BAA claim not enough flights to China – what about Hong Kong?

Hong Kong in a map of People’s Republic of China

It has become apparent to me that BAA are in need of both a geography and history lesson as they continue to overstate the case for expanding Heathrow based upon the argument that we do not have enough connections to growing markets like China.

You’d think from their marketing, that we’re lagging behind until, that is, we include the thousands of flights every year to Hong Kong. If we take into account all the flight to Hong Kong, then it’s clear that even in this market, we lead, with Heathrow delivering more services to China than any of its continental rivals. I can’t help but wonder when BAA will finally shed its post-colonial hang-up and accept that Hong Kong was handed back in 1997 and is part of the mainland when going on about lack of links to China.

When Hong Kong was handed back to People’s Republic of China in December 1997, it began operating under “one country, two systems” policy as a special administration region.  As part of China, it’s foreign and defence policies are determined by Beijing not London.  This strikes me as a pretty conclusive determinant of whether Hong Kong belongs to China or not.  

I don’t actually think it serves the best interest of the UK  for BAA to continue to act on the assumption that Hong Kong is still not a part of China!  It is deeply offensive to the Chinese and a reminder to them of what was lost in the Opium wars.  If we continue with this post-colonial hang-up, it’s set to become a bigger problem then the Chinese complaining about not being able to get visas to enter the UK.


37 thoughts on “BAA claim not enough flights to China – what about Hong Kong?

  1. Daniel

    It’s not the total number of flights it’s the number of destinations. Look on your map, do you see how far Hong Kong is from Congqing? Or Chengdu? Or Tianjin? Or Shengyan?

    The UK has several flights a day to Hong Kong precisely because of those historical links, however, there are no direct UK flights to any city in China other than Beijing, Hong Kong or Shanghai (Guangzhou is due to start soon with China Southern, but not a UK airline).

    When the UK has a direct flight to a city trade is increased by nearly 20 times compared with a city that does not have a direct flight. The reason we don’t trade enough with the BRICs is because there’s not enough air links. You can’t hop on a train to Brazil or China.

    Amsterdam has twice as many Chinese destinations on its network than Heathrow. That’s twice as many destinations that Dutch businesses can travel to direct that UK business cannot.

    The case for expansion is huge. It’s a shame that you use petty arguments which cloud a more serious issue.

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