Hong Kong Airlines to scrap Gatwick route

d its all-business class flights to Gatwick from September 10 just six months after it was launched.

Travel Weekly reported yesterday that all bookings after September 3 had been frozen?on the airline's website?while it considered the future of the service.

The airline said?it was scrapping the route to focus on regional business within Asia.?Replacement flights or refunds will be arranged for customers with forward bookings, it said.?

Yang Jian Hong, president of Hong Kong Airlines, said: "Hong Kong Airlines has reviewed its European strategy as a result of the continuing weak economic outlook in Europe, combined with the strength of the regional business within Asia. As a consequence, it has confirmed today that it will be suspending its all-business class flights to London with effect from 10 September.

“We believe that a regional model focused on Asia Pacific is most appropriate for Hong Kong Airlines at this stage of our growth. Our key focus will be building our regional network and strengthening our business across China, South East Asia, Japan and Korea.

“Our plan is to re-deploy the three specially equipped, all-business class A330’s which currently service the London route to charter flights following the suspension."

The all-premium daily service began on March 8 from Gatwick's North Terminal with 82 Club Classic seats and 34 Club Premier seats. The concept aimed to provide a? "private jet-style ambience and an exceptional crew-to-guest ratio