Hong Kong Airlines cuts aircraft, gets third warning from regulator, sued by lease owners

The never ending saga of Hong Kong Airlines took another turn for the worse as it admitted it was about to cut 10 A332’s from its fleet of 11 to save cash.

The Hong Kong civil aviation regulator also issued a sharp warning over the airlines indebtedness, saying it has “grave concerns” as it faces multiple law suits for unpaid bills.

The airline has 3 A359’s and an A330-300 sitting at Toulouse it cannot pay for. It’s also being sued by two leasing companies for around $US 20m for unpaid aircraft leases, which is roughly two months arrears on most of its leased aircraft.

Cathay Pacific has said it wants to buy a significant minority share holding, but these things take time. Something Hong Kong Airlines is ever increasingly short of. And Cathay will know the longer things take, the more desperate HKA gets and the cheaper it can buy a share.

A Macau based bank, Luso International is also suing the airline for around $US 20m in unpaid loans.

The airlines leased aircraft are caught in a web of parent company HNA Group’s multiple holdings. HNA owns 70% of Avolon, which has leased HKA several aircraft, but it’s Irish based AerCap who own ILFC, that lease most aircraft, along with Dubai based DAE Capital and Ducalion. None of them wanted to comment.