A survey of Hong Kong residents has shown strong support for increased competition in the local aviation sector, including three quarters of respondents saying the city would benefit from new low fares airlines.
The research canvassed almost 700 Hong Kong residents who planned to fly at least once within the next 12 months. It was conducted on behalf of Jetstar Hong Kong as part of its preparations to start a local low fares airline during 2013, subject to regulatory approval.
Key findings from the survey were:
- 80% agreed that Hong Kong would benefit if there were more airlines to choose from
- 76% believed that low cost airlines provide more opportunities for everyone to travel
- 73% agreed that Hong Kong would benefit if there were more low cost airlines
- 70% agreed that current airfares to-and-from Hong Kong were too expensive
- 66% agree that low cost airlines would benefit Hong Kong’s economy.
Jetstar Hong Kong has foreshadowed average fares up to 50 per cent less than current full service airlines. Similar savings have been delivered recently by Jetstar in Japan since fares for its Tokyo-based airline went on sale in April.
Incoming CEO of the Jetstar Group, Ms Jayne Hrdlicka, said that low fares airlines tended to be well received because they stimulated new travel demand in a way that benefited both consumers and the broader travel industry.
“These survey results show a strong appetite among Hong Kong residents for more travel options, especially in the low fares part of the market,” Ms Hrdlicka said.
“Based on Jetstar’s experience in Singapore and Japan, we’ve seen how low fares create new travel demand. People decide to visit family or go for a weekend away because the price point makes it more practical.
“The presence of low fares airlines tends to be a positive for both the liveability of a city, in terms of travel options for residents, as well as opening the door to more inbound tourism.
“There is a lot of latent demand that can be unlocked through lower fares, particularly when you look at the relatively low growth rates in Hong Kong’s aviation sector,” Ms Hrdlicka added.
According to Airports Council International, capacity growth in Hong Kong’s aviation market rose by 3.7 per cent between 2008 and 2011. This compares with 7.3 per cent in Singapore, 11.4 per cent in Beijing and 17.7 per cent in Jakarta.
Based on experience in its other markets Jetstar expects the new local airline to deliver a significant boost to Hong Kong tourism, increasing numbers of visitors to attractions like Ocean Park, Hong Kong Disneyland and shopping. This is in addition to the direct economic benefit from the support services required by the new carrier, including ground handling, engineering and catering.
The consumer research, commissioned by Jetstar, was conducted during May 2012 by Forethought Research in both English and Cantonese.
ABOUT JETSTAR HONG KONG
Jetstar Hong Kong will be a low fares carrier based in and operated from Hong Kong. It is a partnership between the Qantas Group (parent company of Jetstar) and China Eastern Airlines. Subject to regulatory approval, Jetstar Hong Kong plans to fly short haul services to Greater China, Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia from 2013. It will initially operate a fleet of three new Airbus A320-200 aircraft, configured for 180 passengers. It is expected to grow to 18 aircraft by 2015.