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Old April 12th, 2005, 01:25 PM   #321
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Business Times - 12 Apr 2005

Air China 2004 net profit nearly 15 times higher

HONG KONG - China's flag carrier said on Tuesday its 2004 net profit was nearly 15 times higher than the previous year at 2.39 billion yuan (US$290 million).

Air China Ltd said the figure compared to 160 million yuan in 2003. Operating revenue rose from 24.64 billion yuan to 33.52 billion yuan.

The airline didn't immediately provide details, but said in a statement that increased competition and higher fuel costs are its major challenges.

Earlier, Air China said it carried 2.1 million passengers in March, up 14 per cent on year.

For the first three months of 2005, the Beijing-based airline carried a total of 5.91 million passengers, up 12 per cent from 5.3 million in the same period last year.

Domestic passenger numbers rose nine per cent, while international passengers increased 23 per cent, the airline said.

The carrier said it handled 163,575 metric tons (179,932 short tons) of cargo in the first quarter, up nine per cent on year.

The passenger load factor, or the percentage of seats that were filled, was 71 per cent in the first quarter, up from 68 per cent from a year earlier.

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Old April 12th, 2005, 01:26 PM   #322
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Business Times - 12 Apr 2005

China-Japan tensions unlikely to affect air travel


TOKYO - Growing anti-Japanese protests in China likely won't greatly hurt air travel from Japan, a senior aviation official said on Tuesday.

Giovanni Bisignani, director general and chief executive of International Air Transport Association, which represents more than 270 airlines worldwide, said the Chinese market is where the industry is looking for growth.

'I don't see a big impact on the traffic because I consider this a very limited kind of situation,' he said at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Tokyo.

Anti-Japanese demonstrations have erupted in China recently over new Japanese textbooks that critics say gloss over wartime atrocities, and Tokyo's bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

Over the weekend, thousands of Chinese protesters marched through Beijing, shouting slogans and throwing rocks, bottles and eggs at the Japanese Embassy.

Despite simmering political tensions, China remains an important market and manufacturing point for Japanese companies, and booming exports to China have helped the Japanese economy emerge recently from a decade of stagnation.

Air travel from Japan plunged after the Sept 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States as well as the breakout of Sars in Asia as tourists and business travellers cut back on flying.

Mr Bisignani said the big risk now is surging fuel costs.

The industry is forecasting a US$5.5 billion loss for this year, and the fuel bill has grown from US$43 billion in 2003 to US$63 billion last year, he said.

Although the break-even fuel price for the industry dropped from US$33 per barrel in 2004 to US$36 this year, because of cost cuts, fuel price now stands at about US$43 a barrel, according to Mr Bisignani. But competition is keeping ticket prices stable, he said.

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Old April 12th, 2005, 06:55 PM   #323
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Air China profits rebound but fuel costs worry

HONG KONG, April 12 (Reuters) - Air China Ltd. , the country's flagship carrier, reported a jump in 2004 net profit of nearly 15 times on Tuesday, thanks to stronger passenger numbers fuelled by the mainland's soaring economy.

Shanghai-based rival China Eastern Airlines Co. Ltd. , meanwhile, returned to the black for the full year as passenger numbers rebounded from the SARS-hit 2003. But profit was short of market forecasts and second-half earnings shrank nearly 89 percent.

Analysts see mixed fortunes for China's airline industry this year, with higher jet fuel prices and increasing competition likely to offset strong domestic travel demand.

Air China, the last of the country's three large airline groups to list, is expected to benefit from improved efficiencies after it absorbed two smaller rivals under a broad consolidation of China's state-controlled airline industry.

"We expect the Chinese economy to continue to grow at a rapid pace, and demand for traffic will increase rapidly over the next three years with an annual growth rate of about 13-15 percent," Ma Xulun, president of Air China told a news conference.

Shares in Air China ended unchanged at HK$2.80 ahead of its results announcement, but have dipped by 6 percent since their IPO in December when it raised $1.21 billion.

The country's largest passenger and cargo carrier posted a net profit of 2.39 billion yuan ($288.6 million) for the year ended December, compared with 160 million yuan in 2003 when a deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) devastated the travel industry.

The result beat market expectations that it would post net profit of 2.3 billion yuan, based on the average forecast from 6 analysts polled by Reuters. It also topped the firm's own forecast of 2.29 billion yuan cited in its IPO prospectus.

It moved 24.5 million passengers in 2004, nearly 36 percent more than the previous year, and handled 17 percent more cargo.

Turnover rose about 32 percent to 30.83 billion yuan. Air China, which did not declare a dividend in 2004, plans to pay 15-30 percent of its profits back to shareholders this year.

Before Tuesday's results, six analysts expected the airline to post an average net profit of 2.4 billion yuan in 2005.

"2004 result is in line with expectations, but I'm not optimistic in 2005," said Zhang Xigang, analyst at Sun Hung Kai Research. "Profit is expected to decline this year due to high jet fuel prices."

Air China, which hedged about 25 percent of its fuel costs last year, spent 8.35 billion yuan on fuel bills in 2004, up 54 percent from 2003. Jet fuel costs swelled to 29 of the airline's total costs in 2004 from about 24 percent the previous year.

China Eastern posted a 2004 net profit of 514 million yuan (US$62 million), compared with a loss of 950 million yuan in 2003. But second-half profit slumped to about 34 million yuan, based on Reuters calculations.

China Eastern's year result lagged the average forecast of 674 million yuan by 19 analysts polled by Reuters.

TALKS WITH CATHAY

Air China, which is 9.9 percent owned by Hong Kong Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. , recently denied a media report that the firm has plans for an equity swap with Cathay.

Cathay said that it is in talks with the mainland carrier on possible code-sharing and other cooperation.

Analysts favour Air China over rivals China Eastern and China Southern , saying the Beijing-based carrier will be the biggest beneficiary of government efforts to consolidate the sector to boost efficiency and ease competition.

Air China, which has a market share of 45 percent in mainland China's busiest air market of Beijing, recently won approval to set up a hub in Shanghai -- China Eastern's base.

Air China, trading at 11.2-11.4 times estimated 2005 earnings, is also less pricey than its two rivals, which have P/E ratios of over 14 times.

The firm also confirmed that it is planning to issue 3 billion yuan in 10-year bonds this year to buy aircraft, but it refused to give a timetable. (US$1=8.28 yuan)
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Old April 12th, 2005, 07:02 PM   #324
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China Eastern Airlines reports a profit in 2004
12 April 2005

HONG KONG (AP) - China Eastern Airlines Corp., a major state-controlled airline in China, said Tuesday it swung to a profit last year, rebounding after a SARS outbreak hit the region's aviation industry in 2003.

Net profit in 2004 totaled 514.1 million yuan (US$62.1 million; €47.8 million), compared with a net loss of 949.8 million yuan a year earlier, the airline said.

In 2003, severe acute respiratory syndrome killed nearly 800 people in parts of Asia and ravaged the region's travel industry.

Revenue rose to 21.04 billion yuan (US$2.54 billion; €1.95 billion), from 14.28 billion yuan, the company said.

The airline didn't provide further details.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 07:22 PM   #325
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International Express Giants Rush to Shenzhen Market

SHENZHEN, April 12 Asia Pulse - The international express industry in Shenzhen, a city bordering on Hong Kong, has seen a booming prospect since some 30 home and international express companies including Fedex Express, DHL-Sinotrans, UPS, TNT, rushed to the local market.

The Shenzhen Airport has gradually become an international express logistics center in southern China, said Wang Huicheng, head of the Shenzhen Airport Customhouse.

The number of international expresses via the Shenzhen Airport Customs Monitoring Center totaled 18.899 million pieces last year, weighing 153,000 tons and valuing 10.65 billion yuan, ranking first in China for three consecutive years. UPS, one of the world's four express giants, chartered airplanes in Shenzhen Airport for international express delivery for the first time starting from April 11, and it plans to have 24 flights a week. The takeoff of a chartered airplane means a keener competition among worlds express giants in Shenzhen.

The sharp growth of the international express industry in Shenzhen resulted from the gradual development of the high-tech industry and growing participations of enterprises in international competition. At present, Shenzhen's industrial structure with the hi-tech industry, modern financial industry and logistics industry as the backbones has ensured sufficient supply of goods for express industry. Data shows that the delivery of display cards, diodes, integrate circuits, CPUs and financial bills, data and documents for commercial activities has made up most of Shenzhen's express business.

Express mails and packages can complete all procedures within one hour on average at the airport customs.

Fedex Express has set up a specialized warehouse at the airports express center occupying an area of more than 2,000 square meters, and its special airplanes register 12 arrivals and departures in the airport every week on average. A thousand-square-meter specialized warehouse for DHL-Sinotrans is also under construction.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 07:23 PM   #326
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Newly licensed airlines to tap Dragonair market
Danny Chung
09 April 2005
The Standard

Two local start-up airlines, Hong Kong Express Airways and CR Airways, have obtained licenses to fly passengers to China and tap into a market now served by Hong Kong Dragon Airlines.

Hong Kong Express Airways, a helicopter service provider controlled by tycoon Stanley Ho's family, said it plans to start services to China's secondarycities as early as August.

"With our license in place, we are well on track in our preparations ahead of taking delivery of our first aircraft in July,'' Hong Kong Express chief executive Andrew Tse said.

Hong Kong is seeing more new airlinesbidding for a share of the region's growing airline passenger traffic. Oasis Hong Kong Airlines, a budget airline, plans to start long-haul services to Europe late this year.

Hong Kong-based Dragonair runs the largest number of flights to China, flying to 17 mainland cities including Nanjing, Changsha, Chongqingand Chengdu.

Hong Kong Express spokeswoman Sarah Burrows said the airline is expected to begin services in August and eventually will fly "all over China.'' She said the airline's planned market is for "multiple services'' that avoid competition with carriers such as Dragonair.

Of 15 Chinese cities included in the license granted to Hong Kong Express, only Shenzhen, Shantou, Wenzhou, Zhengzhou and Zhanjiang are not served by Dragonair. All 10 cities under CR Airways' license are part of Dragonair's route network.

"Dragonair already competes with other airlines on different routes into mainland China,'' Dragonair said.

CR Airways, privately held by China Rich Holdings chairman Yip Kwong, was not available for comment.

Hong Kong Express, which offers helicopter services between Hong Kong and Macau, will lease four new Em-braer 170 jets, the first of which will be delivered in July and the others scheduledfor delivery by April 2006.

The twin-engined jet can seat 78 passengers and has a range of 3,704 kilometers. The airline plans to add two planes a year for the next five years.

Hong Kong Express' license also allows it to run freight and mail services to the mainland, according to the government gazette issued by the Air Transport Licensing Authority.
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Old April 13th, 2005, 01:15 PM   #327
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Business Times - 13 Apr 2005

Beijing airport's March passenger traffic up 19%


HONG KONG - Passenger traffic at Beijing's Capital International Airport saw a 19 per cent on year increase in March, including a 27 per cent increase on international routes, the airport said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, passenger volume on domestic routes jumped 18 per cent while the number of people travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macau grew by nine per cent.

Around 3.17 million passengers passed through the airport in March.

Beijing Capital International Airport Co did not give a reason for the increases.

The airport has been swamped with travellers just six years after the opening of its second terminal. State media reported last month the airport plans to spend 1.2 billion yuan (US$145 million) to add new gates and improve its runways.

Currently, the airport can handle 35 million travellers a year. For the first three months of 2005, Beijing Capital's passenger traffic rose 18 per cent to 8.73 million from a year ago and cargo traffic climbed 18 per cent to 169,308 metric tons.

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Old April 13th, 2005, 04:46 PM   #328
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13 April 2005

China Eastern to take delivery of 13 aircraft this year

BEIJING : China Eastern Airlines, one of the country's top three carriers, said it plans to take delivery of 13 aircraft this year in order to keep up its competitiveness.

The new jets are five Airbus A320s, two A321s, three Boeing B737-800s and three locally-made ERJ145s based on a design from Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica SA (Embraer), and made by a northern China joint venture.

"Rising competition and robust traffic demand present both challenges and opportunities," the airline said in its annual financial report.

"We will focus more on freight services in response to rising cargo volume in the Yangtze River Delta area."

The airline posted a 536.34 million yuan (64.7 million dollars) net profit in 2004, reversing a year-earlier net loss of 1.01 billion yuan.

In 2004 the carrier took delivery of 10 jets, expanding its fleet to 103, and opened new routes including trans-Pacific cargo routes between Shanghai and Dallas.

While planning to boost capacity in 2005, China Eastern also warned of rising oil prices which had pushed up its jet fuel expenditure by 73.37 percent to 5.28 billion yuan last year from 2003.

China raised retail jet fuel prices three times last year with the year-end retail rate at 4,190 yuan per ton, up from the January 2004 level of 3,400 yuan.

The latest price hike went into effect in March this year and requires all carriers to pay an additional 430 yuan per ton for fuel.- AFP

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Old April 14th, 2005, 01:39 PM   #329
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Business Times - 14 Apr 2005

China to promote e-tickets to cut operational costs


BEIJING - China is working to promote electronic tickets to reduce airline operational costs which have ballooned as a result of soaring fuel prices, state media reported on Thursday.

Yang Yuanyuan, director of the General Administration of the Civil Aviation of China (CAAC), told the China Daily two airports would be chosen to pilot the project with a view to expanding e-tickets across the country by 2007.

'The rapid growth of China's civil aviation industry is coupled with a lot of hard nuts to crack,' he said.

'One of them is the high fuel costs resulting from rising international crude oil prices, which has a direct bearing on the development of the sector.'

Since China Southern Airlines promoted China's first e-ticket in 2000, it has secured vast profits from the technology, the newspaper said.

The Guangzhou-based carrier had revenues of four billion yuan (US$480 million) last year on e-tickets, equal to 20 per cent of the company's total sales and saving around 100 million yuan in operational costs.

Other airlines such as Air China and China Eastern have made the promotion of e-tickets their major business plan this year.

Despite the high price of fuel, China's aviation sector witnessed large growth and profitability in 2004.

Passenger traffic grew 38.1 per cent and airline profits totalled US$1.1 billion in 2004, the report said.

This year, China is expected to see 16 per cent growth in passenger traffic while projections for airline profits are US$1 billion.

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Old April 14th, 2005, 06:03 PM   #330
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China Eastern Airlines to launch direct flight linking Shanghai, Mumbai

http://english.people.com.cn/200504/...14_181000.html
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Old April 15th, 2005, 02:11 PM   #331
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Business Times - 15 Apr 2005

HK airport to buy stake in Hangzhou airport in eastern China

HONG KONG - The company that runs Hong Kong International Airport said on Friday it has agreed to buy a 35-per cent stake in Xiaoshan International Airport in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.

Airport Authority Hong Kong would buy the stake for 2 billion yuan (US$241.64 million) - its first major investment outside Hong Kong, it said in a statement

Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport Co will own the remainder of the airport.

'We will continue to extend our mainland market to fully realise HKIA's role as the country's gateway and hub airport,' said David Pang, Airport Authority Hong Kong's chief executive.

'Through direct investment and participation in their management, we will establish an airport system with our mainland counterparts,' Mr Pang said.

Xiaoshan International was China's 10th busiest airport by passenger volume last year.

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Old April 19th, 2005, 01:19 PM   #332
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Business Times - 19 Apr 2005

Air Macau plans to end monopoly

(HONG KONG) Air Macau, the only carrier operating from the former Portuguese colony, plans to end its monopoly by sharing traffic rights with airlines that want to start flights from the city.

The government has given Air Macau permission to talk to carriers that want to start up in the city, Simon Chan, acting president of Macau's Civil Aviation Authority, said in an interview at an aviation conference in Macau yesterday.

'As to how Air Macau will cooperate with them, that's outside the government's control,' Mr Chan said. Air Macau can set up a joint venture with other companies or share its rights, he added. Air Macau, which was given a 25-year, exclusive operating licence in the city in 1995, now flies to 14 destinations in China and South-east Asia.

Shun Tak Holdings Ltd, controlled by casino tycoon Stanley Ho, and other companies such as WOW!Macau want to tap increasing travel to Macau as the city's casinos expand and attract more tourists. Hong-Kong-based Shun Tak is in talks with Air Macau and Australia's Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd to set up a budget carrier in Macau, Pansy Ho, managing director of Shun Tak, said in Macau. Air Macau has applied to the city's government to set up the new carrier, Ms Ho added.

Macau, which reverted to Chinese rule in 1999, had a record 16.7 million tourists last year, 57 per cent of them from mainland China. The local government ended Ms Ho's 42-year casino monopoly in Macau in 2002, granting licences to Las Vegas gaming billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn.

WOW, the first budget airline to be based in Macau, may begin flights to cities in Asia, Europe and North America by the end of this year, chief executive Andrew Pyne said on April 10. Golden Dragon, a company that plans to operate flights to secondary cities in mainland China, is also in talks with Air Macau, John Chan, executive director of CAM-Macau International Airport Co, said. CAM-Macau is the operator of Macau's airport.

Air Macau is 51 per cent-owned by China National Aviation Co, which also controls Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Ltd, the city's second-largest carrier. - Bloomberg

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Old April 19th, 2005, 05:06 PM   #333
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Business Times - 19 Apr 2005

US transport chief gets cold shoulder from HK on open skies appeal

HONG KONG - US Transport Secretary Norman Mineta got short shrift in Hong Kong on Tuesday as he called on air industry leaders to back his call for an open skies deal between the US and the Chinese territory.

However, at an address ahead of meetings with transport chiefs he hopes will lay the ground for air talks in Washington later this month, Mr Mineta was accused of making demands of Hong Kong that he was not prepared to make of the US.

The US transport secretary said an open skies deal with the United States would be good for Hong Kong's economy.

'Hong Kong has everything to gain- more passengers, more commerce and stronger airlines - from truly opening up its aviation market.

'And it has everything to lose - from its status as an aviation hub to its history as the gateway to South China - if it becomes an anachronism of restrictive aviation policies,' Mr Mineta said.

Hong Kong currently grants a handful of US airlines onward rights here but under an open skies accord any number of airlines would be able to fly in and pick up passengers and cargo.

In principle, this should be reciprocated for Hong Kong airlines flying to the United States but critics argue that the deal would give more benefits to US carriers as their planes would be able to serve the rest of Asia.

However, critics say that while US authorities allow onward flights within the United States, that is not enough.

'Under the policy, US airlines would enjoy unfettered access to regional markets that feed Hong Kong but Hong Kong airlines would remain banned from likewise competing on American turf,' a statement from Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific said.

Martin Craigs, president of Aerospace Forum Asia, a regional talk shop on air services, accused the United States of demanding more than it was willing to give.

'There does seem to be a certain amount of double standards in criticising Hong Kong for not having an open skies agreement,' Mr Craigs said.

'I don't see why Hong Kong should be expected to import your competitive edge when you have no competitive edge,' he told Mr Mineta.

Mr Mineta is in Hong Kong at the end of short tour of Asia where he is trying to convince nations to sign open skies deals. So far India has signed a deal and Thailand has expressed an interest.

Critics say Asian airlines would demand rights to enter the US domestic market - a situation known as cabotage - in return for concessions on open skies but Mr Mineta fired down the suggestion, saying it was a political hot potato.

'Cabotage is the third-rail in US politics - you just cannot touch it,' he said. '

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Old April 19th, 2005, 10:54 PM   #334
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Air Canada Welcomes New Canada-China Bilateral Air Agreement; Announces Major Expansion of Passenger and Cargo Services to China

http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/a.../19/c7547.html
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Old April 20th, 2005, 01:23 PM   #335
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Business Times - 20 Apr 2005

Air China starts HK-Hangzhou flights


(HONG KONG) Air China Ltd, the nation's biggest international carrier, said it began flying between Hong Kong and Hangzhou yesterday, a week after Hong Kong's airport manager invested in an airport in eastern China. Air China's new daily service increases to 12 the number of daily flights between Hong Kong and Hangzhou, capital of eastern China's Zhejiang province, said the Hong Kong Airport Authority, which operates Asia's third-biggest air terminal by passenger numbers.

The Hong Kong Airport Authority is investing outside the city to increase its sources of income, as the Chek Lap Kok airport faces more competition for air traffic from facilities in southern China. The government-owned operator said on April 15 it would pay 1.99 billion yuan (S$403 million) for 35 per cent of Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport. 'The demand for business and leisure travel between Hong Kong and Hangzhou and Zhejiang has been surging,' He Zhixiu, managing director of Air China's Hong Kong office, said. Xiaoshan Airport handled 6.4 million passengers last year, making it China's 10th-biggest airport. - Bloomberg

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Old April 21st, 2005, 01:20 PM   #336
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Business Times - 21 Apr 2005

[DHL sees China revenue soaring 50% this year

(SHANGHAI) DHL, an arm of Deutsche Post AG, forecast yesterday that revenue growth in China would top 50 per cent this year and the country was set to become its largest Asian market by year-end or early 2006.

DHL, which jostles with FedEx Corp and United Parcel Service Inc globally, is trying to maintain a 40 per cent share of China's express delivery market - a US$1.5 billion market that FedEx says will one day be the world's top cargo market.

To that end, DHL will seek approval this year for its cargo venture with Cathay Pacific to fly to the mainland, matching similar privileges granted to rivals.

'Based on our growth projections, revenue from China should overtake Japan late this year or early next year,' Ross Allen, a senior vice-president in Asia for DHL, told reporters in Shanghai. He said revenue growth in Japan was also 'in the strong double digits'.

DHL yesterday started daily flights to Los Angeles, Cincinnati and Anchorage from Shanghai, the company said in a statement. The services will be provided on Northwest Airlines Corp cargo flights.

Rocketing global trade with China - which came to about US$1 trillion in 2004 - is driving demand for air freight, but the domestic market is now dominated by state monopoly China Post and local freight forwarders.

As part of commitments made upon joining the World Trade Organization, China has pledged to open the logistics and transport sector to wholly owned foreign companies.

Customs procedures have yet to be streamlined, and many logistic companies have chosen to stay with local partners for their ties with officials and customs bureaux.

DHL owns 5 per cent of the Hong Kong-listed shares of its local partner, Sinotrans. It has no immediate plans to change the size of that stake, said Jerry Hsu, president of DHL Greater China.

Rival UPS, which claims to control a fifth of the China market, is also a Sinotrans partner. In December, it paid US$100 million to take over Sinotrans' international express delivery operations and its operations in Beijing.

Air Hong Kong, DHL's cargo carrier venture with Cathay Pacific, has yet to be approved for mainland operations, even though US rivals UPS, FedEx, Northwest Airlines Corp and Polar Air Cargo Inc all operate cargo flights to China.

DHL plans to apply for approval for Air Hong Kong this year, Mr Allen said. In the meantime, Cathay is operating its newly launched Beijing-Hong Kong service.

The company is also making moves in other parts of the region, which yielded US$3.4 billion of revenue in 2004 versus US$24 billion worldwide.

In India, where revenue growth is also in double digits, DHL is pondering more investment in service centres and gateways after buying 80 per cent of Indian express delivery firm Blue Dart Express Ltd, Mr Allen said. - Reuters

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Old April 21st, 2005, 01:23 PM   #337
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Business Times - 21 Apr 2005

Official blasts Chinese airports for poor safety

(BEIJING) A top aviation official in China has criticised the country's airports for having poor safety, which he blamed for 80 per cent of the nation's air accidents, state media said yesterday.

Qin Zhanggao, vice-director of the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China's (CAAC) department of airports, said they must improve to keep pace with rapid growth in China's air travel, the China Daily reported.

'I'm not confident about the safety situation of the nation's airports, especially considering the nation's booming civil aviation industry,' Mr Qin was quoted as saying.

He said figures showed 70 to 80 per cent of the country's air accidents happen on the tarmac of, or close to, airports.

Last year, a total of 64 accidents took place in or near airports across the nation, said Mr Qin.

These included 10 occasions where a plane hit something on the runway, five accidents caused by problems with power supply and 25 involving an aircraft being struck by birds or other flying objects.

These problems arise due to poor taxiway surfacing, airport fencing and prevention of interference from birds.

'Over 80 per cent of the airports in the country fail to meet standards for installing safety facilities such as firefighting and emergency rescue equipment,' Mr Qin added.

CAAC statistics indicate that by the end of last year, there were 137 airports in mainland China.

They handled around 242 million passengers and 4.5 million tonnes of cargo and post in 2004, an increase of 38.8 and 22.3 per cent respectively over 2003.

The administration is working on creating a safety-management system to avoid airport-related accidents, in line with international practice.

It also plans to draft rules on airport safety and improve training for security personnel.

The number of airports in China is expected to rise to nearly 200 by 2010, the report said.

In the next 16 years, 400,000 square metres of passenger terminal and 150,000 square metres of cargo transportation station will be built every year, according the CAAC's estimates. - AFP

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 01:32 PM   #338
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Business Times - 21 Apr 2005

Chinese airlines buy 10 new Airbus planes

BEIJING - China Eastern Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines signed a deal on Thursday with Airbus to buy a total of 10 A319/A320 planes worth between US$500-600 million, Airbus announced.

The deal was signed in Beijing between the two carriers and the European consortium's vice-president Philippe Delmas.

China Eastern is purchasing five A319s and Shenzhen Airlines five planes including A319s and A320s.

During the signing ceremony, a total of 20 other contracts, all previously announced, were finalised.

They included China Southern Airlines's purchase of five A380 super jumbos. The terms of agreement on this deal were signed in Paris in January.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old April 25th, 2005, 03:58 PM   #339
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Thursday April 21, 4:38 PM
Chinese airlines buy 10 new Airbus planes - A380 deal completed

BEIJING (AFP) - China Eastern Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines signed a deal with Airbus to buy a total of 10 A319/A320 planes while China Southern completed an agreement on its purchase of five A380 superjumbos.

The deals were signed in Beijing between the carriers and the European consortium's vice-president Philippe Delmas, who is in China accompanying French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin.

"These are not letters of intent, these are firm contracts," Delmas said.

"In 2004, Airbus sold 47 planes to China; this market has been the destination of one sixth of the annual deliveries of Airbus."

Raffarin and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao witnessed the signing which came immediately after their official talks on the first day of the French premier's three-day visit.

The French government has lobbied hard for Airbus sales in China and its increasingly close political ties with Beijing appear to have helped smooth the way for the deals.

The signing coincided with Raffarin calling for the lifting of a 16-year old European Union arms embargo on China while voicing support for China's "anti-seccession" law on Taiwan passed in March.

In the deals, China Eastern is buying five A319s and Shenzhen Airlines five planes including A319s and A320s in a new package worth some 500-600 million dollars, Airbus said.

During the signing ceremony, 20 other contracts, all previously announced, were finalised. In total, the deals for the 30 planes are valued at 3.2 billion dollars, said Delmas.

They included China Southern Airlines's purchase of five A380 superjumbos, worth around around 1.3-1.4 billion dollars.

The contract for these had already been signed in Paris in January and marked the first A380s to be sold to China, which is expected to be one of the world's most important aircraft markets in the decades to come.

"This is a very big market ... the air traffic in China is essentially in the interior; in the first four months of the year it grew by 40 percent over the same period last year, which is phenomenal," Delmas said.

The other 15 aircraft orders confirmed Thursday form part of an agreement signed during a visit to China by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder last December.

In the next two decades, Airbus sees potential sales to China of some 1,600 aircraft, while arch rival Boeing, which currently has a 62 percent market share, predicts more than 2,000. In addition, the domestic Aviation Industries of China (AVIC) is looking at nearly 1,300.

The Asian giant is expected to sharply increase aircraft orders to cope with anticipated booming air traffic for the 2008 Olympic Games to be hosted in Beijing.

Airbus China President Laurence Barron said earlier this year that Airbus is working on another deal to lease two A380 superjumbos to China's flag carrier, Air China, to be used for the Games.

Airbus is 80-percent owned by aerospace conglomerate EADS and the rest by British defence contractor BAE Systems.
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Old April 25th, 2005, 04:02 PM   #340
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UPS hopes to offer financing in China

BEIJING, April 22 (Reuters) - United Parcel Service Inc. hopes to eventually offer financing to customers in China, one of the express delivery company's fastest-growing markets, a senior executive said on Friday.

"As China ascends into the WTO, as their financial markets open, we just want to make sure our capital group can offer similar financial solutions as elsewhere," Ken Torok, head of UPS Asia Pacific, told reporters.

The Atlanta-based company has already opened a representative office for its capital group in Shanghai after a regional survey of small- and medium-sized companies last year showed strong demand for financing.

The company's financial arm, UPS Capital, provides services such as trade risk management and offering credit to businesses looking to increase cash flow or lease equipment.

UPS is competing against FedEx Corp. and DHL Express [DHL.UL] for a slice of China's express delivery market, now $1.5 billion and growing.

Torok did not say when he expected UPS to be able to offer financing, but China is gradually opening its financial sector to foreign competition in line with promises it made when it joined the World Trade Organisation at the end of 2001. In its quarterly results released on Thursday, UPS said its export volume from China doubled over a year earlier.

"China is not an option for us, it's absolutely essential," Torok said.

UPS was on track to have 1,700 staff in China this year, up from 450 last year, after taking over most of the international express delivery operations of Sinotrans under a $100 million deal announced in late 2004, Torok said.

Weekly flights were expected to rise to 21 next year from the current 18, he said.

UPS has also previously said it will invest $500 million to build 20 supply chain facilities in China over the next two years as it focuses on expanding beyond package delivery to offer a broad range of logistics services. The quarterly results "demonstrate that the things that we have started doing in China are working. We are moving from small package delivery to total supply chain solutions," Torok said.
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