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Last updated : Nov 2009
Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
Hong Kong International Airport - TravelPuppy.com
Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)

Tel: 2188-7111 or 2181-0000 (enquiry hotline). Fax: 2824-0717.
Web site: www.hkairport.com

Voted twice World’s Best Airport (2001 and 2002), Hong Kong’s airport is situated 45km (28 miles) from central Hong Kong, at Chek Lap Kok. It opened for operation on 6 July 1998 – replacing the existing Kai Tak airport – and can accommodate 49 flights every hour and 45 million passengers per year; scheduled ultimately to increase to 87 million. Its capacity for cargo– increasingly critical as the airport develops as a cargo hub – is scheduled to increase from its three million tons to nine million tons. This is particularly important, since new ‘open skies’ agreements with incumbent carrier Cathay Pacific and US regulators have opened up several direct and onward routes connecting Hong Kong and US cities. A new commercial endeavor called SkyPlaza – consisting of passenger facilities, retail and office space, and an international exhibition centre – floated in 2002, is expected to improve Chek Lap Kok even more.

The airport is only one of ten Airport Core Programme (ACP) projects – among the largest infrastructure projects to ever be undertaken in the world. It comprises the 2.2km (1.4-mile) Tsing Ma Bridge – the world’s largest suspension bridge – connecting Hong Kong to Lantau. Approximately 3/4 of the 12,480 sq kilometres (7800 sq miles) of the airport site has been constructed from land reclaimed from the sea, with the remaining formed by excavating the existing islands of Chek Lap Kok and Lam Chau. The airport terminal building, created by British architect Sir Norman Foster, is Hong Kong’s largest building and its wing-like roof and glass walls are revered as a landmark in modern architecture, although the roof has been prone to leaking during typhoons.

Major airlines

Cathay Pacific (tel: 2747-1888) is the territory’s flag carrier, flying directly to most major destinations in the West and Australia.

Additional major airlines of the 62 international carriers that serve the territory include Air India, Air New Zealand, Air Canada, Air China, Air France, Alitalia, British Airways, China Airlines, American Airlines, Dragonair, Emirates, Finnair,Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Garuda Korean Air, Lufthansa, Indonesia, Gulf Air, Japan Airlines, Malaysian Olympic Airways, Qantas, Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines, Thai International, and Virgin Atlantic.

Approximate flight times

To Hong Kong from

 London: 11 hours 45 minutes

 New York: 20 hours 10 minutes (scheduled to fall by seven hours or more with additional non-stop New York–Hong Kong services launching)

 Los Angeles: 14 hours 35 minutes

 Toronto: 15 hours 15 minutes

 Sydney: 9 hours

Airport facilities

Hong Kong International Airport contains a suite of facilities appropriate to its importance and size. There are 118 immigration desks serving arriving passengers and 88 serving departing passengers.

Twelve baggage carousels provide a baggage reclaim time of as low as ten minutes.

The Hong Kong SkyMart shopping centre (open 06:00–24:30) has more than 150 shops, including 26 food and beverage outlets – and will soon expand even further.

Three information centres (open 06:00–24:00) offer extensive services, including hotel booking and touch-screen passenger information kiosks.

Free multimedia and Internet access lounges are located in the passenger terminal; wireless broadband is offered to passengers with wireless internet cards.

Bureaux de change: open daily 06:00–23:30.

The passenger terminal building provides special-needs facilities and services for passengers with disabilities.

Car rental is available at the Ground Transport Centre from Hertz Avis, and other major operators.

Business facilities

The PCCW HKT business centre (tel: 2883-3863) offers Internet services, fax and telegram services, as well as a small conference room accommodating four or five people.

Arrival/departure tax

There is a departure tax of HK$80.

Transport to the city

Rail, bus and taxi links from Hong Kong International Airport to central Hong Kong depart from the Ground Transportation Centre. The easiest link is via the high-speed MTR Airport Express train (tel: 2881 8888), which operates daily 05:50–00:48 and departs every ten minutes, transporting passengers from the airport to central Hong Kong in only 23 minutes, via stops at Kowloon and Tsing Yi stations.

One adult ticket costs HK$100 (concessions are available) to Hong Kong Station, and HK$90 to Kowloon – the most likely destinations for international travellers. The Airport Express is run by the Mass Transit Railway – MTR (see Public Transport), which also links districts through Kowloon and Hong Kong Island with the airport. There is a combined Airport Express Tourist Octopus 3-day Hong Kong transport pass offered, which allows for a single journey into Hong Kong, along with three days of unlimited rides on the MTR. This costs HK$220 – or HK$300 for two trips on the Airport Express plus the rest of the package. Passengers can also ride free shuttle buses connecting MTR’s Hong Kong and Kowloon stations with major hotels; free check-in service is offered at both stations for up to a one day before departure.

By bus, the fastest way to central Hong Kong is on the Airbus (tel: 2261 2791) and Cityflyer airport bus (tel: 2873 0818), which leaves every 15 minutes (journey time – 1 hour) at a cost of about HK$40 for services to Central. Approximately 30 franchised routes serve the airport, including evening buses, with 17 pick-up bays. The earliest ‘A’ route express bus runs 05:30–24:00, when the ‘N’ night-bus service takes over from 00:15–05:00.

Taxis to Hong Kong are plentiful. Red taxis provide service to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, green taxis serve the New Territories while blue taxis serve Lantau Island (journey time to Hong Kong – 45 minutes). The fare to Central is usually HK$330, and to Tsim Sha Tsui on Kowloon Side, this is HK$270.

Limousine hire is offered from desks in the arrivals hall, from International Hire Car (tel: 2261 2155) and Parklane Limousine (tel: 2261 0303). Ferry links run between the airport and Tuen Mun in the New Territories every 1/2 hour, daily 06:00–10:00, costing HK$15 (journey time – 9 minutes).
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