Hong Kong Airlines operated its inaugural Hong-Kong-Gold Coast-Cairns-Hong Kong service on the weekend.
The new thrice-weekly extended season of charter flights will operate through until March including the Chinese New Year period, the peak travel season for the Chinese market. The flights depart Hong Kong for the Gold Coast on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday evenings, returning to Hong Kong via Cairns the following Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday mornings.
“We are delighted with the successful launch of this much-anticipated new Australian route. So far, we have received an overwhelming response among travellers since tickets became available for purchase,” Li Dianchun, commercial director of Hong Kong Airlines, said in a statement.
The Hong Kong-based full service airline is using Airbus A330-300s which are configured with 32 business class and 260 economy class seats for its Australian flights.
“Over just 12 weeks, these services will inject more than $10 million into the local economy,” Gold Coast Tourism chief executive officer Martin Winter said in a statement.
Hong Kong Airlines is currently restricted to secondary Australian destinations such as the Gold Coast, Cairns and Darwin as Cathay Pacific has utilised all available traffic rights for Hong Kong-based carriers to the four major Australian ports of Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney under the current bilateral air services agreements between the two countries.