Hong Kong Airlines has deplored as “untrue and groundless speculation” recent news reports that it may be close to ceasing operations and seeking liquidation.

“The company has been and is continuing to operate as normal. We remain committed to offering our best service to customers who have chosen to support and fly with us,” the airline says in a 5 January statement.

“We reserve the right to take legal action against those who deliberately create these rumours,” it adds.

Recent news reports say that travel insurer Blue Cross Asia-Pacific Insurance has stopped offering coverage against the possibility of Hong Kong Airlines collapsing in its policies due to “news of Hong Kong Airlines published by media recently”.

Last month, the carrier also put out a statement reassuring passengers that the resignations of co-chairman Zhang Kui and vice-chairman Tang King Shing had not affected its operations.

It added that it had an extraordinary 2018 carrying more than 7.64 million passengers and that it was projected to exceed its revenue target.

It would not however confirm reports that its chief financial officer Jacky Lui has also left the airline.

Parent HNA Group recently sued Hong Kong Airlines Consultation Service, a firm owned by a former director of the airline but which the carrier says has no link to it, for HK$854 million in unpaid debt. Cash-strapped HNA has been paring down its stake in the carrier over the past year.

Over the last two years Hong Kong Airlines has been positioning itself as a “global carrier”, seeking to expand its network to North America and Europe using its newly delivered Airbus A350-900s, going up against Cathay Pacific.

It was due to end 2018 with nine A350s, and launch services to London and New York. Deliveries appeared to have slowed down, however, with the carrier having only six of the type, Flight Fleets Analzyer shows.

Source: Cirium Dashboard