Hong Kong Airlines will receive more than 50 new aircraft over the next four years to expand its operations on international and Chinese domestic routes.

The airline, a division of China's HNA Group, expects to receive the aircraft - 30 widebodies and 21 narrowbodies - between 2012 and 2015, to be used on its long-haul and short-haul operations respectively.

The widebodies on order are 20 A330-200s, six Boeing 787s and up to four A380s, said the airline.

HKA A330 web
                                                                                                                              © Airbus

"The group is now positioning to take advantage of the soaring demand for air travel in both the Asia-Pacific region, the fastest growing market for the airline industry, and China, one of the single strongest air travel regions in the world. Among the destinations it is considering for future expansion is Australia," it added.

In March this year, HNA Group signed a memorandum of understanding with Boeing for 38 aircraft for Hong Kong Airlines.

Its director Adam Tan had said that the group plans to build Hong Kong Airlines into a much bigger player in the market to compete with the territories' flag carrier Cathay Pacific.

In the latest announcement, the carrier said it expects six A330s and eight A320s to enter its fleet next year.

Three of the A330s will be configured to seat 116 passengers in an all-club class layout to launch nonstop daily services between Hong Kong and London from March 2012, it added.

In 2013, it will receive 18 more aircraft - eight A330s, eight A320s and two A380s. In 2014, six A330s, three A320s and two 787s are scheduled to join its fleet.

The remaining four 787s, two A380s and two A320s will be added in 2015.

Together with its sister carrier Hong Kong Express, Hong Kong Airlines now operates a fleet of eight A330-200s and 10 737s.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news