The FINANCIAL — Hong Kong Airlines on December 18 commenced its new service to Los Angeles, further cementing its growing presence in North America, following the launch of a daily service to Vancouver earlier this year. Los Angeles also becomes the carrier’s first destination in the Continental United States, with San Francisco and New York to follow in 2018.
Los Angeles is the cultural, financial and commercial centre of Southern California, and is well known all around the world as the home of Hollywood. Hong Kong Airlines is excited to have Los Angeles as its second destination in North America, and is committed to supporting the rich exchange of business, culture and entertainment between both Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
Prior to the departure of the fully booked HX068 flight, Hong Kong Airlines held a celebratory event at Hong Kong International Airport to commemorate the official launch of the new route, which was officiated by Mr Chan Fan, JP, Secretary for Transport and Housing of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Hong Kong Airlines’ new service is operated by the Airbus A350, which is equipped with a number of modern amenities designed to enhance the passenger experience. This includes inflight WiFi – of which the first 15 minutes are available free to all passengers – as well as a brand new inflight entertainment system, which boasts an expanded catalogue of over 100 entertainment content including the latest movies and TV programmes, as well as live broadcasts of CNN, BBC World News and Sport24, according to Hong Kong Airlines.
The launch of Hong Kong Airlines’ first flight to Los Angeles also marks the introduction of the A350 in the US city. With three already delivered and a further 18 on order, the A350 is poised to become the backbone of Hong Kong Airlines’ long-haul fleet.
“The launch of our new service to Los Angeles represents another step of our transition from a regional carrier to a global airline,” said Mr Tang King Shing, Vice Chairman of Hong Kong Airlines. “As a popular destination for both leisure and business travel, Los Angeles is also one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States. We are delighted to offer our customers more travel options for flights into Los Angeles.”
New “East-meets-West” tableware
Passengers travelling on Hong Kong Airlines’ inaugural Hong Kong to Los Angeles flight will also be the first to dine from a series of newly designed tableware, consisting of chinaware, glassware, and cutlery.
Hong Kong Airlines has partnered with award-winning, local homeware design brand JIA Inc. (“Jia”) and inflight experience specialists CLIP to develop a new selection of exclusive Business Class tableware that showcases the city’s unique heritage and culture.
Working with international designers, JIA looks to infuse traditional Chinese dining habits with modern accessibility – in doing so, creating new interpretations through design that are a marriage of Eastern and Western elements.
“The design of Hong Kong Airlines’ new tableware are inspired by the Bauhinia × blakeana (Bauhinia flower) – seen on Hong Kong Airlines’ logo and also the flora emblem of Hong Kong,” said JIA founders Mr and Mrs Christopher and Kay Lin.
“The bowl and appetiser plate bares a distinct resemblance to the shape of the Bauhinia flower’s petal, while the design of the red butter dish was inspired by the roundness and smooth shape of seeds. Meanwhile, the dark brown bread plate resembles the shape of a Bauhinia leaf, and the cutlery’s sleek and slender appearance evokes memories of the delicate Bauhinia stems.”
Made from new bone china, stainless steel and glass, the delicately crafted set is designed to maximise customers’ comfort and cunningly plays with Eastern and Western references: the cutlery is Western but formally resembles the stems of the Bauhinia flower; the clever coffee set is perfect for a modern-day ritual and the beautiful flower-shaped plates embellish the food presented.
Rounding things off are the salt and pepper shakers – condiment dispensers that are becoming somewhat of a rare sight in Business Class today. Designed in the shapes of popular Dim Sum, Ha Gow (prawn dumpling) and Siu Mai (pork dumpling), Hong Kong Airlines’ new salt and pepper shakers make excellent keepsakes, and are unique pieces of Hong Kong that all Business Class passengers are encouraged to take back home.
For passengers travelling in Economy Class, the tableware has also been completely revamped. CLIP has designed the new collection to be highly functional while a timeless geometric layout. It is made from a high quality resin that creates a beautiful, smooth finish. The elegant off-white colour is contemporary looking and is designed to enhance the perception of the food it contains.
“We were inspired to create a contemporary look for the new equipment; and at the same time, ensure that the Hong Kong Airlines ethos and brand values are taken into consideration in the holistic design. The new Hong Kong Airlines Economy Class equipment is clean, modern, and elegant – by combining five rice grains to form the Bauhinia flower, this signature design further strengthens the link between Hong Kong Airlines and its home. The simple, yet timeless design reinforces Hong Kong Airline’s commitment to provide its passengers with a genuine and unique experience of the Hong Kong culture and lifestyle,” said Ms Cindy Lam, Director of CLIP.