On 09APR2008 14:00 Hong Kong time, the first long haul low cost airline has ceased its operations. Oasis Hong Kong has been a story that a large portion of the Airline Industry was following as it was the ice-breaker in the long haul low cost market with its cheap flights between Hong Kong and London Gatwick.
They started their daily flights in October 2006 with the above mentioned route and have later added 6 times weekly service between Hong Kong and Vancouver, Canada. Their fleet has grown to four Boeing 747-400s, two are (were) former Singapore Airlines aircraft and two were formerly operated by All Nippon Airways (ANA). They were providing two cabins: Economy and Business starting from just GBP 358 return fare.
The airline was planning new routes to Europe (Berlin, Cologne/Bonn, Manchaster, Milan), North America (San Francisco and Chicago) and Australia (Melbourne and Sydney) “in the near future” according to their website, which plans will probably be cancelled or at least revisited now. Less than a month ago (19MAR2008) they still had news about new appointments in their sales force, but now it looks like those were too late.
Currently the following statement is on their website (www.oasishongkong.com):
“It is with regret that Oasis Hong Kong Airlines announces that the airline has applied to the Hong Kong Court to appoint a provisional liquidator on 9 April 2008. The Court has appointed Edward Middleton and Patrick Cowley of KPMG as the provisional liquidators, and they have assumed control of the airline with effect from 1400h the same day Hong Kong time.
Our flight operations have been cancelled until further notice. The Provisional Liquidators are liaising with other airlines in order to help customers make alternate travel arrangements as quickly as possible.“
This will probably mean a lot of business for British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines and Qantas – who operate most of the flights between Hong Kong and London as well as for Air Canada and Cathay Pacific who fly between Hong Kong and Vancouver.
Looks like after all -in this case- the traditional airlines managed to withstand the promised competition of a low cost long haul operator…