On 19 December, Hong Kong Airlines began a five times weekly service from Hong Kong to Sapporo Chitose in Japan. Before departure, models dressed in traditional Kimono, presented every passenger with an inaugural flight certificate and souvenir in gratitude for their support of the new route. On arrival in Japan, passengers were greeted by “Tomachoppu” and “Kitapyon” – mascots for Hokkaido’s tourism campaign.
On 29 December Hong Kong Airlines started its second new route of the month, with the addition of twice-weekly flights to Changchun. The airline invited two Changchun ambassadors dressed in Manchu attire to present every passenger with an inaugural flight certificate and souvenir.
- Hong Kong Airlines launched two new routes in late-December. On 19 December, the airline began five times weekly flights from its Hong Kong (HKG) base to Sapporo Chitose (CTS) in Japan. The 3,409-kilometre route will be operated by the airline’s A330-200s and will face competition from Cathay Pacific Airways’ twice-daily service. On 29 December, the airline began twice-weekly flights (Mondays and Thursdays) to Changchun (CGQ) in China. The 2,606-kilometre route will be operated by the airline’s A320s and will face no direct competition. Mr. Sun Jianfeng, VP of Hong Kong Airlines, said: “The official launch of Changchun direct route service marks a progress towards a more advanced cooperation between two cities. Changchun is Hong Kong Airlines’ first destination in Jilin Province, which is a testimony of the rapid growth of our company. Being the only airline in Hong Kong operating this service, we hope to promote communications between Hong Kong and Changchun in trade and cultural exchange, and bring greater convenience to citizens of the two places.”