U-FLY Alliance


U-FLY Alliance (simplified Chinese: 优行联盟; traditional Chinese: 優行聯盟) is a regional airline alliance based in the Chinese Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, and made up of low-cost airlines from Hong Kong, Mainland China, and South Korea. Upon founding, it became the world's first alliance of low-cost carriers, formed in January 2016 between founding members HK Express, Lucky Air, Urumqi Air, and West Air.[1] All four founding airlines excepted HK Express are affiliated with the HNA Group, with a focus on Hong Kong, mainland China, and Southeast Asia, but they are currently seeking new members which are not affiliated with HNA Group.[2] Eastar Jet, a South Korean low-cost carrier, joined the alliance on 27 July 2016. The main founder HK Express withdrew from U-FLY Alliance after becoming a wholly-owned low-cost subsidiary of Cathay Pacific, a Oneworld member, and the alliance became inactive. Now the official website was invaild and shifted to a spam website.

U-FLY Alliance
Logo of U-FLY Alliance.png
Launch date18 January 2016; 6 years ago (2016-01-18)
Full members4
Destination airports149
Destination countries18
Annual passengers (M)44
Fleet size129
HeadquartersHong Kong
  • Andrew Cowen, (CEO)
  • Ma Zhimin, (Exceutive Chairman & President)
Alliance sloganU fly the world


The alliance was formed for various reasons. Since China’s provinces vary in what they allow and don’t allow for airlines it is difficult for two or more airlines from different regions to merge. The alliance was formed to help smaller airlines grow larger without becoming one company in several different provinces. Another motivator for creating an alliance instead of merging is that the regions preferred to have a local airline with a local identity that can advocate for the area it is in.[3] U-FLY Alliance was announced on 18 January 2016 at a press conference in Hong Kong. The founding members were all part of HNA Group, a Chinese conglomerate, until HK Express was acquired by Cathay Pacific in 2019. However, the alliance bears no outward affiliation with the group and it is open to airlines outside of it.[3]

In 2017, U-Fly Alliance partner’s capacity included over 44 million seats, touching 18 countries, 149 airports and 339 city pairs. With over 129 aircraft currently in operation.[4] By 2020, the alliance's members hope to have a fleet of over 218 aircraft.[3] Of the 218 aircraft Lucky Air hopes to grow to 60 aircraft, West Air to 60, HK Express to 50, and Urumqi Air to 48.[3]

Member airlinesEdit

Current membersEdit

As of November 2019, the following airlines are members of U-Fly Alliance:[needs update]

Member airline Joined Notes
  Eastar Jet 27 July 2016
  Lucky Air 18 January 2016
  Urumqi Air 18 January 2016
  West Air 18 January 2016

Former membersEdit

Member airline Joined Exited Notes
  HK Express 18 January 2016 19 July 2019 Left the alliance to become a wholly-owned low-cost subsidiary of Cathay Pacific,[5][6] a Swire Group subsidiary and Oneworld member.


  1. ^ "About Us: U-FLY Alliance". U-FLY Alliance.
  2. ^ "Press Release: HK Express Launch of U-FLY Alliance" (PDF). U-FLY Alliance. 18 January 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d "HNA Group: four airlines form U-FLY Alliance, world's first LCC grouping, showing HNA consolidation". CAPA - Centre for Aviation. 22 January 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Global Alliance Review:Value Alliance and U-Fly Alliance" 2 February 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Cathay Pacific Agrees To Buy Low Cost Carrier HK Express". Simple Flying. 26 March 2019.
  6. ^ Allen, Michael (26 March 2019). "Cathay Pacific agrees to buy HK Express". Business Traveller.

External linksEdit

  Media related to U-FLY Alliance at Wikimedia Commons

  • Official website