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Old November 2nd, 2004, 04:19 AM   #41
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Old November 4th, 2004, 01:29 AM   #42
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Old November 5th, 2004, 02:53 AM   #43
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Thursday November 4, 1:12 PM
Virgin Blue says still in Shun Tak, Air Macau talks

HONG KONG/SYDNEY, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Australia's discount airline Virgin Blue said on Thursday talks continued with Hong Kong casino magnate Stanley Ho's Shun Tak Holdings Ltd and Air Macau about setting up a Macau-based no-frills airline.

Hong Kong newspapers quoted Shun Tak's Managing Director Pansy Ho as saying the companies had agreed on details of the joint venture, such as shareholding structure and the form of participation, but Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. said no deal was imminent.

"We've certainly had discussions and certainly there are some points we found common ground on and there's other points that we're still working through. But we haven't signed anything at this point in time," David Huttner, Virgin Blue's commercial head, told Reuters. "Nothing is imminent."

Shun Tak, which was not available for comment, wants to target mainland Chinese gamblers who flock to casinos on the tiny island of Macau.

Trading in Shun Tak shares was suspended shortly after the market opened on Thursday, pending an announcement from the Hong Kong stock exchange. Prior to its suspension, shares of Shun Tak jumped 3.45 percent to HK$6, hitting a new high since 1995.

Newspapers also said Ho planned to invest more than HK$1 billion ($128 million) in hotel and property projects in Macau, where tourism and casinos are the main business.

Virgin Blue, which is 45 percent owned by Australian transport group Patrick Corp. Ltd. and around 26 percent by British entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Group [VA.UL], said it was still in talks with other parties in the region about setting a Asian low-cost venture.

Shares in Virgin Blue rose 0.5 percent to A$1.87 in an overall market up 0.2 percent in afternoon trade.

China National Aviation Co. Ltd. owns 51 percent of Air Macau. Visitor arrivals in Macau surged after Beijing relaxed individual travel permits for citizens of mainland China and liberalised the city's gaming industry.

At least five new casinos are expected to open in the next five years in Macau, the only legal gambling haven in China, including casino entrepreneur Steve Wynn's Wynn Resorts Ltd $705 million resort.

Octogenarian Stanley Ho had a monopoly on the casino business until earlier this year when Las Vegas magnate Sheldon Adelson opened the Macau Sands casino.

The number of hotel rooms is expected to increase fivefold in over the next five years to cope with growing numbers of tourists to the former Portuguese colony.
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Old November 7th, 2004, 12:36 AM   #44
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Old November 8th, 2004, 10:33 PM   #45
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Old November 10th, 2004, 08:03 AM   #46
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Old November 16th, 2004, 09:54 PM   #47
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Old November 18th, 2004, 12:14 AM   #48
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Macau opens up China for Virgin Blue
New aviation pact with Beijing gives operation to be set up by the no-frills carrier extensive access to mainland centres
Joseph Lo
18 November 2004
South China Morning Post

Macau yesterday signed a liberal-ised air-services pact with the mainland, opening the door for Australian no-frills carrier Virgin Blue to go ahead with plans for a new China-focused airline in the former enclave.

The new deal gives Macau airlines 539 passenger flights between Macau and mainland cities per week - a near 90 per cent increase of 244 flights.

More importantly for Virgin Blue, the new deal allows a second airline to operate from Macau to mainland cities for the first time.

An announcement on the new airline is expected in weeks. The only cities that are exempt from the dual-carrier designation are Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, which will be opened up to a second carrier at the start of the 2006 summer airline schedule.

The number of mainland cities accessible by air from Macau has also been increased from 31 to 37. These cities include Tianjin, Jiangjiajie, Lijiang, Jinan, Nanning, and Wenzhou.

The biggest difference between the new Sino-Macau deal and the agreement Hong Kong officials negotiated with Beijing in September is that mainland carriers have not been given through rights from Macau, meaning they cannot compete on international routes with Macau-based airlines. But mainland carriers now have reciprocal rights to Macau, so they can also fly to there 539 times a week from anywhere in China.

Macanese officials said they were surprised at the pace of the negotiations, which went much more smoothly than they had anticipated. The talks started shortly after the Hong Kong deal was finalised in early September.

"Our philosophy was for more frequent connections from Macau to the mainland. Now all the mainland [routes] we have can be served with at least a daily frequency," one official said.

Virgin Blue's plans to launch a new carrier in Macau were not directly discussed between Macanese aviation officials and the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC).

But its plans were implicit in the talks, given the discussion of a second carrier joining Air Macau.

While Virgin Blue's Macau start-up will not have access to the lucrative Shanghai route until 2006, it will be able to code-share on Air Macau's services, or those of mainland carriers, to the city in the meantime.

According to industry sources, Air Macau has already agreed to open up its monopoly on air services from Macau for Virgin Blue.

This agreement was ratified by Air Macau shareholders - which include China National Aviation Corp (CNAC), TAP Air Portugal, Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau, Macau's tourist office, the Macanese government and Taiwan's EVA Airways - at a shareholders meeting this month.

Sources said an announcement on the new airline would be made over the next few weeks. It is expected that CNAC and other local interests will take at least a 51 per cent stake in the new carrier so that it can qualify as a Macau-owned entity to enjoy the new air rights.

It is also understood that the branding of the new carrier will not include the Virgin name, because of licensing concerns with Richard Branson's Virgin Group.

Instead, Virgin Blue is expected to use another variation of the "Blue" name, similar to the Pacific Blue name with which it operates to New Zealand.

At present Air Macau operates scheduled services to just nine mainland cities, and to three of the 42 countries and territories (the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand) with which Macau has agreements.
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Old November 18th, 2004, 05:19 AM   #49
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Old November 21st, 2004, 08:25 PM   #50
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Old November 24th, 2004, 02:19 AM   #51
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Old November 24th, 2004, 08:13 PM   #52
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Old November 25th, 2004, 02:40 AM   #53
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Just a quick but IMPORTANT information about Macau's International Airport:

It was built by the Portuguese before handing the territory over to China, abling Macau to gain some travelling and movement autonomy.


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Old November 25th, 2004, 06:44 PM   #54
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Old November 25th, 2004, 11:41 PM   #55
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The Antonov An124-100 "Ruslan", yes "Ruslan" and not Russian, is an amazingly huge cargo plane. I've played football inside an empty one, before it was loaded with firefighting helicopters that were going from Atlanta to Spain.

It looks like Macau is a hub for Volga Dnepr Cargo, because those An-124-100s just keep coming in and going out. I wonder what the white one with the United Arab Emirates flag is doing there? It seems strange that they would fly into Macau.

The Rusland is so big that I hope the runway was long enough for their takeoff, or there is a big Russian plane floating in the South China Sea.

Great work compiling the pics HKSkyline!!

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Old November 26th, 2004, 07:09 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo2004
Just a quick but IMPORTANT information about Macau's International Airport:

It was built by the Portuguese before handing the territory over to China, abling Macau to gain some travelling and movement autonomy.
@Paulo2004: What do you mean about the Portuguese government getting some travelling and movement autonomy for Macau? What kind of rights did they obtain?
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Old November 30th, 2004, 03:16 PM   #57
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Old December 1st, 2004, 09:31 PM   #58
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Old December 6th, 2004, 06:22 PM   #59
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Old December 7th, 2004, 06:21 AM   #60
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