Skip to main content
Harvard University Press - home
Hong Kong Takes Flight

Hong Kong Takes Flight

Commercial Aviation and the Making of a Global Hub, 1930s–1998

John D. Wong

ISBN 9780674278264

Publication date: 09/27/2022

Commercial aviation took shape in Hong Kong as the city developed into a powerful economy. Rather than accepting air travel as an inevitability in the era of global mobility, John Wong argues that Hong Kong’s development into a regional and global airline hub was not preordained. By underscoring the shifting process through which this hub emerged, Hong Kong Takes Flight aims to describe globalization and global networks in the making. Viewing the globalization of the city through the prism of its airline industry, Wong examines how policymakers and businesses asserted themselves against international partners and competitors in a bid to accrue socioeconomic benefits, negotiated their interests in Hong Kong’s economic success, and articulated their expressions of modernity.


  • Hong Kong Takes Flight successfully amalgamates aviation history with colonial and business history…Vigorously respond[s] to the call for putting the history of flight into a wider context…Deserve[s] praise for highlighting aviation’s crucial role in forging new identities amid dramatic geopolitical change.

    —Jürgen P. Melzer, Technology and Culture


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

Book Details

  • 360 pages
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • Harvard University Asia Center