Hong Kong Airlines Looks to Cut Fleet as Financial Burdens Mount
Hong Kong airlines is looking to cut as many as 10 aircraft from its current fleet as public doubt over the financial viability of the company continues to mount. Government regulators are pushing for the airline to turn over financial statements as the government has again strongly stated doubt over the health of the airline.
The battle between the airline and government regulators has been raging for months as the airline attempts to challenge the idea that it could at any moment go out of business. The airline went so far as to issue a threat to sue anyone who stated untrue or groundless rumors about the demise of the airline.
Most recently, the airline has said it's looking at possibly cutting its fleet to help with its current cash strapped situation. The airline is looking to remove A330-200s from its current fleet to focus on the larger aircraft that can move more passengers and more cargo. Last month, the airline stopped all operations to Auckland in an effort to reduce costs.
As the airline moves to reduce its operating costs, it's also fighting two lawsuits from companies it leases planes from. The two suits claim that the airline is behind almost $20 million in lease payments on aircraft it's currently operating.
This comes as the airline currently has four aircraft sitting in Toulouse that it can't afford to take ownership of at the moment. The planes — three A350-900s and one A330-300 — remain parked at Airbus headquarters. Given the company's current cash flow issues, it's doubtful that even with the reduction in fleet these aircraft will be delivered anytime soon.
While the only change in routes for now is limited to the Auckland flights, it remains to be seen if the company will cut additional routes as it looks to shore up its financial situation. The airline normally offers great fares — even honoring mistake fares — between the US and Asia, so this could be a huge loss for travelers looking to score a great deal to Asia should the airline continue to cut its service routes.
This story has been updated to reflect that Hong Kong Airlines is looking to remove A330-200s from its current fleet. A prior version of the story had incorrectly reported that the airline would be removing A350-200s.
Featured Photo by Marcio Rodrigo Machado/S3studio/Getty Images