DALLAS – Today in Aviation, long-haul carrier Oasis Hong Kong Airlines (O8) ceased operations in 2008. The final flight was O8901 from Vancouver (YVR) to Hong Kong (HKG).
O8 was established in 2005 by a group of Hong Kong investors. They were led by real estate magnate Raymond Lee and telecommunications equipment mogul Allan Wong. The team saw a gap in the market for a low-cost, long-haul carrier to operate point-to-point services to Europe and North America.
The airline’s chief executive was Stephen Miller, who founded Dragonair (KA) back in 1985 as a competitor to Cathay Pacific (CX).
Two ex-Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-400s were acquired and configured with 278 economy and 81 business class seats. O8 would go on to operate five 747s and had plans to acquire Boeing 777 equipment to supplement its fleet.
Taking to the Air
Operations commenced on October 26, 2006, with a four-weekly service between HKG and London Gatwick (LGW). This was a day later than planned after Russian authorities revoked permission to overfly its airspace. This happened an hour before its inaugural flight.
Its second route to YVR commenced in June 2007. The airline had also planned to begin flights to San Francisco (Oakland), Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., and Florida. It also hoped to launch new routes across Europe, including Milan, Italy, and destinations in Australia.
Despite breaking even after just five months of operations, competition on its flagship route between HKG and LGW meant the airline was forced to offer airfares that were simply unsustainable. Despite hopes that the airline could be rescued, it was formally wound up by the courts in June 2008.
Featured image: Boeing 747-400 B-LFA was the carrier’s first aircraft. Photo: Mark Tang (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2 ), via Wikimedia Commons