One of my favorite airports is getting a facelift…..
Earlier this month, an 18-year long project kicked off that will add a much needed runway to Hong Kong Int’l Airport (HKG). The construction began after years of regulatory process and public protest, going back to 2008.
The plans call for a parallel runway to compliment the 2 existing East-West runways. The new expansion will include the reclamation of land to the north of the airport that will take at least 4 years. At that point, the existing northern most runway will be modified to act as a center runway and the construction of a 3rd runway will begin. Up to 3 new passenger concourses will also be built that will link by rail to the existing concourses.
A new northern runway complex goes online in 2024
It looks like the southern runway will become a dedicated Cargo runway since it is adjacent to Hong Kong’s Cargo ‘city’ thus freeing up the existing north runway and the planned new runway to handle passenger traffic.
For planespotters, it means the favorite spot by the fire-boat dock by the maintenance facilities won’t be as good when the 3rd runway opens since it will take traffic at least 1/2 mile further away from the vantage point, but I suspect the new concourses will make up for the lack of views from the docks.
The new look of HKG….rendering courtesy of Hong Kong Airport Authority
The construction will last until 2024 and financing for the HK$142 billion ($18.3 billion USD) project is comprised of funds from the Government, Airport revenue and a series of new surcharges that passengers are already being assessed if they travel to OR through the airport. First Class and Business Class passengers on long haul flights will pay HK$180 ($23.00 USD) while long haul Economy passengers will pay $HK160 ($20.50 USD). Short haul Economy Class passengers will pay HK$90 ($12.00 USD) while transiting passengers regardless of class will pay HK$70 ($9.00 USD).
The following video provides a simulated look at what the expansion will look like once complete:
I know for some of you that your travel plans are occasionally dictated by what aircraft will fly the route. I know I do it.
So in that spirit, here is a brief update on a small revision issued by SWISS concerning their 777 flying to Bangkok. Originally the aircraft was to debut on the route on July 8 but has now been set back to July 15. Only a week, but if that is your week, you might not be a happy camper.
As far as Hong Kong is concerned, the 777 is set to debut as scheduled on April 10, but initially it will not fly the route everyday. Between April 10 and May 1, the 777 will only fly from Zurich on Wednesday, Friday, and Sundays. Between May 2 and May 19, the 777 will fly on Monday, Wednesday, Thursdays, and Saturdays. However on May 20 the 777 will begin flying to Hong Kong on a daily basis.
Plan accordingly! 🙂
After a 17 year absence, AUSTRIAN is set to resume service to one of my favorite destinations in the world.
Beginning on September 5, AUSTRIAN will begin service to Hong Kong with 5 flights per week aboard their 777-200ER aircraft. Flights will take place on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday (from Vienna). Reservations can already be made.
The flight information is as follows:
Flight OS 67 will depart Vienna at 1:00p and arrive in Hong Kong at 6:25a the following morning.
Flight OS 68 will depart Hong Kong at 9:40a and arrive in Vienna at 4:10p the same day.
Normally I don’t write about hotel offers, but when it involves one of my favorite properties I’ll make an exception.
In an email that I received today from the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong (Tsim Sha Tsui / Kowloon), they are offering what they refer to as a Winter Celebration package. Bundled in this package are a few perks and amenities that you normally would pay for.
The package covers any stay between November 1, 2014 and February 28, 2015 and includes these benefits:
A full Breakfast Buffet at the hotel’s Cafe for each day of your stay.
One MTR (Metro Transit) Day card per guest per stay.
Discount Coupons for the K11 Mall (The hotel is attached to it).
Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and snacks from your minibar.
Summed up, the value of the perks is fairly attractive. Just the minibar snacks, soda and water alone can add quite a bit to a bill, especially if staying for a few days. I’ve eaten Breakfast several times in the Cafe and have no complaints, they provide a large variety of options….both Chinese and International choices. The MTR card is a great convenience and the discount coupons to the mall can be useful since the Mall has several good stores, including a large grocery store. An additional benefit to staying at this property is that the hotel will PROVIDE YOU with a cell phone for you to use during your stay with unlimited local calling and data access. Its the only hotel that I’ve stayed at that offers this convenience and it saves me quite a bit of money that would be spent on prepaid sim cards for my phone.
We’ve stayed at the Regency twice a year for the last 3 years and have had great experiences each time. I already have my annual Hong Kong Plane Spotting Pilgrimage booked and am taking advantage of their promo.
The staff is extremely friendly and gracious, and the hotel’s proximity to fantastic shopping and convenient transportation options make it a desirable place to stay while visiting HKG. ‘2 thumbs up’ for this place!
Over the last few years I’ve become somewhat partial to Hyatt properties and seek them out as my first choice whenever I travel. Recently, one of my favorite properties announced a great new amenity for their guests.
The Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon / Hong Kong has recently begun providing their guests with complimentary use of smartphones during their stay. The phones provide unlimited access to the internet, a Hong Kong City Guide and unlimited calling to the USA, Singapore, Australia, the UK and China.
After staying at Hyatt Properties around the world including Istanbul, London, Singapore, Dubai and Hamburg (next month), this Hyatt property thus far remains my favorite – both for location and quality of staff and product.
You can see the Hyatt Regency in the top left corner, the building is lit up like a ‘T’
One logistic that always seems to create additional expense and stress for travelers is being able to stay connected with your own phone when abroad. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to run up hundreds of dollars in roaming data and voice charges with minimal effort. With this new program, it’s one less thing to worry about.
Among all the amenities that hotels offer such as complimentary bottles of wine and fruit plates, lounge access, etc., this in my opinion ranks among the best perk that can be offered to hotel guests. It’s functional and practical…..much more so than a plate of cheese and turn down service! 🙂