A literal last-minute infusion of capital has saved Hong Kong Airlines, allowing the carrier to keep its license to continue operating.
The Air Transport Licensing Authority of Hong Kong (ATLA) said it was satisfied the carrier had met two new license conditions, which forced it to find significant new funding.
“ATLA has decided not to take further action against HKA for the time being, pending the airline’s submission of further details regarding condition one,” the authority said in a statement on Saturday.
That’s a far different scenario than what played out a week ago.
Last week, the ATLA gave Hong Kong Airlines until Saturday, Dec. 7, to produce new investors or more cash. If not, its license to fly would be suspended or revoked.
HKA has been financially plagued for months, leading the carrier to turn off inflight entertainment and end long-haul flights. It also did not have enough cash on hand to pay 55% of its employees for November.
The airline was facing a scenario where it could have been banned from flying, force more than 3,500 employees to find new work, and strand tens of thousands of travelers across the globe.
While it is still concerned about Hong Kong Airlines’ overall financial position, ATLA was satisfied with the temporary fix that will allow HKA to stay in the air.
“We will continue to serve all our passengers over the upcoming holiday season and beyond,” an airline spokeswoman said. “Moving forward, we will continue to drive consolidation and strengthen our internal structure to operate more efficiently and improve our revenue.”
Neither ATLA nor HKA had commented on the source of the cash or how much was raised.