Hong Kong Airlines held a grand groundbreaking ceremony today for the Hong Kong Airlines Aviation Training Centre (HKAATC), as it enters its 10(th) year of operations. Funded by the Company, the HKAATC offers a variety of aviation services and related training facilities. This investment by Hong Kong Airlines, which has been based in Hong Kong for a decade, marks its confidence in the regional aviation industry outlook as well as in the Company’s prospects. The completion of the HKAATC will help to nurture a new generation of aviation elite while spurring the growth of the industry.
The ground breaking ceremony was officiated by Prof. the Hon. Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, GBS, JP, Secretary for Transport and Housing; Mr. Joseph Lai Yee-tak, JP, Permanent Secretary for Transport and Housing (Transport); Mr. Fred Lam Tin-fuk, JP, Chief Executive Officer of Airport Authority Hong Kong; Mr. Norman Lo Shung-man, JP, Director-General of Civil Aviation; the Hon. Frankie Yick Chi-ming, JP, member of Legislative Council (Transport Functional Constituency), and Mr. Zhang Kui, President of Hong Kong Airlines. A number of guests and the Company’s senior employees were invited as witnesses as well. After the signature Wing Chun Kung Fu performance by the staff of Hong Kong Airlines at the ceremony, ten cabin crew members placed their wishing cards into a box which carried their greetings and wishes for the future of the Company as it celebrates this milestone year, kicking off its 10(th) anniversary celebrations.
Mr. Zhang Kui, President of Hong Kong Airlines said, “The groundbreaking of the Hong Kong Airlines Aviation Training Centre represents an important milestone in the evolution of our company, since its establishment ten years ago. It also marks a new starting point for our development. The Centre will enhance the training standards of Hong Kong’s aviation industry, and strengthen Hong Kong’s position as international aviation hub. I believe that our efforts will support Hong Kong Airlines’ endeavours to become respected in Hong Kong and around the world.”
The HKAATC is targeted for completion in 2018, with a total investment of approximately HK$1.8 billion. Located at Kwo Lo Wan Road at Chek Lap Kok, the site spans about 5,858 square metres and will comprise an 11-storey training centre with a gross floor area of at least 22,907 square metres, featuring a flight training tower and an administration tower. The Centre will feature leading international standards of air crew training. Further, to boost the quality of the HKAATC, the project features an environment-friendly design which meets the Silver grade of the BEAM Plus assessment by the BEAM Society Limited of the Hong Kong Green Building Council, reflecting Hong Kong Airlines’ commitment to high standards in green building.
HKAATC will be able to house 12 full flight simulators, a large safety training centre with a full-sized aircraft cabin mock-up, as well as facilities for training crew in fire and smoke related evacuation, training pool and emergency slides for evacuation practice. Training will be led by seasoned crew trainers. Flight simulators will operate round-the-clock to ensure that flight crew receive comprehensive training, including regular recurrent training and training for new aircraft types, in complying with airline and regulatory requirements.
Industry figures show that aviation talent remains in strong demand in the industry, with 558,000 new pilots and 609,000 maintenance staff required by airlines around the world by 2034. Of this, Asia Pacific will account for 226,000 pilots and 238,000 technicians, making up about 40% of the global demand.
Mr. Zhang Kui added, “2016 marks our first decade of achievement. With our roots firmly planted in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Airlines has experienced rapid growth over the past 10 years and currently plays an important role in Hong Kong and regional aviation landscape. In view of the current aviation talent pool, the establishment of the HKAATC will fulfil our commitment to nurturing talent and inject new impetus for the development of the Hong Kong aviation industry. Apart from enhancing service and safety standards during the period when we are rapidly expanding our destination network and fleet, the high-quality training will lay a solid foundation for the development of both Hong Kong Airlines and the local aviation industry.”
Apart from nurturing the new generation, Hong Kong Airlines also strives to retain existing talent. To boost employee engagement, the Company is committed to offering a clear promotion ladder in career development. The Company also helps employees pursue their career aspirations through a customised programme for long-term career development, including those for the maintenance department, cabin crew and management. High-potential employees will be given the opportunity to work at overseas stations, based on their capabilities and operational needs, greatly facilitating their future promotions and career development.
Over the past decade, Hong Kong Airlines’ network has grown to more than 30 business and tourist cities across the Asia Pacific, including Gold Coast, Beijing, Shanghai, Sanya, Bangkok, Bali, Taipei, Okinawa and Sapporo. A total of seven routes, including Miyazaki, Yancheng, Nanchang, Krabi and Kumamoto, were added to Hong Kong Airlines’ network in 2015. As of now, Hong Kong Airlines has one of the world’s youngest fleets with its aircraft being in service for an average of 3.6 years.
Hong Kong Airlines has received a number of awards recently, having been named ISPY Best Airline in 2016. It debuted in Skytrax’s “World’s Best Regional Airline Top Ten” rankings in 2015, winning the World Travel Award for Best Inflight Service in Asia as well. The Company also received corporate and individual awards launched within the “Airport Safety Award Scheme” in Hong Kong.
According to its business plan, Hong Kong Airlines will continue to strengthen its service network by developing new routes and code sharing, to name a few measures. In 2016, the company has already launched new routes including Gold Coast and Phnom Penh in Australia and Cambodia respectively. More than 10 new destinations will be launched this year.
Mr. Zhang Kui concluded, “Hong Kong Airlines is making progress, exploring more Asian routes and actively opening up international routes, offering passengers safe, reliable and pleasant journeys. In 2015, a number of routes were added under a strategic move to increase customer satisfaction. Hong Kong Airlines also recorded a significant growth in airline services which exceeded expectations. The successful operational business strategy in 2015 has laid a solid foundation for the Company’s growth in 2016 and beyond. Looking ahead, Hong Kong Airlines will continue to grow with passion.”