for ''significant expenditure to promote this initiative''. However, Ansett has refused to reveal just how cheap the air fares will be, or how much it will spend on promoting them. Also not yet public are full details of how it will fund the expansion or how many planes it will buy. Mr Kimpton agreed Ansett, jointly owned by Mr Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and freight carrier TNT, would need to buy 747s and take on extra staff. He said: ''We have thought about our proposals in terms of what we think the funding and equity markets can provide. Top management have said that at the appropriate time may take in another significant shareholder.''