Hong Kong’s first long-haul budget airline rumoured closing

April 9th, 2008 - 2:54 pm ICT by admin  

Hong Kong, April 9 (DPA) Hong Kong’s first long-haul budget airline, Oasis, was Wednesday rumoured to be about to shut down operations just 18 months after its launch. The award-winning airline, which offers fares of as little as 1,000 Hong Kong dollars ($128) between London and Hong Kong, was said to be preparing to release a statement about its future.

A spokeswoman for Oasis told DPA Wednesday she was unable to confirm or deny the rumours and said she expected to have more information from the airline later in the day.

Phone lines to the airline were meanwhile jammed as anxious ticket holders phoned in an attempt to find out whether their bookings were still valid.

Oasis caused a sensation in Hong Kong’s aviation industry when it began operating two Boeing 747 planes in October 2006, flying between Hong Kong and London.

Within a year, it had five Boeing 747 planes in operation and boasted that in its first year it flew 250,000 passengers between London and Hong Kong. It began flights to Vancouver in June last year.

It was voted the world’s leading new airline in December at the World Travel Awards, which have been called the travel industry’s equivalent of the Oscars.

However, the budget airline is believed to have been badly hit like other airlines by the recent hike in oil prices, which has forced ticket prices up.

Unconfirmed reports in the Hong Kong Economic Journal said the airline had run up losses of $100,000-plus and would cease operations from Wednesday.

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