HK Express has been a major factor in the infiltration of low cost travel options into Cathay Pacific's Hong Kong fortress. Operating from Hong Kong however has its problems namely high costs and restricted access to slots. HK Express is trying to combat both these problems and one way it has done this is to up capacity of its new aircraft.
Originally incorporated in 2004 as Hong Kong Express Airways operations didn't begin until September 2005 but this was a very different airline to today. Back then it was a premium airline operating a small fleet of Embraer ERJ-170s to Chinese destinations. Less than a year later both Hong Kong Express and CR Airways had been taken over by Hainan Airlines parent HNA Group.
Above top: The original logo.
Above bottom: The first HNA era logo
Soon the ERJs were gone, replaced by 737s from the parent and alongside Hong Kong Airlines (as CR Airways was renamed) HNA mounted a challenge to the dominant Cathay and Dragonair. After a period of mutual growth where both airlines were almost interchangeable in June 2013 Hong Kong Express was renamed and remodelled.
From October 2013 it became HK Express a low cost carrier focusing on international regional routes outside of China under its CEO Andrew Cowen. The fleet was rolled over with the 737s returned to Hainan prior to the name change and replaced with 5 cfm56 powered A320-214s transferred from Hong Kong Airlines. Further additions saw the fleet increase to 14 A320s by July 2016 (mainly IAE powered A320-232s).
2015, October. Budget carrier Hong Kong Express to add more seats. South China Morning Post
2016, November. HK Express receives its first A321. The Business Traveller
2106, November. HK Express updates planned A321 operations. Routes Online
2016, December. HK Express Welcomes First A320neo to Hong Kong. hkexpress.com