Research Projects

Hong Kong Takes Flight: Commercial Aviation and the Making of Hong Kong, 1930s – 1998

(Funded under Hang Seng Bank Golden Jubilee Education Fund for Research, Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities & Social Sciences)


John D. Wong, Associate Professor, Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences and School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Total Fund Awarded

HKD 40,000

Project Duration

March 15, 2020 – September 30, 2022

Project Description

This project investigates how the development of commercial aviation took shape in Hong Kong as the city developed into a powerful economy. Dr. Wong will examine how commercial aviation and Hong Kong’s historical trajectory influenced each other’s developmental path, and seek to understand how this infrastructural elaboration connected Hong Kong to the global economy and how the evolution of Hong Kong into an aviation hub reflected the city’s position in the expanding network of a global industry. Rather than accepting air travel as Hong Kong’s arrival in the era of global mobility, this project examines through the airline industry how Hongkongers asserted themselves in a world construct in a bid to accrue socioeconomic benefits, negotiated their interests in the city’s economic success and articulated their expressions of modernity.