Hong Kong Airlines and its cargo subsidiary Hong Kong Air Cargo Carrier have completed the shift of their cargo operations under one roof at Hong Kong’s Asia Airfreight Terminal (AAT) on 8 November with cargo handling for both airlines now handled by AAT.
Hong Kong Airlines announced the move earlier this year when it announced the cargo division would be hived off as an independent subsidiary cargo airline with its own AOC.
Hong Kong Airlines was established in 2006 and is based in Hong Kong. Its network has expanded rapidly over the years to more than 40 destinations in the Asia Pacific region. In 2017, Hong Kong Airlines spread its wings to North America, starting with Vancouver and then the upcoming launch to Los Angeles in December. The current passenger fleet consists of 31 aircraft, which includes one A350-900 (with 19 more on order), ten A330-300s (nine on order), nine A330-200s (two on order) and eleven A320s.
Hong Kong Air Cargo Carrier is an all-cargo carrier established in April 2017 providing international air freight transportation services to more than 15 destinations using a freighter fleet of four A330-200s. Similar to its passenger counterpart, it also has plans to further expand its network globally.
On 8 August 2017, Atlas Air announced that it had placed three B747-400 freighters with Hong Kong Air Cargo, with the first aircraft to enter service in September 2017, serving routes between the US and Asia. Delivery of the remaining two aircraft is anticipated during 2018. All three aircraft will be operated by Atlas Air on behalf of Hong Kong Air Cargo.
The addition of Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Air Cargo Carrier to AAT will contribute significantly to the scale of AAT operations. Kuah Boon Kiam, general manager for AAT, says: “We are proud to finally welcome Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Air Cargo Carrier to our terminal. They are the second biggest airline group in Hong Kong and in anticipation of their arrival, we have upgraded our facilities, manpower and equipment in order to better meet their requirements as a hub carrier. We are confident that AAT can serve as a strong and reliable partner for them to further grow their airfreight business out of Hong Kong, the world’s busiest cargo airport.
The announcement earlier this year of the creation of a separate cargo division and the eventual move to AAT also precipitated a significant shareholding change at Hong Kong’s third largest cargo handler. Following the shareholding changes, Singapore ground handler, SATS remained the largest shareholder with a 45 per cent stake in AAT while Holistic Capital Investment Limited (HCIL) – a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Airlines – became the second largest shareholder with 35 per cent and Eastern Option Limited continued to hold its existing 20 per cent stake in AAT.