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Up in the Sky

I'm still trying to figure out Oasis Hong Kong Airlines.  It's clearly not a budget airline in the mould of Southwest, Ryanair & Easyjet, so what is it?

They have now announced fares and schedules on their website.  No big surprises - they have bought two planes from Singapore Airlines, and have maintained the 32" legroom in Economy (the same as Cathay, slightly more than Virgin/BA).  They will also have seat-back TVs and provide complimentary hot meals, so this is clearly not a "no-frills" service.

Fares in economy range from around HK$3,600 to HK$5,600, so again we are not talking about anything radically different to what the established airlines can offer.

Where I think they may have an edge is in the Business cabin.  Here prices start at around HK$15,000 for an advance purchase non-flexible ticket or HK$22,000 if you want to be able to change the date (subject to a penalty).  Both of these fares are substantially lower than on Cathay/BA/Virgin - and here we are talking about Oasis offering something close to a "no frills" option - albeit with a a 60" seat pitch (nearly double what you get in Economy, and significantly better than Premium Economy at 38"). 

Today's long-haul Business Class is probably superior to First Class of ten years or so ago, and fares have increased substantially as a consequence (Virgin Upper Class cost HK$25,000 10 years ago, but now you'll pay over HK$40,000).  Of course, Oasis won't provide a limousine or an airport lounge or a flat bed or a massage or most of the other luxuries that Virgin offer, but at less than half the price I think I am prepared to make a few sacrifices.  However, I can't see anyone paying the full price of HK$42,000 to fly with Oasis!

Outbound flights leave Hong Kong at 1.30 am and arrive at Gatwick at 6.20 a.m. An earlier departure time would be better, but I suppose that restrictions on night flights at Gatwick make this impossible. Various airlines (including Easyjet) fly to European destinations from Gatwick, and there is a railway station right next to the airport if you want to go to Central London or the south coast. 

Will Oasis be successful?  In Economy the differences are marginal, and they will have to slug it out with Cathay, BA, Virgin, Qantas, Air New Zealand and the rest, but in Business I think they do have something a bit different and could do well.


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Harry Cichy

Looks like the only thing missing is a 'Free Flight' offer or a 'Free' cuppa coffee promotion, take some hints from Ryanair & Starbucks.

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