U-FLY Alliance

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U-FLY Alliance
Logo of U-FLY Alliance.png
Launch date18 January 2016 (2016-01-18)
Full members5
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

U-FLY Alliance (simplified Chinese: 优行联盟; traditional Chinese: 優行聯盟) is 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 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 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 are all part of HNA Group, a Chinese conglomerate. 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 airlines[edit]

As of September 2016, the following airlines are members of U-Fly Alliance:

Member airline Joined Notes
Hong Kong HK Express 18 January 2016
China Lucky Air 18 January 2016
China Urumqi Air 18 January 2016
China West Air 18 January 2016
South Korea Eastar Jet 27 July 2016


  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.

External links[edit]

Media related to U-FLY Alliance at Wikimedia Commons