January 9, 2019 – You may think of Hong Kong Airlines as an ailing company, but what you probably don’t know is that it’s one of the most punctual airlines in the world.
The Hainan Airlines-associated company is the world’s third most punctual airline, according to the British air travel intelligence firm OAG’s Punctuality League 2019.
Ranking just behind Panama’s Coba Airline and Latvia’s low-cost carrier AirBaltic, Hong Kong Airlines also tops all other Asian carriers including rival Cathay Pacific, which has not even made it to the top 10 in the region or top 20 worldwide.
It’s not Cathay’s entire fault. Its ranking has suffered because its flights to mainland China are often delayed by at least 30 minutes – no thanks to the Chinese air control system.
OAG’s Punctuality League, the most comprehensive annual ranking of on-time performance for the world’s airlines and airports, gives Hong Kong Airlines a score of 88.11 percent.
That should provide a boost to the carrier, of which debt-laden conglomerate HNA Group owns 27 percent via Hainan Airlines.
It has been reported that China Development Bank is ready to provide a crucial HK$4.3 billion financing to save the airline from possible bankruptcy.
That might explain why Hong Kong Airlines issued a rare forecast in a press release that it would carry more than 224,000 passengers in the Lunar New Year period from Feb. 1 to 10, up 4.2 percent from a year earlier.
According to OAG, Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing air passenger market with 12.6 million scheduled flights in 2018, up 6.3 percent from the previous year. Some 2.1 billion seats were sold last year, up 7.3 percent.