China’s Bullet Trains Are Coming For Hong Kong’s Airlines


“Still bruised from a typhoon that grounded hundreds of flights, Hong Kong’s status as Asia’s top aviation hub faces a new threat: Chinese bullet trains.

The world’s longest high-speed rail network will extend to downtown Hong Kong on Sept. 23, providing a direct connection to 44 mainland destinations. With the addition of services from Guangzhou and Shenzhen — the major cities closest to Hong Kong — what’s now a daylong train trip to Beijing would be cut to nine hours.

China’s high-speed network stretches for 25,000 kilometers (15,500 miles) and is a strong competitor for airlines in a market where congested airspace and limited landing slots mean regular flight delays. Since China’s first bullet-train service connected Beijing to the nearby port city of Tianjin a decade ago, Chinese airlines have lost customers, especially for journeys shorter than 800 kilometers — roughly the distance from Hong Kong to Changsha, the capital of Mao Zedong’s home province of Hunan. Source:

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