Hong Kong Airlines targets double passenger capacity by 2024

A Hong Kong Airlines A330 on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Hong Kong Airlines

Despite three challenging years marked by the pandemic, Hong Kong Airlines is now experiencing a sustained and optimistic business recovery in 2023.

Mr Jevey Zhang, Chairman of Hong Kong Airlines, shares the positive news, “Our flight operations have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels sooner than expected, surpassing our initial forecast of a full recovery by mid-2024.”

“Anticipating an 85% average passenger load factor in 2023, the performance outlook is truly optimistic, with a significant increase in both flight sectors and passengers compared to the same period last year.”

Japanese Market Triumph

Hong Kong Airlines has strategically expanded its footprint in Japan, now offering nine destinations, including Kumamoto, Hakodate, and Yonago.

The addition of Phuket and the resumption of flights to Bali showcase a commitment to enhancing the regional route network.


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Notably, the airline is set to become the exclusive carrier with direct flights from Hong Kong to the Maldives, extending its network coverage to 25 destinations.

A Hong Kong Airlines Airbus lands in Taipei.
N509FZ, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Japanese market has played a pivotal role in this success, with passenger load factors consistently exceeding 90% during peak travel seasons.

The yen exchange rate and a rebound in tourism further contribute to the outstanding performance in this key market.

Chairman Zhang acknowledges the complexity of rebuilding operations in the post-pandemic era. Challenges range from recruiting and training cabin crew to global competition for maintenance resources.

Despite these hurdles, Hong Kong Airlines remains cautious yet optimistic about the Japanese market while exploring new opportunities.

A Hong Kong Airlines flight taxis at Sanya Airport.
Photo Credit: Hong Kong Airlines

In an expansion move, Hong Kong Airlines has welcomed several Airbus A330-300 wide-body aircraft this year, expanding its fleet to 21 aircraft by year-end.

This not only facilitates flight resumptions but also increases seat capacity and enhances the overall passenger experience. The airline plans to further expand its fleet by 30% by 2024, doubling overall passenger traffic.

Air Bridges in the Greater Bay Area

Hong Kong Airlines continues to invest in the Mainland China market, aiming to build air bridges for inter-regional travel and trade.

Leveraging infrastructure projects and the third runway system at Hong Kong International Airport, the airline is poised to optimize its network coverage and service offerings.

The vision includes deepening ‘multi-modal transport’ with other cities in the Greater Bay Area, creating seamless ‘air-land-air’ travel experiences.

Global Talent Acquisition Drive

With the rapid resumption of flights, the carrier is actively recruiting talent globally, aiming for a 20% workforce growth in the coming year.

Focusing on cabin crew and ground staff, the company has organized large-scale recruitment events in mainland China and Japan. The goal is not only to meet current demands but to prepare for the anticipated growth in 2024.


As a gesture of gratitude to passengers, Hong Kong Airlines is celebrating its 17th anniversary with an eight-day limited-time flight ticket discount.

From November 27 to December 4, over 50,000 one-way “Economic Basic Fare” tickets to 14 destinations in China, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand will be available at enticing prices, valid until June 2024.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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