Hong Kong Airlines continues to up its credibility as a serious trans-Pacific player, having launched a new service to San Francisco this weekend. The City by the Bay is the airline’s third destination in North America, following the launch of services to Vancouver and Los Angeles in 2017.
The airline was founded in 2001 as CR Airways and operated a Sikorsky S-76, American four-blade helicopter. In 2003 they launched their first airline service and started to build out short-haul hubs in China, the Philippines and Cambodia.
The company was purchased by Hainan Airlines in 2006 and its first long-haul service, to Moscow, began in 2010. HKA hasn’t slowed down since, adding services to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and North America and it now flies to more than 30 global destinations with more than 35 aircraft.
The new San Francisco service uses the new Airbus A350, one of the most technologically advanced aircraft in the world, and one of the most efficient. It’s a carbon fibre two-engine wide-body craft, also popular with Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways.
Hong Kong Airlines will now operate flights between Hong Kong and San Francisco four-times weekly at the following schedule (all times local):
(25 March 2018 – 30 June 2018)
Hong Kong to San Francisco
Wed, Fri, Sun
San Francisco to Hong Kong
Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun
This means HKA is now in direct competition with Cathay who currently operate three daily flights between the cities. Singapore Airlines and United Airlines also offer daily service.
A quick check across all four carriers reveals that Hong Kong Airlines offer the most competitive fares by a huge margin. I found economy roundtrip seats on the route at US$837, 25% less than the cheapest fare available on Cathay Pacific on the same dates: U$1127.
Business Class has an even greater gap: Hong Kong Airlines’ lowest fares were US$2961, while Cathay’s lowest offer for the same dates came in at 50% higher at $5659.