Cathay Pacific budget carrier HK Express plans mainland China expansion

Osaze Cuomo /

Low-cost carrier HK Express intends to double the number of flights to mainland China over the next two years and increase overall capacity by the end of 2024 as it aims to expand its global presence.

South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that HK Express CEO Jeanette Mao provided an optimistic assessment of the airline’s outlook, saying she expected capacity to grow 20-30% by the end of 2024, reaching 170% of pre-pandemic levels from the present 140%.

Mao also said the carrier plans to increase its fleet of 35 aircraft to 40 this year and to 60 by 2028, as well as expand the number of destinations from the current 24 to 30 by the end of 2024.

“Based on the number of flights, Northeast Asia – such as Japan, Korea and Taiwan – accounts for 70% of our total flights while Southeast Asia accounts for around 25%, with the remaining 5% to mainland China,” Mao told SCMP.

“So we expect in the next two years, our number of flights to mainland China can increase from 5% to maybe 10% of the total network,” Mao added. 

On March 12, 2024, the Cathay Pacific-owned budget carrier launched a new route from Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) to Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX).   

“Hong Kong’s international aviation hub will continue to provide an interconnecting network between Hong Kong, Chinese Mainland, including other cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, as well as the rest of the world. It plays a key role in the overall development of Hong Kong and the country,” Mao said during a ceremony held at Daxing International Airport. 

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