Austrian Airlines’ Far Eastern expansion strategy has taken another major step forward with the launch of its inaugural flight to Hong Kong.
The national carrier’s first direct flight from Vienna touched down at Hong Kong International Airport this week, marking the start of a new scheduled service that will operate five times a week. This becomes Austrian’s second new Far Eastern route of 2016, following the start of direct flights to Shanghai in April.
“As a result, we are now offering flights to Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong – the three biggest cities in Greater China,” explained Austrian’s chief commercial officer, Andreas Otto. “Following the successful expansion of our flight offering to North America, we are now focusing on Greater China. In spite of the latest reports about an economic downturn, growth forecasts still predict promising economic expansion for Greater China in the coming years.
“For this reason, especially for large cities such as Shanghai and Hong Kong, we foresee an interesting potential for Austrian Airlines in its role as the air traffic backbone for industry and tourism in Austria,” he added.
Austrian’s new flights will now depart Vienna every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 1750 and arrive at HKIA at 1125 the next day. The return services then take off every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday at 1255 and arrive back in the Austrian capital at 1925.
The route will be operated using a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft with a two-class capacity of more than 300 passengers. This wide-body jet also features Hong Kong’s name, its traditional flower emblem, and lettering in traditional Chinese characters.
“Direct flights are one of the driving forces behind the growth of bed nights. The new flight from Hong Kong by Austrian Airlines, our most important strategic partner, will help boost an already strong influx of guests from China to new levels,” commented Norbert Kettner, director of the Vienna Tourist Board.
This winter, Austrian will offer up to 23 weekly flights direct to destinations in Asia, including services to Bangkok, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Colombo and Malé.