The FINANCIAL — Skytrax announced that Hong Kong Airlines has been awarded the highly-esteemed Skytrax 4-star rating for the fourth consecutive year in the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards.
The airline has also entered into the list of top 10 “World’s Best Regional Airline” for the first time. Mr. Zhang Kui, President of Hong Kong Airlines was invited to confer the honor on behalf of the airline at a ceremony staged by Skytrax at the Pairs Air Show in France on June 16, according to Hong Kong Airlines.
Hong Kong Airlines has recorded rapid growth since its inception in 2006. Following the “World’s Most Improved Airline” honor by Skytrax last year, Hong Kong Airlines took its success higher and won recognition by entering into the list of top 10 “World’s Best Regional Airline” for the first time.
Mr. Zhang Kui, President of Hong Kong Airlines said, “We are honored to have received this award. I would like to thank Skytrax for recognizing our progress in recent years. On behalf of our highly devoted and professional team, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the passengers and industry partners who have been supporting us all along. By adhering to the people-oriented service approach, Hong Kong Airlines will continue to forge ahead, expand our route network and fleet, bringing our passengers more quality and pleasant travel experience.”
Mr. Edward Plaisted, Chairman of Skytrax expressed his compliment for Hong Kong Airlines’ rapid growth and enhancement in service. He said Hong Kong Airlines is an airline where the staff service quality is a true stand out feature, and was a major factor behind the Star Ranking applied. In many areas, the airline is close to achieving a 5-Star standard of certification. With further destinations added to the regional network as well as launching long haul services to Australia, the second half of 2015 promises to be an exciting time of development and more improvement for Hong Kong Airlines. Hong Kong Airlines will begin design on a new lounge in the soon to be opened midfield terminal at Hong Kong International Airport as well as transferring all of its flight operations to this new facility. This is clearly going to deliver some further very substantial improvement.
Skytrax is a specialist research consultant to the air transport industry. Since 1999, Skytrax has launched the annual global customer satisfaction “World Airline Survey” which then becomes highly authoritative industry benchmarks. The annual “World Airport Awards” are the most prestigious accolades in the industry and are praised as “The Oscars” of global aviation. This year’s survey is based on 18 million customer nominations across 100 nationalities of air travelers, covering over 200 airline companies worldwide. The survey evaluates customer satisfaction across 40 key performance indicators for airport service and products including check-in and boarding experiences, onboard seat comfort, cabin cleanliness, food & beverages, IFE, staff service and associated travel items.
These honors from Skytrax attest to the rapid development of Hong Kong Airlines over the years. In just nine years, Hong Kong Airlines has grown remarkably. The current fleet has 25 aircrafts, and is expected to double in 2018. Hong Kong Airlines carried over 5.1 million passengers in 2014, an increase of 24% year on year.
Hong Kong Airlines actively expands its route network and covers almost 30 cities in the region. In 2015, various new destinations were introduced such as Yancheng and Nanchang in China and Miyazaki in Japan. To satisfy passengers’ demand towards popular destinations, flight service to Nanjing and Kagoshima has been expanded to 17 and 3 times per week respectively. Furthermore, in order to provide passengers with flexible travel options, Hong Kong Airlines has signed codeshare agreements with 9 airlines and interline agreements with 71 airlines. For example, starting from 15 June, Hong Kong Airlines has commenced codeshare partnerships with Etihad Airways and Garuda Indonesia, extending the route network to Abu Dhabi in the Middle East, Madrid in Spain and Jakarta in Indonesia.
While focusing on company development, Hong Kong Airlines also strives to give back to community through different charitable activities and programmes. By introducing a Corporate Volunteer Team, Hong Kong Airlines encourages its employees to participate in different CSR activities, such as Chinese New Year Lucky Bags Volunteer Service and Caritas Fundraising Bazaars, to promote positive messages across the local community. To help youngsters fly high and reach their dreams, Hong Kong Airlines has launched “Triumph Sky High” Junior Programme and School Sharing Workshops, and sponsored near 50 local schools with over 800 complimentary air tickets through “Embrace the World” Student Sponsorship Programme. With an aim to enhance aviation knowledge among the youth, attract more young people to join the aviation industry, and to support the industry’s future development, more than a thousand students were benefited through these programmes.
All the aforementioned achievements would not have been possible without Hong Kong Airlines’ teams of outstanding and innovative talents. To support future business expansion, Hong Kong Airlines plans to recruit 800 local staff, offering well-planned career path in a company with excellent management systems. To optimize training of cockpit and cabin crew, Hong Kong Airlines signed a sub-lease agreement with the Airport Authority Hong Kong to develop a flight training centre located at the southeast edge of the Hong Kong International Airport. The centre will facilitate training of crew members and provide new momentum to the aviation industry. Furthermore, Hong Kong Airlines plans to enter and be stationed in the midfield of Terminal 1, Hong Kong International Airport. A brand new airport VIP lounge will also be introduced to bring a greater travel experience to passengers.