Premium class airline to debut from Gatwick to Hong Kong

xt week for a new all premium class service between Gatwick and Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Airlines plans daily flights with a dedicated fleet of three new Airbus A330-200s with an all business class seating configuration in two classes - Club Premier and Club Classic.

The service is due to operate from Gatwick’s North Terminal from March 8, 2012.

The arrival of Hong Kong Airlines next year follows Air Asia X switching its Kuala Lumpur service from Stansted to Gatwick and Vietnam Airlines launching a direct service to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on December 9.

The announcement came as the airport revealed a 2% rise in passengers in October with numbers up by almost 58,000 to 2.9 million.

Hong Kong Airlines was established in 2006 with a route network covering 25 cities in Asia and Europe with a fleet of A330s and Boeing 737-800s.

The airline’s UK general manager Gerard Clarke said: “The concept for the all Club Class aircraft will provide passengers with a private jet style ambience and an exceptional crew to guest ratio, and we are confident that we have the right knowledge and experience to make a success of the new all Club Class daily service.”

Gatwick chief commercial officer Guy Stephenson added: “This is a unique service which provides a real choice to business and premium leisure traffic to one of the world’s great cities, with excellent connections to other points in Asia.

“We are committed to matching the premium service Hong Kong Airlines will be offering their passengers on board their flights with a premium service at the airport.

“We have already introduced premium security lanes in both terminals to combine speed with high levels of service. There are also premium car parking options to give time-strapped passengers quick and easy access to check-in, new luxury lounges, and a porter service to help passengers with their luggage, both on their arrival and their return to the airport.”

Club Premier cabin will include 34 ‘suites’ with fully flat 6’1” beds configured 1-2-1 in the two forward cabins; a fine dining service with individual table settings, superior wines and champagne; turndown service with duvets, pyjamas and slippers and luxury amenity kits.

Club Classic will feature 82 cradle seats configured 2-2-2 over two cabins with a 51” seat pitch with 22” width and superior dining. Both cabins will provide Wi-Fi, digital magazines and high definition widescreen TVs; 15.4” in Club Premier and 10.4” in