Asian budget, full-fare carriers cut HK flights

Local | 18 Nov 2019 6:55 pm

Several Asian airlines have cut flights to Hong Kong over the coming weeks, an industry scheduling publication showed, Reuters reports.

Routes Online said the latest schedules showed cancelations from PT Garuda Indonesia (Persero), India’s SpiceJet, Malaysia’s AirAsia Group, South Korea’s JejuAir and Jin Air, and the Philippines’ PAL Holdings, and Cebu Air.

On Sunday, Airport Authority Hong Kong reported an October decline of 13 percent in passengers and 6.1 percent in the number of inbound and outbound flights – the steepest falls since the unrest began. It said a growing proportion of travelers were using Hong Kong as a transit point rather than a destination.

Routes Online showed Garuda has reduced weekly flights to Hong Kong to four from 21 through mid-December, SpiceJet has suspended its Mumbai-Hong Kong route through January 15 and AirAsia has cut flights from Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu in December and January.

Garuda and SpiceJet did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment. AirAsia said passenger numbers have been lower over the past few months and that it is adjusting capacity accordingly.

A spokeswoman for Philippine Airlines said the carrier was using smaller planes than usual for Hong Kong as passengers were postponing travel. It has also cut daily flights from Manila to four from five, she said.

A spokeswoman for Cebu Pacific said the budget carrier has cut flights from Cebu and Clark through December and January respectively due to softened demand. She said the airline nevertheless launched its Puerto Princesa-Hong Kong route on Sunday as scheduled.

A Jeju Air spokesman said the low-cost carrier has reduced daily flights from Seoul to Hong Kong to one from two through December 17 due to weak demand. A spokesman for rival Jin Air said the budget airline had suspended Seoul-Hong Kong flights through December 24.

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