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Old October 12th, 2004, 03:12 PM   #21
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Tuesday October 12, 3:15 PM
China Planning to Build Airport at Shangri-La

BEIJING, Oct 12 Asia Pulse - China is planning to build a high altitude airport, the nation's second highest, close to the famed Shangri-La region in the Himalayas which will allow the outside world easier access to the picturesque area.

The airport is scheduled to be build in Garze, China's second Tibetan-dominated area in a bid to improve its link with other part of the country and overseas.

Rao Sidan, head of the Garze Tibetan Prefecture of Sichuan Province, southwest China, said the planned airport, or Kangding Airport, will be 38 km from the county seat of Kangding County with an altitude of 4,200 meters.

The airport will be the second highest after Bamda Airport in Tibet Autonomous Region, which stands at about 4,300 meters in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, he said.

Total expenditure for the airport is estimated at nearly US$100 million, Xinhua news agency quoted the official as saying.

Rao said the planned airport will boost local social and economic development of the prefecture after its completion as the region is trying to attract tourists from other parts of the country and overseas.

The airport is important for the hilly prefecture because it is difficult to reach the area by road.

Located in Hengduan mountainous region in eastern part of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Garze is rich in tourism resources.

The region has been the core of the ecological tourism zone known as Great Shangri-La promoted at home and abroad by Sichuan and neighbouring Yunnan Province and Tibet Autonomous Region.

(PTI)
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Old October 12th, 2004, 03:18 PM   #22
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Published October 12, 2004

China Eastern to pay US$3.4b for 20 Airbus planes

(HONG KONG) China Eastern Airlines Corp, the nation's third-largest carrier, said it has valued the 20 Airbus planes ordered on Oct 10 from the French manufacturer at US$3.4 billion, in its biggest aircraft purchase since 2002.

Each A330-300 plane will be fitted with Trent 772B engines made by Rolls-Royce Group and delivered between 2006 and 2008, China Eastern said. Each plane costs between US$163 million and US$170 million, the airline said in a statement to the Shanghai exchange.

Each A330-300 plane carries a catalogue price of US$167 million, before discounts. The aircraft has as many as 335 seats and can fly a maximum distance of 10,186 km. The A330-300 planes will replace the A310 and A300 aircraft in its fleet, on domestic and international routes, said China's Eastern's spokesman Luo Zhuping.

Like its larger competitors, Air China and China Southern Airlines Co, China Eastern is expanding its fleet as air traffic expands in the country. China is the world's largest potential aviation market, where air travel is expected to expand 8.1 per cent over the next two decades.

China Eastern said it will use bank loans to finance the purchases, which are subject to government approval. The airline did not disclose the routes on which it will use the new aircraft. Shanghai-based China Eastern operated 100 airplanes by the end of June, according to its annual report.

China Eastern and Air China gave Airbus firm orders on Oct 9 for 26 aircraft. Air China, the country's closely held international carrier, did not disclose the price for the six planes it is buying.

China Eastern's last aircraft purchase was in 2002, when the Shanghai-based carrier paid US$800 million for 20 Airbus A320 planes, said the airline's spokesman Luo. The A320 planes, with a single aisle that carries up to 150 passengers, is used for flying short distances of up to 3,000 nautical miles.

China Southern Airlines Co, the nation's biggest carrier, said in April it will pay US$1.3 billion to buy 21 airplanes from Airbus, including 15 A320-200 models and six A319-100 planes. - Bloomberg
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Old October 16th, 2004, 05:24 AM   #23
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Bitter lesson on fuel hedging for carriers
Karen Teo, Hong Kong Standard
October 15, 2004

Most major international airlines hedge 30-50 per cent of their fuel costs which have continued to climb in recent years.

For years, most big airlines have used futures to protect themselves against sudden surges in the price of jet fuel, their second biggest cost after labour. Not so for China's rapidly expanding passenger airlines, whose top managers have preferred to take a chance oil prices will remain stable, rather than pay the cost of buying protection in the futures markets.

This year's run-up in crude oil costs to more than US$53 (HK$413.40) a barrel has taught them a costly lesson and is forcing reluctant managers to begin hedging their bets.

Two of China's biggest airlines - China Southern and China Eastern - say they have hedged only about 10 per cent of their fuel costs so far this year. By contrast, most international carriers hedge anywhere from 30-50 per cent, and some go far higher.

Australia's Qantas, for instance, has locked in 70 per cent of its fuel costs at US$32 a barrel through next June. Even so, its fuel costs have jumped to 21 per cent of total outlays from just 13 per cent last year.

Hong Kong's Dragonair has locked in 30-50 per cent of its fuel cost for this year at US$30-US$40 per barrel.

Chinese carriers, by leaving themselves much more exposed to soaring crude prices, find they are spending 25-27 per cent of their total outlay on fuel, compared to about 15 per cent for most international carriers.

Analysts say most airlines have not hedged enough this year, since few expected oil prices to remain at current levels for this long.

But the Chinese carriers are more vulnerable than most, and that is making managers rethink their former dislike of hedging. China Eastern executives involved in fuel purchasing realise that insufficient hedging is one of the principal reasons its fuel expenses are so high, and they've been using this argument to press management to drop its objections to running hedges.

"As we are listed, management and shareholders are concerned over [the costs of] excessive hedging,'' says a source from China Eastern. "We only started since the end of last year.''


"Technically, we do not have a licence to hedge but we have been doing so in the OTC market since there are no government regulations there,'' says the China Eastern source. As a result, the company now plans to hedge at least 15 per cent of its fuel needs for next year, up from about 10 per cent now.

China Southern fuel managers ran into similar objections to hedging from top executives. "We only started hedging in August when oil prices were already very high,'' says a fuel management source at the company.

Hedging alone, of course, can't make up for all the increase and fuel costs, which has driven airlines world-wide to pass it on to passengers via fuel surcharges.
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Old October 16th, 2004, 08:54 AM   #24
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Air China Confident About Next Year's IPO Prospects
William Dennis
12 October 2004
Aviation Daily, Volume 358, Number 8

Air China is confident it will attract investors for its planned Initial Public Offering next year, and a senior official of the Air China group, Li Jiaxing, said the IPO should reach its US$500 million target.

"We have prepared for the IPO and with market conditions good and the airline performing well, it will go ahead as planned. We are confident that foreign investors would be attracted as well," Li said.

He also dismissed press reports that foreign investors would shy away from investing in Air China due to the government's interference in the airline's day-to-day operations.

The Chinese national flag carrier postponed the IPO three times --- in 2001 because of the airline's poor financial state, in 2002 due to poor market conditions and last year because of the downturn in the travel industry.

To prepare for the IPO, Air China has set up a joint stock company with share capital of CNY6.5 billion (US$785 million), and the government's 69% stake in China National Aviation Corp (CNAC) -- valued at HK$3.27 billion (US$420 million) -- has been transferred to Air China to boost the airline's standing.

CNAC, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, controls Hong Kong-based regional carrier Dragon Air and Air Macau.

Air China hired China International Capital Corp. and Merrill Lynch to manage the IPO, whose proceeds would be used to pay for new aircraft, including the Airbus A380, underpinning Air China's domestic and international expansion.

Air China wants to order six A380s while Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines is expected to order four. The government's China Import Export Supplies Corp. is expected to place orders for the two carriers' A380s soon. Both Air China and China Southern expect to deploy the jumbo aircraft on major international routes and on lucrative Beijing-Shanghai, Beijing-Hong Kong and Shanghai-Hong Kong routes. -WD

Air China is confident it will attract investors for its planned Initial Public Offering next year, and a senior official of the Air China group, Li Jiaxing, said the IPO should reach its US$500 million target.

"We have prepared for the IPO and with market conditions good and the airline performing well, it will go ahead as planned. We are confident that foreign investors would be attracted as well," Li said.

He also dismissed press reports that foreign investors would shy away from investing in Air China due to the government's interference in the airline's day-to-day operations.

The Chinese national flag carrier postponed the IPO three times --- in 2001 because of the airline's poor financial state, in 2002 due to poor market conditions and last year because of the downturn in the travel industry.

To prepare for the IPO, Air China has set up a joint stock company with share capital of CNY6.5 billion (US$785 million), and the government's 69% stake in China National Aviation Corp (CNAC) -- valued at HK$3.27 billion (US$420 million) -- has been transferred to Air China to boost the airline's standing.

CNAC, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, controls Hong Kong-based regional carrier Dragon Air and Air Macau.

Air China hired China International Capital Corp. and Merrill Lynch to manage the IPO, whose proceeds would be used to pay for new aircraft, including the Airbus A380, underpinning Air China's domestic and international expansion.

Air China wants to order six A380s while Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines is expected to order four. The government's China Import Export Supplies Corp. is expected to place orders for the two carriers' A380s soon. Both Air China and China Southern expect to deploy the jumbo aircraft on major international routes and on lucrative Beijing-Shanghai, Beijing-Hong Kong and Shanghai-Hong Kong routes. -WD
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Old October 19th, 2004, 07:21 AM   #25
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Tuesday October 19, 11:12 AM
INTERVIEW: Airbus China Chief Seeks Mainland Market Edge
By Nisha Gopalan

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Aircraft maker Airbus, which signed orders to sell 20 A330-300 aircraft to China Eastern Airlines Corp. a week ago, is hoping to break U.S. rival Boeing Co.'s dominance over the China market in the next few years.

In an interview with Dow Jones Newswires, Airbus China President Laurence Barron said sales of the aircraft to China Eastern, on top of orders for six aircraft to Air China, have already put Airbus sales in China this year above last year's.

"As of today, this is our best year ever in China, Hong Kong and Macau, and we still have two and a half months to go," said Barron. "Who knows what can happen in that time?"

Last year, Airbus clinched orders for 30 aircraft in China, Hong Kong and Macau, he said. So far this year, including 21 A321 aircraft signed for China Southern Airlines Co. in January, six A319 planes to Air China as well as three A330s for Hong Kong's de facto flag carrier Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Airbus has chalked up orders for 50 aircraft.

But that still puts Airbus behind Boeing, which entered the mainland China market about a decade before the European aircraft maker's first foray into the country in 1985.

Barron said Airbus has 25% of the current fleet in service in China, while Boeing has 72%. In Hong Kong and Macau, it has the dominant share at 62% compared with Boeing's 38%. In all, Airbus has 830 in-service aircraft in China, Hong Kong and Macau - which works out to a third of the market against its U.S. competitor's two-thirds.

"We have been playing catch-up to Boeing, but in the last 10 years, we've made a lot of progress. Our target is for Airbus to have half the in-service fleet in China in the coming years," Barron said.

Barron has reason to be optimistic. Airbus believes that the region - China, Hong Kong and Macau - will need more than 1,500 new aircraft in the next 20 years.

"China will become the second-largest market for civil aircraft after the U.S. in the next 20 years," Barron said. "At China's current economic growth rates, that could even happen in the next 10 years."

Barron said the aircraft maker forecasts 20% growth in mainland Chinese air travel this year and next year, then about 8% average annual growth thereafter.

"That 8% could be a conservative estimate," he said.

One aircraft that could help boost Airbus sales in China is the 555-seater A380, dubbed the superjumbo, which the European aircraft maker has been building and expects to roll out in January next year.

"We're highly confident of seeing the A380 here in China in the colors of at least one Chinese airline, at least by 2008 (the date of the Beijing Olympics)," Barron said. "We expect to say something on this in the coming months."

Airlines such as Air France SA, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Singapore Airlines Ltd. and Deutsche Lufthansa AG have already struck deals to buy the A380, which should begin flying before the middle of next year, Barron said.

Boeing, meanwhile, has been working on building the 7E7, which will be a mid-sized jet the aircraft maker said would be fuel-efficient rather than large.

Toulouse-based Airbus is a joint venture between European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. and BAE Systems PLC.
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Old October 19th, 2004, 07:24 PM   #26
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Tuesday October 19, 3:05 PM
China Eastern Air Sep Passenger Numbers Fall 7.9% On Year

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--China Eastern Airlines Corp. (CEA), one of China's major state-controlled airlines, said Tuesday its passenger numbers fell 7.9% on year in September to 1.62 million, after rising 21% in August.

International passenger numbers for the Shanghai-based carrier fell 13.3% from September last year, while domestic passenger figures dropped 6.9%. Part of the decline was due to a high comparison base. In September last year, the containment of SARS in earlier months led to a surge in travel.

The passenger load factor - the percentage of seats that were filled - was 69% in September, down from 73% in August.

The freight load factor rose to 57% in September, up from 52% in August, however.
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Old October 20th, 2004, 05:19 PM   #27
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Wednesday October 20, 8:59 PM
HK's Cathay to take 9.9 pct stake in Air China
By Tony Munroe

HONG KONG, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. will buy a 9.9 percent stake in Air China when China's flag carrier launches an initial public offering, the airlines said on Wednesday.

The deal, which took observers by surprise, gives a boost to Cathay's long-frustrated China ambitions and could make Air China's planned IPO more attractive, one analyst said.

Beijing-based Air China, which is the mainland's third-largest carrier, has applied to the Hong Kong stock exchange for its IPO, the companies said in a statement.

It hopes to list its shares by late this year or early 2005 in an offer that could raise more than US$500 million and may also include a secondary listing in London, a source familiar with the deal said earlier on Wednesday.

"In my view, it's going to be a hard sell in this market. But with Cathay as a strategic investor, it may help," said Michael Chan, aviation analyst at BOC International.

Hong Kong-based Cathay is the territory's dominant carrier, but its access to fast-growing mainland China has been limited to just three passenger flights a week to Beijing.

This week it said it won rights to add additional passenger services to Beijing, as well as new cargo services to Shanghai and passenger service to Xiamen.

The agreement between Cathay and state-owned Air China calls for further cooperation between the two, including potential alignment of their networks.

"Strategically, it is immensely important for (Cathay)," industry consultant David Dodwell said.

Industry watchers had long expected Cathay to broaden its cooperation with China Eastern Airlines , which is based in Shanghai, a market Cathay covets.

Air China is expected to sell 27 to 28 percent of its enlarged share capital at eight to 10 times its forecast 2004 net profit, sources have said previously. It earned 93 million yuan (US$11.2 million) in 2003.

Cathay Pacific, which is 46 percent owned by property-focused conglomerate Swire Pacific Ltd. , will take 9.9 percent of the expanded share capital of Air China.

"We believe that there are many areas of our operations where we can cooperate together and leverage our respective strengths," Kong Dong, vice chairman of Air China, said in the statement.

Air China's IPO is being underwritten by Merrill Lynch and China International Capital Corp.

"We look forward to becoming Air China's strategic partner and to a mutually beneficial relationship between our two companies," David Turnbull, Cathay's chief executive, said in the statement.

As of June 30, Air China operated a fleet of 136 aircraft serving 69 domestic and 34 international destinations.

The tie-up would further complicate the ownership structures of the respective carriers.

Under the structure of its IPO, Air China will hold 69 percent of Hong Kong-listed China National Aviation Co. Ltd. (CNAC), CNAC said earlier this month. CNAC owns 43 percent of number-two Hong Kong carrier Dragonair, while Cathay owns a 19 percent stake in Dragonair and Swire holds 7.7 percent.
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Old October 20th, 2004, 07:44 PM   #28
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Wednesday October 20, 11:39 PM
Report: Air China may list shares in London, not New York

Mainland China's flag-carrier Air China Ltd. has scrapped plans to list shares in New York and may offer them in London instead, Dow Jones Newswires reported Wednesday.

Air China hopes to raise US$500 million (euro 400 million) in an initial public offering of stock in Hong Kong and another major market, either late this year or early next year.

Air China also announced late Wednesday that Hong Kong's biggest airline, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., will acquire a 9.9 percent stake in the state-owned carrier at the time of its IPO.

In a joint statement, Air China and Cathay said they signed a memorandum of understanding about the deal.

The agreement also set out a framework for the two airlines to develop a closer partnership, including joint marketing and sales activities as well as better coordination of the airlines' schedules, the companies said.

"We believe that there are many areas of our operations where we can cooperate together and leverage our respective strengths for the future prosperity of both companies," Kong Dong, Air China's vice chairman said in the statement.

Earlier, Dow Jones reported that Air China had originally planned to sell its shares in New York, but abandoned that idea and is now considering London. The report cited information from a source familiar with the share listing.

Dow Jones did not name the source by name, but quoted the person as saying that many details, including the date of the listing, were still being discussed.

"Things might still change," the source was quoted as saying. The source declined to say why Air China abandoned plans to list in New York.
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Old October 24th, 2004, 03:41 AM   #29
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FedEx Doubles Flights to China Increasing Market Leadership
Monday October 18, 11:59 am ET

MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 18, 2004--FedEx Express, an operating unit of FedEx Corp., was today awarded 12 additional weekly flights to China by the U.S. Department of Transportation, bringing its total to 23. The additional authority will allow FedEx Express to operate more all-cargo flights to and from China than any other U.S. airline.

FedEx Express will use six of its awarded frequencies to provide a new westbound round-the-world service connecting the U.S. to Shanghai with stops in Europe and other points in Asia using an MD-11 freighter.

The other six frequencies, available in March 2005, will be used to establish an eastbound round-the-world service connecting the U.S., Europe, Japan and India to Shanghai, Shenzhen, and other points in Asia using an MD-11 aircraft.

Looking ahead to 2006, FedEx has asked the DOT for six additional weekly flights (bringing the total of weekly flight to 29) to include Guangzhou into its global and regional express networks.

Currently, FedEx Express operates 11 weekly flights to China, serving Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen. Today, FedEx offers the only direct flight between the United States and the Pearl River Delta, via its daily flight from Shenzhen.

"FedEx already provides access to more cities across China and throughout the Asia Pacific region than any other global express provider. These additional frequencies will enhance our capabilities and strengthen our service offerings between China and North America, Europe and Japan," said Michael L. Ducker, executive vice president, International for FedEx Express. "Without question, China is restructuring the economic landscape of the entire world, and FedEx has been a part of that growth since beginning service there 20 years ago."

In the quarter ended Aug. 31, revenue from international operations increased 25 percent, fueled by strong growth in Asia, including a 52 percent increase in China export volume.

"This year, approximately $60 billion worth of goods will leave China by air and another $61 billion worth of goods will enter China by air. Over the last three years, U.S. exports to China have grown by 75 percent, making the United States second only to Japan as China's top trading partner. In fact, in April 2002 FedEx became one of the first U.S. cargo air carriers to establish direct service between Japan and China," Ducker said.

FedEx is committed to educating small and mid-sized businesses about the benefits of international commerce, particularly to and from China. FedEx was recently chosen by the U.S. Department of Commerce to provide small business customers with the knowledge and tools needed to begin international shipping.

FedEx is also working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on a series of educational seminars about doing business in China to promote export opportunities and ensure the growth and competitiveness of small and mid-sized companies in the international arena.

About FedEx in China

FedEx entered China in 1984 and, since that time, has expanded its guaranteed service to cover more than 220 cities across the country with plans to add 100 additional cities over the next few years. Customers in China have access to a full portfolio of FedEx services including the latest pick-up times, fast and efficient delivery and electronic customs clearance. In December, Shanghai became the headquarters for FedEx in China, employing more than 1,900 people.
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Old October 30th, 2004, 09:41 AM   #30
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No worries, China

CLIVE DORMAN
30 October 2004
The Age

The long-predicted boom in air travel between Australia and China is finally happening. After a series of setbacks - from the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing in 1989 to the SARS epidemic in 2002 and economic crises in between - liberalisation by Australia and China of their air services agreement has tens of thousands of Chinese visitors coming to Australia.

Once there was only a twice-a-week Beijing-Guangzhou-Melbourne-Sydney milk run, operated only by the Chinese state-owned carrier Air China. Now there is fierce four-way competition between Beijing-based Air China, Guangzhou-based China Southern, Shanghai-based China Eastern and Qantas, which will soon resume flying the Sydney-Shanghai route three times a week after several interruptions caused by one or other of the region's crises.

Some travel industry officials believe that by next decade there will be as many Chinese visitors to Australia as there are from America and Europe.

About 80 per cent of the airline seats coming in from China are now filled by Chinese, but the number of Australians visiting China is also on the rise.

At the moment all services from Melbourne to China are via Sydney bu next month China Eastern will begin north bound non-stop flights from Melbourne to Shanghai. (Air China, China Southern and China Eastern all fly non-stop from either Guangzhou or Shanghai to Melbourne on the southbound journey.)

By the middle of next year there will be as many as 3000 new weekly seats between Melbourne and the Chinas (Hong Kong and the mainland) as a result of air treaty liberalisation.

Industry officials believe it's only a matter of time before the routing of flights from Melbourne to China via Sydney disappears as more and more go direct to their destinations.

It's ironic and disappointing that the airline that has grown to become China's biggest, China Southern, is the smallest player in the Australian market behind China Eastern and Air China.

It's disappointing because even when China Southern goes daily to Australia from December, Melbourne will continue to get only two services a week (with the northbound trip via Sydney).

Yet China Southern is the best-placed of all the local carriers to move traffic in and out of China, in the same way that United Airlines has the advantage at Los Angeles because of its vast US domestic network.

For a start, China Southern's hub in Guangzhou (the old Canton), just over the fence from Hong Kong, is amazing. The new $4 billion airport, 30 kilometres east of the city, is being ramped up to take up to 80 million passengers a year by the end of this decade, making it the third-biggest airport on the planet. (So it should be, as Guangdong province, of which Guangzhou is the capital, accounts for a quarter of China's annual economic output!)

It's also perfectly positioned geographically to take flights from Australia. Not only is it the closest landfall from Down Under, but China Southern's huge local network enables seamless connections to virtually every important destination in the country, from Beijing in the north, to Chengdu and Chongqing in the west and Sanya (China's emerging beach holiday getaway on Hainan Island) in the south. China Southern even flies to Lhasa, Tibet, in the Himalayas.

China Southern says the existing four services a week from Australia arrive in Guangzhou in time to make up to 100 daily domestic connecting flights.

Trying to do the same thing via Shanghai further north can add hours to the trip, if the connection is possible at all. And it's difficult via Hong Kong, which has only a small and relatively infrequent intra-China network operated by Cathay Pacific and the local carrier, Dragonair.

However, there's another task that all the Chinese carriers will be able to perform with increasing frequency and convenience in the next few years: flying Australian travellers on to Europe. China Southern, for example, already operates regular services from Guangzhou to Paris and Amsterdam.
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Old October 31st, 2004, 07:52 PM   #31
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Sunday October 31, 8:57 PM
Boeing, Airbus, Chinese start-ups to slug it out at China air show
Kyodo

Aircraft giants Boeing Co. and Airbus S.A.S. will vie with reemerging Russian competitors this week at an international air show here for the expanding pot of money in China's growing aviation and aerospace markets, participants said Sunday.
Boeing will show off its entire commercial product line, including a rudder co-developed with China's AVIC-1 for its next-generation 7E7 Dreamliner jet.

Airbus is here to talk with the Chinese about customer service and technical assistance.

A group of three major Russian companies including Tupolev will attend the fifth China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition to tell China they want to keep up their 40-year business relationship.

"We attach a lot of importance to our relationship with China," said Alexei Didenko, marketing director with Aviaexport PLC, a leading exporter of Russian passenger and cargo aircraft.

China's commercial air fleet includes about 30 Russian planes plus some 300 helicopters, Didenko said. More belong to Boeing and Airbus. Chinese start-ups such as AVIC-1 and AVIC-2, engine makers such as Rolls Royce and GE Transportation are putting forward their best at the show as well.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China is urging more foreigners to sign contracts with Chinese firms to help the industry grow to earn money and adopt technology that could solve problems in personnel training, infrastructure and management, administration vice minister Gao Hongfeng said at a pre-exhibition forum Sunday.

The administration also plans to relax laws on approval for operating domestic flights, he said.

Chinese airlines carried 84.25 million passengers in 2002, up 9 percent over 2001, the English-language China Daily reported. About 46.67 million people flew on Chinese airlines in the first half of 2004, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Fifty new airports are slated to be built throughout China over the coming four years.

At the exhibition, eight signing ceremonies are set for the next two days, and some of the 120 exhibitors from 30 countries say they are looking for more deals.

"(The air show) has now developed into an important platform for Sino-foreign aviation and aerospace industries to exchange demonstrations of technology and commercial cooperation," a statement from the show says.

Chinese firms signed 90 deals with foreign firms as of the end of 2003.

Money is out in space, too, especially for Japanese companies that might want to make video equipment for China's expected unmanned moon launch, said Richard Fisher, vice president of the Washington-based International Assessment and Strategy Center.

"The story here is that the aerospace industry is floating in money. The aerospace industry in China has finally come out of its hole," Fisher said.

"Watch the moon probe. They need to take pictures. The Japanese should be interested in that," he said.

China will launch its second manned spaceship next year, state media reported Sunday. The first one went up in October 2003.

China's State Council launched the air show in 1995 as a venue to show and sell aviation equipment.

China was at the time busy building airports and acquiring aircraft for a fast-growing commercial flight market backed by rising household incomes.

The show takes place in Zhuhai, a southern coastal city an hour's ferry ride from Hong Kong, roughly every two years.

About 100 pieces of military hardware will go on display this year as well, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The state-owned China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. will show short-range and surface-to-air missiles including a short-range, low-altitude, portable air defense missile designed to hit helicopters, the news agency said.

Daily flight stunt performances by the British, Chinese, French and Russians will also join this year's show, as will the final round of the "Beautiful Angel International Aviation Stewardess" beauty contest.
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Old November 1st, 2004, 04:40 AM   #32
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Domestic airlines will fly in the face of low-cost rivals - Air China chairman shrugs off foreign competition and overcapacity concerns

Annette Chiu in Zhuhai
1 November 2004
South China Morning Post

Major domestic airlines will continue to dominate the mainland market despite challenges posed by emerging low-cost operators, a top executive from Air China said yesterday.

"Low-cost carriers won't be a threat to major airlines [Air China, China Southern and China Eastern Airlines]. Our positions are well set," said Air China chairman Li Jiaxiang on the sidelines of the International Aviation and Aerospace Forum in Zhuhai - a month before the company's initial public offering.

Mr Li spoke of the trend of deregulation in China's aviation industry before the opening ceremony of Air Show China.

The liberalisation of the mainland's aviation regime means greater access for foreign carriers as well as privately owned airlines being given room to flourish.

Chengdu-based Yinglian Airlines (or Eagle United Airlines) and Shanghai-based China Spring Airlines have been given the green light to start hiring crew and leasing aircraft for domestic operations. Both carriers are expected to launch their inaugural flights as early as next year.

Guangdong China Travel Service is also teaming up with Singapore aircraft trader and retrofitting firm A-Sonic Aerospace and Hong Kong-owned China Xpress to set up a low-cost carrier based in Guangzhou.

"I don't think it's appropriate to identify the newcomers as low-cost carriers. They are not the only operators which look to lower operating costs. Every airline is working hard on minimising cost," Mr Li said.

Air China welcomed the opportunity to go head to head against international airlines, he said.

"The main thing is whether you have the confidence to compete in the [international] market ... We do," said Mr Li.

He added that the company had invested 700 million yuan to upgrade inflight equipment to improve services.

Overcapacity, which occurred in the 1990s, was not a concern, Mr Li said, as carriers in general were more rational in drawing up fleet expansion plans. "I believe the growth of passenger demand will outpace the increase in capacity."

Although he declined to comment on the imminent initial public offering, Mr Li said Cathay Pacific Airways' stated intention to buy a 9.9 per cent stake in Air China when the shares went on the block "will enhance co-operation and we can complement each other".
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Old November 1st, 2004, 05:35 PM   #33
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Monday November 1, 6:14 PM
Airbus Plans Engineering Center In China '05
By Ruby Chan

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Airbus said Monday it plans to set up an engineering center in China next year.

The center, which is expected to employ 200 people by end-2008, will work on a range of the Toulouse-based aircraft maker's design and manufacturing requirements.

"We would like to see China being in a position to have a share of at least 10% in such a future Airbus program for new generation aircraft," said Airbus Senior Vice President and Airbus China President Laurence Barron in a statement.

The only other similar Airbus facility outside Europe was created a few years ago in the U.S.

Airbus is a joint venture between European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. and BAE Systems PLC.

Barron said the company expects to deliver 40 aircraft to Chinese airlines this year, and more than 50 in 2005.

Airbus delivered 19 in 2002 and 39 in 2003.

By the end of September, 257 Airbus aircraft were in service in China, Hong Kong and Macau, accounting for over 30% of the total fleet in service, compared with 29 Airbus aircraft in 1995. Barron expects 300 Airbus aircraft to be in service with Chinese airlines by the end of next year.

"Our goal is to take at least a 50% market share in China, as we have been doing in other parts of the world," he said.

Separately, Airbus said Hainan Airlines Co., the fourth largest airline group in China, has signed a contract to buy eight A319s for between US$52.4 million and US$65.3 million each, becoming a new customer of Airbus.

The aircraft, scheduled for delivery from 2005 to 2007, will be mainly deployed on medium- and short-haul routes, with operational bases in Beijing, Xian and Haikou.
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Old November 2nd, 2004, 08:17 PM   #34
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Posted: 02 November 2004 1702 hrs

China plans to triple Shanghai air traffic by 2015

SHANGHAI: China expects passenger numbers at Shanghai's two airports to triple to 100 million a year by 2015 from the current 35 million, state press reported.

The government also envisages a tripling of air freight to seven million tonnes by 2015, with three new runways being added to the city's Pudong International Airport.

The airport, one of two in the eastern metropolis of nearly 17 million people, currently has just one runway which is running near full capacity, the Shanghai Morning Post said.

A second airstrip is set to go into operation in the first half of 2005, the newspaper said.

In April, China said it would fully open Shanghai's two airports to all domestic airlines starting next year and would allow more foreign carriers to fly there.

The World Tourism Organization has predicted China could be attracting more visitors than any other country in the world within the next decade.

In preparation, a giant new freight and passenger hub -- Baiyun International Airport -- was opened in southern Guangdong province in August while Beijing Capital International Airport is undergoing its own major expansion program.

- AFP
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Old November 2nd, 2004, 08:24 PM   #35
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Airbus Confirms Chinese Order For Eight A319 Jets
Tuesday November 2, 12:33 PM EST

PARIS (Dow Jones)--European commercial aircraft manufacturer Airbus confirmed Tuesday that it has received an order for eight of its single-aisle A319 jets from Hainan Airlines Co. Ltd. of China.

The aircraft will be mainly deployed on medium- and short-haul routes, with operational bases in Beijing, Xi'an and Haikou, Airbus said. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery from 2005 to 2007.

Airbus signed a memorandum of understanding on the A319 order with the Chinese authorities earlier this year, but the identity of the buyer wasn't disclosed at that time.

Based on Airbus's catalog prices, the Hainan order is worth about $470 million, although airlines typically are offered discounts for bulk purchases.

It is the first addition of Airbus jets to Hainan's fleets.

Additional Information from Airbus Press Release

"We are extremely happy to see that the fast-growing Hainan Airlines has become a new customer of Airbus, which marks a significant breakthrough of our business in China," said Airbus President and CEO Noël Forgeard. "Hainan Airlines has established a good reputation for quality service for its passengers. We are confident that the features of the new A319s will give further impetus to the development of the carrier.”

The A319 is a member of the A320 Family, which consists of the A318, A319, A320 and A321, the world's fastest selling single-aisle family. The A320 Family features the most modern design with the widest and most comfortable cabin in its class. More than 3,250 Airbus A320 Family aircraft have been ordered to date, of which over 2,250 have been delivered. The Airbus A320 Family has more than 175 customers and operators to its credit.

Founded in 1993, Hainan Airlines is the fourth largest airline group in China, with more than 100 aircraft operating on over 500 domestic and regional routes.
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Old November 2nd, 2004, 08:30 PM   #36
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Airbus, Boeing see China as the future

Plane makers position to capture fastest-growing aviation market

VICKI KWONG; Bloomberg News
Tuesday, November 2nd, 2004 12:01 AM (PST)


Airbus SAS announced plans to buy more aircraft parts in China and The Boeing Co. said it’s optimistic about Chinese orders for its 7E7 airliners, underscoring the duel between the world’s largest plane makers over the fastest-growing aviation market.

Airbus, the world’s largest commercial aircraft maker, will double parts purchases in China to $120 million by 2010, Laurence Barron, China president for the Toulouse, France-based company, said at a news briefing at an international air show in Zhuhai, southern China. Airbus will also set up an engineering plant in China next year, Barron said.

“Airbus would probably like to secure more orders from the growing China aviation industry, and setting up operations there may help,” said Peter Hilton, a transport analyst with Credit Suisse First Boston in Hong Kong.

Airbus and Chicago-based Boeing are jostling to win aircraft orders in a market of 1.3 billion people who are turning to travel as economic growth of about 9 percent a year boosts incomes. The boom is likely to spur purchases of 2,300 aircraft worth $180 billion in the next two decades, Boeing forecasts.

The U.S. company, overtaken by Airbus in commercial-aircraft deliveries last year, is counting on its 7E7 Dreamliner to regain market share. Globally, it has received 82 commitments for the plane, which can seat between 200 and 300 passengers, Randy Tinseth, director of product and services marketing, said at a press conference in Zhuhai.

So far, no sales of the 7E7 have been announced in China.

“There’s a great deal of interest in the aircraft among Chinese carriers,” Tinseth said at a news conference in Zhuhai. “We are very optimistic about our sales potential in China.”

Tinseth declined to comment on a report in the air show’s official magazine that Boeing expects to get Chinese orders for as many as 80 of the planes, a figure that would take the company past a year-end goal of 200 sales for the 7E7, the report said. The magazine didn’t say where it got the information.

Boeing secured its sixth order for the Dreamliner last week from U.S. start-up carrier Primaris Airlines, which said it plans to buy 20 of the planes. The first order came in July from All Nippon Airways Co., Asia’s second-largest carrier, which committed to buy 40. Air New Zealand Ltd., Vietnam Airlines Corp., Italy’s Blue Panorama and the U.K.’s First Choice Holidays Plc have also ordered the aircraft.

Boeing is betting airlines will choose smaller aircraft such as the 7E7 for direct international flights, rather than large aircraft that fly to big cities and leave passengers to take connecting flights to their final destinations.

The number of Chinese traveling abroad will expand almost 13 percent annually to about 100 million in 2020, according to the World Tourism Organization, a United Nations agency. The projected growth rate is triple that in the rest of the world.

China’s air-travel industry might carry a record 120 million passengers this year, the government-controlled China Daily newspaper reported today, citing a vice minister of the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China.

The traffic isn’t one way: China will become the world’s top destination by 2020, surpassing France, Spain, Italy and the U.S., the United Nations agency said. China hosted 71 million overseas travelers in the first eight months of this year.

Airbus’ goal is to take “at least 50 percent market share in China, as we have been doing in other parts of the world,” Barron said at the press briefing, without giving a time frame. The briefing took place as the Fifth China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition opened in Zhuhai.

The European plane maker had 257 aircraft operating in China, Hong Kong and Macau at the end of September, representing about 30 percent of the China market, according to Airbus figures. Its share has grown from 7 percent in 1995. Boeing said it had 483 of 774 jetliners flying in China in September, or 62 percent of the market.

Chinese-made parts are already used in more than half of Airbus’s fleet, Barron said. The planned engineering center, which might employ about 200 people by 2008, could be located in Beijing, Barron added.

Airbus, which this month won orders for six aircraft from Air China, has yet to win an order in the country for its 550-seat A380 aircraft.

Boeing, for its part, is banking on China to help it achieve a goal of 500 worldwide orders for 7E7s by the time the plane first flies in 2007.

Like Airbus, Boeing is also expecting to buy more aircraft parts in China. Cumulative purchases of parts made in China are likely to triple to $1.5 billion by 2010, David Wang, the company’s head of China operations, said.
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Old November 2nd, 2004, 08:35 PM   #37
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Boeing vs Airbus at China air show
2 November 2004
Xinhua News Agency

ZHUHAI, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Boeing and Airbus, the world's two aviation giants competing for China's market, started their rivalry the first day of China air show at the press conference.

Boeing said it will introduce its 217-seat 7E7 Dreamliner to China. The company held that future aviation market needs airliners with 200 to 400 seats, and demand for super airplanes would be relatively low.

But Airbus, which is trying to promote its 555-seat A380, attacked Boeing's prediction by saying that it is not that super airliners have no market, but that the Boeing Company cannot made products that suiting the need.

Airbus believed that its 555-seat A380, the larger, more efficient and more economical airliner, would better serve China's need for air transportation.

However, both companies are optimistic of China's aviation market.

"China's aviation market enjoys a bright future," said David Wang, president of Boeing China. He predicted that China will need 2,300, or 200 billion US dollars worth of new airliners in the next 20 years as the annual growth rate of China's aviation industry will top the world by maintaining 7.3 percent.

According to Airbus' prediction, China will recruit at least 1,300 airplanes for its arterial lines in the coming 20 years.

Competition between the two giants in China continues to increase. Both are promoting their sales by introducing technology to China and enhancing their purchase from China.
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Old November 2nd, 2004, 08:50 PM   #38
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November 01 2004

Hainan Airlines to buy three Boeing jets with bank loan

Hainan Airlines based in China's southernmost island province has ordered three Boeing 737-800 jets with a 1.1 billion yuan (132.5 million US dollars) loan granted by a domestic bank, company sources have confirmed.

The airline company signed a pact with the Shanxi branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Monday in Taiyuan, capital of north China's Shanxi Province, said Chen Feng, president of Hainan Airlines Group, China's fourth-largest carrier.

The three jets will be delivered in July, August and September, 2005, to their end user Shanxi Airlines, one of the four members the Hainan Airlines Group, said Chen.

Shanxi Airlines has presently two Boeing 737-400s and three 737-700s in its fleet.

The new Boeing 737-800 is equipped with a state-of-the-art engine that is more powerful yet less noisy compared with earlier generation products. It has also larger vertical and horizontal empennages that enhance safety, and a larger passenger cabin and luggage compartment.

Chen said the purchase of the new aircraft would be an essential step to help Shanxi Airlines play a larger role in the regional air passenger transport market in north China.

Hainan Airlines Group, which consists of Hainan Airlines, China Xinhua Airlines, Shanxi Airlines and Chang'an Airlines, is China's fourth largest carrier, following the "big three" flag carriers of Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines. It has a fleet of more than 80 airplanes and operates 484 domestic and international routes.

Source: Xinhua
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Old November 2nd, 2004, 11:02 PM   #39
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Boeing's Forecast for Demand From China Remains Robust

By Charles Hutzler
2 November 2004
The Wall Street Journal Europe

ZHUHAI, China -- Boeing Co. is forecasting continued robust demand from China for new aircraft.

In a market forecast released yesterday, Boeing said China will need nearly 2,300 new planes by 2023 to satisfy demand for passenger and cargo services. The number represents a dip from an estimate of nearly 2,400 planes Boeing issued a year ago, a revision Boeing executive Randy Tinseth said was partly derived from factoring in the plunge in air travel during last year's outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome.

Nevertheless, the robust forecast shows how crucial China is becoming to major aircraft makers and the rest of a commercial aviation industry that is just beginning to recover from the global economic downturn and the impact of the 2001 terrorism attacks in the U.S.

U.S.-based Boeing's chief rival, Europe's Airbus, received an order for eight A319s yesterday from Hainan Airlines, China's fourth-largest carrier, for between $52.4 million and $65.3 million each (41 million euros to 51.1 million euros).

Boeing said demand for 2,300 new planes, if it materializes, would represent $183 billion in sales -- about 9% of expected world-wide demand during the next 20 years. China's current fleet is 777 planes.

The pull of China is drawing not only aviation giants like Boeing and Airbus but also all sizes of suppliers of equipment and services. To meet burgeoning demand for passenger and cargo services, China plans to open 100 new airports for commercial use by 2010, from 145 airports currently. Air New Zealand, which has been working with small carrier Xiamen Airlines for a decade, is trying to increase Chinese customers for its flight- and pilot-training programs.

"You have to be in this market," Martin Lin, China representative for Rockwell Collins Inc., said while attending China's biannual air show in the southern city of Zhuhai. Mr. Lin said Rockwell Collins's revenue from sales of communications, aviation-electronics and other equipment in China is growing 10% a year.

While predictions for heady growth are generally uniform -- based on the expectation that China's overall economy will grow 5.5% a year or better for the next 20 years -- Boeing and Airbus have different interpretations of the types of planes the Chinese market will need. Airbus, in a forecast issued last year, sees demand for large aircraft of 400 or more seats totaling 105 units, nearly twice that forecast by Boeing.

Boeing, on the other hand, believes the lion's share of new orders will be for single-aisle planes of between 100 and 300 seats. The company's forecasts once routinely predicted demand for larger planes, but those sales often never came to pass, said Mr. Tinseth, Boeing's director of product and services marketing for commercial airplanes.

While more than half of China's current fleet is composed of Boeing aircraft, Airbus appears to be gaining ground this year.
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Old November 3rd, 2004, 09:14 PM   #40
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Shanghai seeks regional hub status
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 Posted: 0600 GMT (1400 HKT)

SHANGHAI, China (AP) -- Shanghai plans to expand its airports and increase access for domestic airlines as it maneuvers to become a regional hub for air travel, the government has said.

Pudong International Airport, the newer and bigger of Shanghai's two airports, will add three new runways to its current one, the city said in a statement posted on its Web site.

Construction of a second runway will be speeded up since the existing runway is already operating at almost full capacity and many airlines are anxious to add flights to the city, it said.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China, the country's aviation regulator, has thrown its support behind the plan to build the city of 20 million into a regional hub, CAAC head Yang Yuanyuan said in a statement released Monday.

'The authority will actively study and set policies to support the development of an aviation hub,' Yang said.

Competition to attract more airlines and travelers has been heating up around the region. Hong Kong faces a challenge from its south China rival, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, and the Kansai International Airport in western Japan and Incheon International Airport in South Korea are also vying for regional hub status.

Hoping to boost Shanghai's hub chances, the CAAC earlier allowed Shanghai an exception to its rules on access to allow all Chinese carriers to offer flights originating from city.

Shanghai expects to have 100 million air travelers annually by 2015. That's almost triple the 35 million who have traveled through Pudong International and the city's older Hongqiao Airport so far this year, Shanghai Daily said. Hongqiao is now used exclusively for domestic flights.

The amount of airfreight moving through Pudong and Hongqiao is also expected to triple by 2015 to 7 million tons, the newspaper cited officials meeting in Beijing as saying.

Shanghai is banking on China's growing cachet as a business and leisure travel destination.

Nationwide, annual growth in passenger travel is expected to average 9.3% from 2004 to 2023, China Aviation Industrial Group I said in a forecast released Tuesday at an air show being held in the southern city of Zhuhai.

Although Pudong's runways are nearing capacity, its spacious terminals, opened only in October 1999 along the coast of the city's newly developed eastern district, still seem quite empty.

Many domestic travelers prefer to fly through Hongqiao, which is closer and has easier connections to the older downtown area.

Domestic carriers China Eastern Airlines (CEA) and Shanghai Airlines are the only airlines based in Shanghai, which has been seeking to boost its international competitiveness and raise its profile as China's commercial capital.
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