Hong Kong Airlines has confirmed rumours that it will be cancelling its London operations from 10th September 2012. Passengers holding bookings after this date will be offered refunds or re-routes on other carriers.
Despite great feedback from passengers, and competitive fares, the airline's unusual two class (both business class) concept has not found favour with the vital business travel market.
Certainly there is no shortage of alternative airlines to choose from, with Air New Zealand, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic offering non-stop services - up to 9 times a day - from London Heathrow to Hong Kong. A further 20 airlines provide one-stop "same airline" connections from London with a great choice of stopover points in the Middle East, India, the Indian Ocean, the Far East or even in North America.
All-business-class services blossomed toward the end of the last decade, but the pioneers, Maxjet, SilverJet and Eos, all failed to attract sustainable volumes of business.
The disappearance of Hong Kong Airlines' service will leave British Airways bucking the trend, with the only "all business class" service from London. BA's unique offering is a twice-daily A319 service from London-City Airport to New York, via Shannon. This service is thriving, despite the recession, with its combination of City centre convenience, and BA's distribution might in the UK business travel market.