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Hong Kong International Airport
Chek Lap Kok: Hong Kong’s International Airport
Hong Kong International Airport, also known as Chek Lap Kok Airport, is located in the southwest of Hong Kong, just north of Lantau Island. Built in 1998 on a large artificial island, it replaced the older airport located in densely populated Kowloon. The new airport is connected to Lantau Island by several bridges, and it’s easily accessible from every part of Hong Kong.
From the airport, over 100 airlines offer flights to more than 170 destinations worldwide, including 44 cities in Mainland China. There are direct connections to major cities in North America, Europe, Australia, South Africa, India, and other places. Flight time from London is 12 hours, while you can get to Melbourne in 10 hours, as well as to New York in circa 16 hours.
The biggest domestic airline is Cathay Pacific, which has its main hub at Hong Kong International Airport. Cathay Pacific, a member of oneworld Alliance, serves close to 170 destinations in more than 40 countries all over the world.
Other major airlines offering frequent flights to Hong Kong include Lufthansa, British Airways, and Emirates. Some airlines, such as Singapore Airlines or Air India, also use the city as a stopover point.
One of the easiest ways to get to the international airport is the Airport Express operated by the MTR, which also runs the urban railway network. The Airport Express takes you to the airport from Hong Kong Island in 24 minutes and runs about every 10 minutes from 5:50 am to 1:15 am daily. You can find the detailed schedule online. A single ticket costs between HKD 60 and HKD 100, depending on where you are leaving from.
To make things easier, you can check in at any of the Airport Express stations in Kowloon and Hong Kong Island between 24 hours and 90 minutes prior to your plane’s departure. Make sure to check the time and deadline with your airline beforehand.
Furthermore, the Airport Express has a free shuttle service. The shuttles take you from major hotels and railway interchanges to the nearest Airport Express station.
Other Transportation Options
Of course, you can always take a taxi or a private shuttle to and from the airport as well. Taxi prices range from about HKD 20 to HKD 390, depending on your destination. The Chek Lap Kok website provides an overview of taxi prices from the airport to different areas of the metropolis.
Various public bus connections to the city center offer a more inexpensive way of reaching the international airport. The airport website provides you with further information on these services.
Taking your own car to the terminal? There are three car parks with more than 3,000 parking spots available for short-term or long-term parking.
Connections to Mainland China
If Hong Kong is merely a transit point on your way to the Chinese mainland, you can use the SkyPier cross-boundary ferry service. Passengers who use these ferries are treated as transit passengers and do not have to go through customs and immigration. Bear in mind, however, that the ferries are for international transfers only. You cannot use them if you are staying in Hong Kong and merely want to go to the Chinese mainland for a brief trip.
Hong Kong International Airport isn’t your only option for flights in and out of the area. Nearby Shenzhen International Airport on the mainland is becoming more and more popular as a starting point for regional journeys. While long-distance flights to global destinations are usually more convenient from Hong Kong, traveling from Shenzhen might be the better option when you’re heading to mainland China. Flights are usually cheaper from there, and you have the option to fly to more destinations within China.
For some other destinations in Asia, it might be worth comparing prices and options between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Keep in mind, though, that for in order to get to Shenzhen, you need a valid Chinese visa.
There are several direct express bus services to Shenzhen. The direct shuttle bus to Shenzhen Airport takes about 75 minutes (not including customs clearance at the border) and costs circa HKD 100. You can find more information (in Chinese only) on the website of Chinalink Bus Company Limited.
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