Cathay Pacific has confirmed that experienced executive Ronald Lam will head Hong Kong Express now that the acquisition of the low-cost carrier has been finalized.
Lam was most recently Cathay Pacific’s director of commercial and cargo and has been with the group and engineering group HAECO for more than 20 years.
He will head a low-cost carrier that is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Cathay Pacific Group but will continue to operate as a stand-alone airline.
Cathay announced in March it would buy HK Express from troubled Chinese group HNA for $HK4.93 billion ($US630m).
It is seen as a way for Hong Kong’s biggest airline to grow its home business while bolstering its hub against increasing competition from LCCs.
“We strongly believe that the acquisition is good for the traveling public, good for HK Express, good for the Cathay Pacific Group, and good for the development of Hong Kong as a global aviation hub,’’ Cathay chief executive and HK Express chairman Rupert Hogg said.
Hogg confirmed that the new acquisition would continue to operate under the low-cost business model.
“I would also like to reassure HK Express customers that there is no change to the airline’s operating model and that business will continue as usual,’’ he said.
“There will be more value fares and more destinations available to travelers.
“We look forward to working with the HK Express teams to ensure a smooth transition and to continue to grow the airline in order to better serve its customers.”
Hogg noted that the businesses of the group’s airlines were largely complementary.
“HK Express captures a unique market segment that, together with the extensive network offered by the Cathay Pacific Group, could multiply connection opportunities through Hong Kong,’’ he said
“This will bring tremendous benefits to the traveling public with more choices and greater convenience for their travel experience.”