Hong Kong Airlines Will Stop Flying Direct to Auckland From May

(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong Airlines Ltd., a carrier backed by debt-laden Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co., will stop offering direct services to Auckland starting May 22 as part of adjustments to its business strategy.

While cutting the service to the New Zealand city, the carrier will add a fourth daily flight between Hong Kong and Beijing from April 15, it said in an email statement Thursday. The carrier, which operates an all Airbus SE fleet, currently flies to Auckland using Airbus A330 aircraft.

The changes are meant to “better respond to market forces and operational conditions,” the airline said. “Hong Kong Airlines will continue to explore opportunities to launch new destinations in long-haul or short-haul markets.”

Hong Kong Airlines, which started operations in October 2006, has been expanding its services to North America, luring passengers with new aircraft and cheaper tickets. The full-service carrier faces challenges in a market dominated by Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., which controls 46 percent of the seat capacity in Hong Kong, and also constrained by the city’s airport that’s already operating beyond its capacity.

Passengers who want to fly Hong Kong Airlines to Auckland after May 21 can still do so. The carrier has a code-share agreement with Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd., which provides one-stop flights to the city, Hong Kong Airlines’ website shows.

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