Embattled Hongkong Airlines has published a new measure that basically reduced onboard service to zero: Serving Economy Class passengers nothing but a cuplet of water!
Business Class passengers will receive something a bit more generous in the form of a full bottle of water instead of a tiny cup.
Hongkong Airlines is selling this cutback as a measure to fight the COVID19 Coronavirus but it lines up perfectly with the reductions in service the financially desolate airline has already undertaken in recent months. Dovets, blankets, pillows and magazines have also been eliminated from inflight service.
You can find the announcement related to these measures on the carriers website.
To further strengthen our precautionary measures and reduce the risk of our crew and customers from being potentially exposed to coronavirus, Hong Kong Airlines will be limiting inflight cabin activity and making temporary adjustments to our onboard services.
- Duvets/blankets and pillows will not be offered.
- Magazine choice will not be provided except for newspapers and reading materials inside the seat pocket.
- Inflight catering service will be limited to a bottle of water for Business Class passengers and a cuplet of water for Economy Class passengers from 19 February 2020.
We apologize for the inconvenience these may cause to our customers.
Hong Kong Airlines will continue to monitor the situation closely and make adjustments to our inflight service accordingly.
Under normal circumstances this would be seen as a legitimate attempt to try and keep the cabin as sterile as possible in order to prevent the spread of the virus but we have to see this in the proper context.
Hongkong Airlines is basically done financially. The came under fire in recent months for not being able to pay their staffs salary and were threatened to have it’s operators license revoked if they couldn’t prove to HK regulators that the airline has a viable business model. Several aircraft have also been impounded as the company owned money to airport operators.
Subsequently the carrier secured additional funds from it’s parent company HNA which is by itself under threat to be nationalized in China amid various scandals.
Hongkong Airlines has reduced it’s service to an absolute minimum and as per a recent SCMP article operates a mere 14 flights daily at this points, leading Hong Kong Airport to temporarily close the entire midfield concourse. The airline has also closed it’s lounge and has shut down inflight entertainment services (movies, music) since November 2019 as they were apparently unable to pay the licensing fees associated with the content.
This isn’t really an attempt to fight the COVID19 virus but total and complete cost cutting. At this point there is really nothing left anymore that they could cut, the carrier offers absolutely bare bones service at this point if you can even call it that.
There would be no additional exposure or risk involved in offering passengers additional types of beverages such as soft drinks or juice. So why plain water? I call nonsense on this and quite frankly it’s time someone pulls the plug on Hongkong Airlines. Shut it down!