LGWflyer
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Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:46 pm

Hong Kong Airlines is due to start at Gatwick tomorrow (8th March) and is currently scheduled to arrive at 05:55, and according to the LGW website is says it will depart at 21:30.

I have seen info that Hong Kong have configured 2 A332's for this route which are B-LNJ and B-LNK (and also a third A332 will be too which will be B-LNL once delivered), so there is a definite chance that one of these will turn up here tomorrow. Will be great to have the brand new aircraft here after only both being delivered in Jan and Feb of this year.

And one interesting thing I have seen on another forum about the first flight to Gatwick is that it only has a total of 35 people on it!!! Anyone know why this might be...? Has there not been enough interest for the flight?
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musapapaya
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:29 pm

Quoting LGWflyer (Thread starter):
Hong Kong Airlines is due to start at Gatwick tomorrow (8th March) and is currently scheduled to arrive at 05:55, and according to the LGW website is says it will depart at 21:30.

Almost 16 hours ground time at LGW????
Lufthansa Group of Airlines
 
LGWflyer
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:42 pm

Quoting musapapaya (Reply 1):
Almost 16 hours ground time at LGW????

Yep! In the thread a couple months ago which was about Hong Kong coming to LGW, some people assumed that the same crew will fly the aircraft out. If this is the case, then they would get a 15 hour layover here.

Also just seen that the aircraft coming to LGW is B-LNJ and is esitmated to get here around 05:25.
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santos
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:42 pm

Quoting musapapaya (Reply 1):
Almost 16 hours ground time at LGW????

As this is a business class flight only, it will offer business passengers great flight times and if they travel over night, they wont miss a full day's work at the office.
Schedules like these are very common and improve yielding.
 
Carfield
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:52 pm

B-LNJ has taken off on time from HK and is now on its way to Gatwick. The scheduled arrival time is 5:26am.

Tracking the flight on flighradar24.com and it is now at 38,000feet over Russia - heading to the city of Novosibirsk..

With only one daily flight, HX tries to schedule the flight according to the preference of business people, who will prefer returning HK on a late evening hour, and the flight is timed that it can connect to the late afternoon bank of HX flights heading to China. Since one aircraft is insufficient to do a daily service, a second aircraft is necessary regardless so the schedule is dedicated to the needs of the business community (and I am sure Gatwick will have some discount for entry carriers). Since HX's intra-Asian network is more leisure-oriented and an all-J aircraft really does not help with other flights, this rotation is possible, but I am sure once the third aircraft arrives (but can anyone confirm if B-LNL will also be all-J or a regular J/Y configuration), it may add a second rotation, which may allow more efficient use of the aircraft. I presume this flight will struggle a bit in the beginning especially the airline is not too well known, but after looking at the all business cabin, I hope it will be successful. I am sure if the loading is good enough, it can do a second rotation with a third aircraft. For the spotters, it will be nice though as it will rotate between B-LNJ and B-LNK. HK should add a special livery especially it is an all-J configuration.

Hopefully there will be a report on the service soon!

Carfield

[Edited 2012-03-07 14:55:57]

[Edited 2012-03-07 14:57:04]
 
anstar
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:59 pm

Quoting LGWflyer (Reply 2):
Yep! In the thread a couple months ago which was about Hong Kong coming to LGW, some people assumed that the same crew will fly the aircraft out. If this is the case, then they would get a 15 hour layover here.

Only 15 hours... yikes... dont really want to do a flight from lgw-hkg with them... poor crew will be knackered still after that long flight!!!!
 
fiscal
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:43 pm

There was a trip report posted a day or two ago, on the warm up short haul flight to check the service out.

It looks impressive, the premium business seat is lie flat, and even the classic business recliners look very comfortable with heaps of room. I hope this concept works for them, as I would certainly fly in this aircraft if the price was right.

Inaugural-HK Airlines All Business 332 HKG-SHA-HKG (by sutrakhk Mar 3 2012 in Trip Reports)
 
Carfield
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:46 pm

I don't think it is legal even for Hong Kong...
I can't imagine after a long fifteen hours flight, it is okay for the crew to work the return flight the after just ten hours of rest. I presume they will not get like a 48 or 72 hours rest, but will most likely have one full night of rest before flying back to HK on the next day's flight.
For the inaugural flight back from LGW to HKG, they may just fly in the F/As on other airlines the night before, or they just block off a section for them to rest (not working) on this inaugural flight.

Carfield
 
CX Flyboy
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:28 am

I would imagine that the crews would stay long enought to have one local night in the hotel then leave the following evening but the rules do actually allow them to leave the same night. The duty will be around 13hrs with rest time a little more than that which I believe is legal under Hong Komg rules.
 
Carfield
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:06 am

However with any delay from HKG the night before, they would need to take a delay and run into possible curfew issues at Gatwick.This kind of scheduling is possible, but can be risky at times. AC did this short turn on its HKG-YYZ to HKG flight came in late the night before, the flight next day will have to take a delay due to crew hours even if the flight arrives on time from Top
 
planesailing
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:14 pm

Aircraft is still sat on stand 52 so I presume it is staying there until its departure. I presume that they will eventually be moving it every day as they cannot keep the aircraft on stand for almost 16 hours, especially as there is apparently going to be building work on pier 5 reducing the number of available north terminal gates.
 
TupolevTu154
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:21 pm

Quoting Carfield (Reply 9):

run into possible curfew issues at Gatwick.

As far as I'm aware LGW has no curfew.

Quoting planesailing (Reply 10):

I believe the aircraft was kept on stand today for press etc
 
LGWflyer
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:59 pm

Flight HX876 operated by B-LNJ tonight went airborne about 20 mins ago and took off local time here at 21:42, the aircraft is flying currently just over the East Coast of England.

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 11):
As far as I'm aware LGW has no curfew.

I believe that is true, so that is one less thing for them to worry about.

Quoting planesailing (Reply 10):
Aircraft is still sat on stand 52 so I presume it is staying there until its departure. I presume that they will eventually be moving it every day as they cannot keep the aircraft on stand for almost 16 hours, especially as there is apparently going to be building work on pier 5 reducing the number of available north terminal gates.


[quote=TupolevTu154,reply=11]
I believe the aircraft was kept on stand today for press etc

Yes I would agree that the aircraft would have just sat at that stand just for today for the press etc. Next time I would assume they'll just tow the aircraft to a remote stand.
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heebeegb
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:54 pm

I know it will take time but loads from now into the future are dire.

They need an upturn or the cash will burn out.
 
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MillwallSean
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:10 pm

I don't see HongKong airlines succeeding in that market with an all business product. Not to LGW.
But best of luck to them, the more choice the better for all of us.

I assume others that are on the margin on the London Hong Kong route will feel that they are there pushing the price of business class tickets downwards. maybe not BA and CX but I would guess NZ will feel this.
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fiscal
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:48 pm

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 14):
I assume others that are on the margin on the London Hong Kong route will feel that they are there pushing the price of business class tickets downwards. maybe not BA and CX but I would guess NZ will feel this.

Lets hope you are right....

If the price is right, they will fill the aircraft. There are heaps of us out there that cannot afford high priced business class seats, but can afford more than economy. If you read the trip report I mentioned above, it seems that they offer a good product in both classes. Comfort seems to be assured, and this is one of the main factors.

I suppose if they were to offer lower opening fares for the next couple of months, the loads would improve, and maybe even stay that way.
 
Carfield
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:24 am

Hong Kong Airlines also has a strong financial support from its parent airlines, Hainan Airlines, and has more connections from China and nearby Asian cities. I can see reasonable traffic from China to LGW via HKG, especially from second tier cities that lack direct service to Europe.

I hope this will be a success and hopefully I can fly it this summer. I am going to try to get a flight before they give it up. Of course I prefer daytime departure from London to allow a full day in HK (not the other way), but presume it will only happen it HX builds up some loyal customers in Europe.

The plane did lots of media tour yesterday at Gatwick and after googling a bit, I found a few interesting websites and business traveler offers many details. Of course, a.net is the first with a trip report posted last week regarding the all J aircraft. Now I hope there is more information regarding the actual service, amenities, and menus.

Thanks for letting me know that there is no curfew at Gatwick.

Carfield
 
anstar
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:01 am

It will be interesting to see if they can make it work.

History has shown with these all business class carriers that the unaligned carriers don't seem to be able to make it work. Whilst I appreciate that they are backed by Hainan Airlines - how many chinese are willing to pay to fly business class these days? And most western J travellers are fussy about their alliances or stuck to a carrier with corporate travel deals. Whilst I appreciate that some will pay for business I struggle to see them being able to fill over 100 premium seats a day in each direction... (That is almost as many as BA operate on this route). If they had a J/Y config then think it would be a different story as you are able to sell to the mass market and still generate revenue during quiet business travel periods.
 
babybus
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:19 am

Quoting anstar (Reply 17):
History has shown with these all business class carriers that the unaligned carriers don't seem to be able to make it work.

Some businessmen are simply too naive. There are too many big established airlines on the route to let this new baby come and snatch it away from them.

Unless the staff sleep on the aircraft on the ground to save money I can't see why they can't have a hotel room and fly home the following evening.

The guys who set this up probably got a cheap lease on a few planes.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
LGWflyer
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:29 pm

B-LNK shall be pushing back from the gate shortly and taxiing to 26L for takeoff. One thing I heard about this morning's flight that there were only 8 passengers on it!!! Doesn't seem they are off to a good start.  
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joshrice
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:38 pm

Quoting LGWflyer (Reply 19):
One thing I heard about this morning's flight that there were only 8 passengers on it

I see somebody is registered to the Gatwick mailing list  

Nice to finally have an oriental type livery to shoot at Gatwick, hopefully be able to catch it in daylight over the summer if it is ever delayed...
 
LondonCity
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:15 pm

Quoting anstar (Reply 17):
If they had a J/Y config then think it would be a different story as you are able to sell to the mass market and still generate revenue during quiet business travel periods.

That configuration was tried on the same route by H Kong airline Oasis and it did not work.
 
planesailing
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:22 am

Aircraft was on stand 59 this morning and was towed over to the park for its wait for the return leg.

Hong Kong Airlines
 
MACDADDY
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RE: Hong Kong Airlines Starts LGW Tomorrow (8th March)

Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:33 am

I was on the inaugural ex LGW. We took off from 28r, the emergency runway, which was nice!

Speaking to HK Airlines managers on the flight, the bookings are in line with expectations. On the there were 80 odd mainly dignitaries and airline staff, outbound on the 8th we had 34 including a CNN crew.

During HKG 7s the flights are nearly full.

Happy spotting, hopefully I'll get LNK on the way back!

MAC
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