There’s one airport in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region: Hong Kong International Airport. The airport is the world’s busiest in terms of cargo traffic and is situated on Chep Lak Kok, an island in the western water off Hong Kong which was assimilated into the 12.48 meter square kilometer area which now hosts the airport. The island also hosts HK SkyCity, a business and entertainment complex, and AsiaWorld–Expo, a convention and exhibition centre.
The airport building was designed by the architecture firm Foster and Partners, which specialises in modern, sustainable, and integrated design, and boasts a runway which extends out into the South China Sea. It was officially opened in 1998, replacing the old Kai Tai Airport which had previously served as the international airport for Hong Kong.
Indian citizens who are planning to arrive at Hong Kong International for a stay in the region should be aware that it is first necessary to obtain an approved pre-arrival registration (PAR) in order to be able to successfully pass through immigration controls. An approved PAR for Indian nationals grants the holder a 14-day stay in HK from the date of arrival, and is available through a simple online application, which only takes a few minutes to complete. Holders of an approved PAR are able to present a printed copy upon landing at Hong Kong airport to gain access to the region.
Arriving at HK International from India
There are flights available from India to Hong Kong from a number of airports in the country, including from New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Kolkata. The most frequent flights to Hong Kong from India depart from New Delhi: there are usually around 11 scheduled flights per day. The average time to fly to HK International from New Delhi is around 4 hours and 45 minutes, and the cheapest time to fly tends to be in the late summer, from August to October.
The most popular airline for Indian travelers to fly to Hong Kong is with Cathay Pacific, the flag carrier of Hong Kong, which has its head office located at HK International Airport. Those traveling on flights with Cathay Pacific or Air India will arrive at Hong Kong Airport terminal 1, while flights from other carriers such as Malindo Air or Thai Airways are likely to land at Hong Kong International Airport terminal 2. If you look at a HK airport map, you’ll see that the two terminals are located opposite each other and within a short walking distance.
Those who are traveling to HK international airport at night or departing from the region on an early morning flight, and planning to sleep in the airport, should be aware that there are very little seating areas landside. There are far more seating options available airside, so when departing you might want to wait until you have completed check in and passed through the gates to seek out a place to sleep.
Facilities at Hong Kong International Airport
Hong Kong International airport is one of the busiest in the world, as approximately 73 million travelers from all over the world pass through its arrival hall each year. Accordingly, the HK airport facilities are world-class, including, of course, a starbucks. Hong Kong airport shopping is also renowned, with a huge duty free area which includes shops selling a large range of Chinese liquor and spirits.
Additional Hong Kong airport facilities include:
- Airline lounges
- Baggage storage
- Battery recharge services
- Children’s play area
- Complimentary shower facilities
- Currency exchange bureaus
- Drinking water fountains
- Mobility assistance for disabled travelers
- Prayer rooms
- Wi-Fi internet access
There are also several Hong Kong international airport hotels for travelers to choose from, including the Regal Airport Hotel and the SkyCity Marriott, both located on Chep Lak Kok island. Several other affordable hotels, including the City Oasis Guest House and the Novotel Citygate, as well as HK Disneyland amusement park, are located just across the water on Lantau Island.
Getting from HK Airport to the City
Those who arrive at Hong Kong International Airport have several options to choose from when it comes time to travel to the city:
- Airport taxi – The most convenient option for onward transport, there are a large number of taxis available just outside the terminal buildings. Those wishing to travel to the city center should take an urban taxi, distinguished by their red and yellow color scheme. The average price of a taxi is around $45 and the journey takes around 30 minutes.
- Airport Express Line – The fastest way to travel to Hong Kong city center, Airport Express trains depart around 6 times an hour and the journey takes roughly 25 minutes. Tickets cost $14 and can be purchased from automated ticket machines in the airport arrival halls, using either cash or card.
- Airbus – Public bus services from HK airport depart every 20 minutes. There are several different services available, but the most popular is the A11 bus whose main drop-off point is just outside Hong Kong City Hall. Tickets cost $5 and can be bought directly from the driver. The average travel time to the city center is around 1 hour and 15 minutes as there are multiple stops along the way.