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.
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.
To Hong Kong from
11 hours 45 minutes
York: 20 hours 10 minutes (scheduled to fall by seven hours
or more with additional non-stop New York–Hong Kong services
Angeles: 14 hours 35 minutes
15 hours 15 minutes
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.
information centres (open 06:00–24:00) offer extensive
services, including hotel booking and touch-screen passenger information
and Internet access lounges are
located in the passenger terminal; wireless broadband is offered
to passengers with wireless internet cards.
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.
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.
There is a departure tax of HK$80.
to the city
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.
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).