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Old June 6th, 2005, 05:41 AM   #421
Cheese Mmmmmmmmmmmm
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From this aerial view it looks like the layout of this airport's been planned so it would have a second parallel runway above the terminal complex. Is there possibly any info. about expansion that would back my hairbrained theory?

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Old June 6th, 2005, 06:28 AM   #422
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Monthly air ticket sold between Beijing, Shanghai
6 June 2005
Xinhua's China Economic Information Service

BEIJING, June 6 (CEIS) -- Monthly air ticket began to be sold in June in the business route between Beijing and Shanghai, the first monthly ticket by airline company.

Hainan Airlines and Yoee travel net promoted the monthly ticket. For one person on board three times per month, it cost 1,500 yuan ( 175 US dollars) for monthly economic class tickets and 3,540 yuan(410 US dollars) for monthly business class tickets.

For frequent air passengers, the monthly ticket can save money as well as time, said Xu Fei, general manager of Hainan Airlines Beijing office.

The monthly ticket only cover Beijing and Shanghai currently with three daily flights as option and will expand to more destinations as demand increases.
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Old June 6th, 2005, 07:23 PM   #423
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China Eastern Air suspended on major transaction

HONG KONG, June 6 (Reuters) - Trading in China Eastern Airlines Corp. Ltd. shares was suspended on Monday afternoon, pending an announcement relating to a major transaction, the Hong Kong stock exchange said.

A company spokesman said the company would publish a statement on Tuesday but declined to give further details.

Shanghai-based China Eastern said last month that it would pay US$119 million and assume liabilities of $1.03 billion to acquire the aviation assets of rivals Yunnan Airlines and China Northwest Airlines.

The deal, part of China's ongoing consolidation of its aviation sector, will boost China Eastern's fleet to 163 planes from 103, and lift revenue passenger kilometres by 40 percent to 38.5 billion.

Hong Kong-listed shares of China Eastern edged up 0.74 percent to HK$1.36 prior to the suspension. The stock has lost nearly 13 percent in the past three months through Friday's close on concerns over the impact of rising jet fuel prices on profit margins.

China Eastern, which is also expanding through organic growth, signed an agreement in April with Airbus SAS to buy 15 new A320 series aircraft for less than US$833 million, based on Airbus' 2000 catalog price.
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Old June 6th, 2005, 11:46 PM   #424
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China Southern lining up finance for Airbus deal
Tim LeeMaster
7 June 2005
Hong Kong Standard

China Southern Airlines, the country's largest carrier by fleet size, is arranging a 10-year loan of as much as US$164 million (HK$1.28 billion) from HSBC to buy four Airbus planes, a source familiar with the situation said.

The deal will include a mixture of narrow-body A-319s, for which the source said it's paying US$37 million each, and A-320s, at US$41 million each.

China Southern, which operates a 130-plane fleet, has placed orders for 45 planes so far this year, including five Airbus A380 superjumbo aircraft.

In April, a number of banks including Calyon Corporate & Investment Bank, Societe Generale and HSBC bid to provide loans of up to US$780 million on a total of 14 aircraft, although bankers expect, in the end, to fund 10 aircraft for about US$500 million.

Loans on the remaining planes should be wrapped up by August, a source said.

The Airbus A-319s and A-320s are designed for short-haul flights and China Southern is likely to employ them on its extensive domestic flight network serving 275 locations from its hub in Guangzhou. China Southern is the most dependent on domestic traffic of any of China's major airlines, with mainland passenger revenues accounting for 80 percent of its total last year, compared to 54 percent at China Eastern and 39 percent on international flag carrier Air China.

China Southern's international routes are focused on Southeast Asia, though the airline also operates a limited number of flights to Japan, Europe and the United States.

To keep pace with rising passenger and cargo volumes, China's airlines will acquire 90 new planes annually through 2025, according to French-based Airbus, while US-based rival Boeing projects mainland carriers will purchase 115 new aircraft per year.

China Eastern's shares were suspended Monday on news the company was buying two Boeing aircraft. The company's Hong Kong-listed shares were up 0.7 percent to HK$1.36.

China's airline industry is buffetted by strong competitive pressures that keep airfares low, despite a program implemented last year that allows carriers to add as much as 25 percent to government benchmark fares, while rising jet fuel prices are a growing percentage of total operating costs.
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Old June 6th, 2005, 11:49 PM   #425
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Swire tie-up in Qingdao airport deal
7 June 2005
Hong Kong Standard

A two-year-old joint venture between Swire Pacific and China Eastern Airlines appears to be on the verge of making its first investment: helping to finance the expansion of Liu Ting International Airport in Qingdao, Shandong province.

Swire, which controls Cathay Pacific Airways, would contribute US$30 million (HK$234 million) for a stake of about 12 percent in the airport's planned third phase, an official of the Qingdao municipal government's Bureau of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation told The Standard.

The municipal government would supply the rest of the US$250 million needed to fund the expansion, the official said on the sidelines of a Qingdao trade fair in Hong Kong Monday.

A Swire Pacific spokeswoman confirmed that the company was interested in investing in the airport but said it had yet to sign an agreement. She declined to discuss the size of the investment.

China Eastern Airlines Group is the ultimate controlling shareholder of the Qingdao airport.

The airport expansion is due for completion before the end of 2006. Qingdao is expected to serve as a transfer point for visitors traveling to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics.

The airport recorded a 37 percent increase in traffic to over 4.8 million passengers last year, the official said.

Swire's spokeswoman said the company was actively seeking other mainland airport investments. It has had initial contacts with the Henan provincial government about Zhengzhou city airport. Swire's 50-50 airport investment venture with Shanghai-based China Eastern, the nation's third-largest carrier, was set up in 2003.
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Old June 7th, 2005, 05:47 PM   #426
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First non-governmental aviation management company set up in Shanghai
6 June 2005
Xinhua's China Economic Information Service

SHANGHAI, June 6 (CEIS) – China’s first non-governmental aviation management company has been set up recently in Shanghai.

The Shanghai Kaixuan Aviation Management Company is the first of its kind in China. This is the result of China’s policy of allowing non-governmental capital into civil aviation and railways.

The company will provide safety and security management, management consulting and commissioned human resources consulting services for airport and civil airlines. It will act as an agent for the marketing of private aircraft, import specialized management personnel and arrange fly crews and transport resources and offer outsourcing and commissioned services to non-aviation enterprises that energetically invest in civil aviation industry.

According to the development strategy made by the State Civil Aviation Administration, China will make Shanghai an international aviation hub in the Asian-Pacific region by 2020. The passenger and cargo throughput capacity will triple to reach 100 million person/time and seven million tons/km.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 05:31 AM   #427
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China's private airlines struggle with operating costs, regulations

BEIJING, June 7 (AFP) - China might have an emerging private airline industry but it will take time to reach cruising altitude as it struggles with surging fuel prices and strict government regulations, according to analysts.

Pricing issues and licensing regulations have cast a shadow on private carriers' hopes of tapping into the low-cost segment, forcing them to target less profitable second-tier routes.

"Private carriers will face many challenges in the near-term. In the current situation it will be difficult for them to be profitable and develop a low-cost model," said Karen Chan, CSFB China transportation analyst.

China's aviation industry is dominated by three state-owned airlines -- China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Air China. There are also about a dozen regional carriers.

So far three privately-owned airlines have emerged to try and win a slice of the market.

They include Tianjin-based Okay Airlines, China's first privately-owned air carrier which launched its first flight in March; formerly state-owned Shenzhen Airlines, which sold a 65 percent stake to two private investment firms last month, and Spring Airlines, which starts operations later this month.

In August 2002 China eased regulations and allowed private overseas investors to hold stakes of up to 49 percent in local carriers, with the maximum stake by a single overseas investor capped at 25 percent.

Since then, it has repeatedly vowed to introduce measures to attract more private investment, which the sector is awaiting to come into effect.

But for now, private carriers are entering a still heavily regulated market which will make it all the more difficult for them to develop a brand and find their niche.

"There is a grey legal area in which the private carriers are operating," said Chris Sanders, head of regional transport for DBS Vickers. "They are operating with unwritten rules."

Shenzhen Airlines is one of the stronger regional carriers but it is as yet unclear what strategy its new owners might adopt.

Both Okay and Spring said they would apply a low-cost business model, but analysts said the scenario is highly unlikely given current regulations.

"There are some challenges as far as operating a low-cost model. Retail prices of tickets and licences for routes are regulated," Sanders said.

"They will have to operate on thin routes to second-tier cities on which it is difficult to get enough factors to make the business of sufficient scale and then profitable on a low-cost business model," he said.

Analysts said the current environment of high fuel prices, which is also hurting the established airline industry, will make things even more difficult for the small privately-owned carriers.

Chan said this made it impossible for them to offer heavy fare discounts.

Fuel accounts for 30 percent of carriers' operating costs and unlike big carriers small airlines cannot scale them out.

"All these companies will start in the red. It will be very difficult for them to make money on only one or two planes," Sanders said. "You need at least a fleet of 12 planes or so."

Okay Airlines has one aircraft and Spring Airlines said in a previous media report they will fly three A320 jets.

Chan said their best chance was to pick routes to tourist destinations, but voiced concern that some would not survive.

Okay is offering flights to Tianjin, Guilin and Zhangjiajie, while Spring said it will fly to Guilin, Kunming and the island province of Hainan.

Sanders was less pessimistic on the future of the sector and expects a total of about 12 private carriers to enter the fray.

"It all comes down to efficiency and what policies these companies will adopt," Sanders said.

"I expect they will do a more Jet Blue kind of business model and adopt some of the low-cost carrier business practices but end up doing more of a discount airline," he said, referring to the discount American carrier.

"Whatever they choose, it will take time."

Three other private airlines -- Aukai Airlines, Western Airlines and United Eagle Airlines -- are all scheduled to fly this year, pending approval.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 05:28 AM   #428
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China Eastern plans to sell 2b yuan of short-term debt
9 June 2005
Hong Kong Standard

China Eastern Airlines, the country's second-largest carrier by fleet size, is planning to sell two billion yuan (HK$1.88 billion) of short-term debt as early as next month, joining a score of mainland firms, including rival Air China, who have either sold or plan to sell short-dated bonds after the government gave the green light last month.

Analysts and fund managers expect investors, with a dearth of other investments as stock markets hit eight-year lows and government short-dated debt yields drop, to snap up the higher- yielding corporate offer.

"I don't see any problems for China Eastern because the demand for short- term debt is still very hot,'' said Rico Cheung, fund manager at China International Fund Management.

Mainland companies are taking to short-term debt because funding costs are lower than borrowings from local banks, which are required by China's central bank to charge at least 0.9 times the benchmark one-year lending rate, now set at 5.58 percent.

At the end of last month, five companies sold a total of 10.9 billion yuan in short-term debt led by Huaneng Power's sale of 4.5 billion yuan of one- year bonds and 500 million yuan of shorter dated, nine-month debt.

Air China also sold two billion yuan of one-year bonds that cost the international flag carrier 2.92 percent in interest.

At the same time, China Minmetals, the country's largest state-owned metals trading company, paid investors the same rate on 1.5 billion yuan of one- year securities and 2.59 percent on 200 million yuan of three-month bills.

Market observers expect China Eastern to get even cheaper funding after the benchmark government one- year notes dropped 14 basis points to yield 1.88 percent.

The decline in yield came after China's central bank stopped issuing three-year bonds as of last week, pushing liquidity to one-year note sales.

Huadian Power, Yangtze Power and Aluminum Corporation of China have also announced plans to sell a combined total of 9.5 billion yuan in short-term debt.

Meanwhile, policy lender China Development Bank announced plans to issue 20 billion yuan of longer-term debt, half of which will be capital- boosting subordinated debt.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 04:50 PM   #429
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Thursday June 9, 4:54 PM
China Eastern To Save Up To CNY150M/Yr If Yuan Rises 1%

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--China Eastern Airlines Corp. (CEA) will save between CNY100 million and CNY150 million in financing costs a year if the Chinese yuan appreciates by 1%, Deputy Director Wu Longxue said Thursday.

China has come under increasing pressure from its trade partners to revalue the yuan, pegged at CNY8.28 to the U.S. dollar.

Shanghai-based China Eastern's debt totaled CNY26.43 billion as of Dec. 31, 2004. Its debts are denominated in U.S. dollars, Japanese yen, euro, and yuan.

The airline's total debt will increase 22% to CNY32.26 billion after it completes its CNY986 million acquisition of two local carriers, China Eastern Air Yunnan Co. and China Eastern Air Northwest Co. The airline will seek shareholder approval for the acquisitions on June 30.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 06:51 PM   #430
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Fraport mulls buying stake in Chinese airport
9 June 2005

FRANKFURT (AFX) - German airports operator Fraport AG said it is considering acquiring a stake in Ningbo's Lishe airport in eastern China.

The company signed a corresponding memorandum of understanding and is now examining whether to acquire a stake in the airport, a Fraport spokesman said, adding that the Chinese market is of interest to the company.

Sources told AFX News that Fraport is in talks to acquire a 25 pct stake in the airport in a bid to boost its presence in an increasingly attractive market. Fraport declined to confirm this.

The German airports operator entered the Chinese market last year, when it set up an airport consulting firm together with the Shanghai Airport Group.

The 50-50 joint venture offers airport consulting and personnel training services for airports across China.

However, Lishe airport -- which is south of Shanghai in a wealthy region -- would be Fraport's first airport in the country.
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Old June 10th, 2005, 01:41 AM   #431
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HK-listed China Eastern says no strategic investor found despite prospects
9 June 2005

HONG KONG (AFX) - China Eastern Airlines (CEA) has not had any 'concrete talks' with any party regarding potential equity investment in the company although it has been in talks with prospective partners, CEA chairman Li Fenghua said.

He did not identify any of the prospective partners among the international airlines which have had discussions with CEA.

China Eastern continues to maintain its long-long standing relationship with Cathay Pacific Airways, which includes training provided by Cathay to CEA staff.

In spite of the relationship, however, both parties have not discussed prospects of Cathay buying into CEA, he said.

Li said CEA faces strong competition from Air China in Shanghai following the latter's expansion of its operations to include the mainland city.

Air China's entry to Shanghai is in line with the government's deregulation of the country's aviation industry, which allows the operation of more than one player in major hubs, such as Shanghai, he said.

Cathay Pacific bought a 10 pct stake in Air China when the Chinese airline listed last December.

Li said competition from Air China will pose a big challenge to CEA even after its acquisition of China Eastern Air Northwest Co and China Eastern Air Yunnan Co, which will significantly increase the number of its aircraft and its share of the country's domestic aviation market.

'This challenge will be good for us because it will force us to strive to get better and stronger, and improve our competitiveness. We also don't mind the competition because Shanghai, which is our major base, has bright potential for further growth,' he said.

Earlier today, Li said CEA expects its share of China's aviation market to grow to 24 pct from the current 19 pct after integration of operations of two airlines which it acquired for 986 mln yuan from its parent, China Eastern Air Holding Co.

He added the acquisition enabled CEA to expand its fleet to 163 aircraft from 103 currently, and its routes to increase to 503 from 238.

Li also allayed concerns about the company's safety record following the crash last November of an aircraft of one of its subsidiaries.

'Despite that accident, we have the highest safety record among all airlines in China and we are very conscious of safety in our operations,' he said.

(1 usd = 7.8 hkd)
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Old June 11th, 2005, 03:12 AM   #432
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Boeing Delivers Its 737-900 To China's Shenzhen Air
10 June 2005

SEATTLE (Dow Jones)--Boeing Co. (BA) delivered a 737-900 airplane to Shenzhen Airlines -- the first of five 737-900s the Chinese airline will receive in 2005 for domestic and regional routes.

Shenzhen Airlines is the first Chinese carrier to order the 737-900, and this is the carrier's first direct delivery from Boeing, the largest U.S. aircraft maker said in a press release Friday.

Boeing has received orders for 55 737-900s from six customers. Alaska Airlines received the first 737-900 in 2001.

Overall, the 737 is the best-selling commercial jet airplane with more than 4,500 airplanes of all 737 models currently in service, Boeing said.

The Shenzhen 737-900 carries 189 passengers up to 2,745 nautical miles and is capable of serving such routes as Shenzhen-Beijing and Urumqi-Shenzhen.

Shenzhen Airlines, which has a fleet of 27 Boeing aircraft, was founded in 1992 and operates about 80 domestic routes.

Shares of Boeing were trading recently at $64.61, down 50 cents, or 0.8%.
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Old June 11th, 2005, 08:57 AM   #433
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No Free Market for China's Airlines
Government Still Controls Plane Purchases, Enjoying Leverage With U.S., Europe
By Bruce Stanley
10 June 2005
The Asian Wall Street Journal

BEIJING -- Weaning China's airlines from decades of state support to gird them for global competition, the government now lets them plan their own routes, set their own fares, even sell stock to private investors.

They just can't buy their own airplanes.

This mix of latitude and paternalism is a sign of Beijing's ambivalence toward a full-fledged market economy. It also reflects the political usefulness of a relic of communist central planning when it comes to dealing with China's Western trading partners.

Under the Chinese aircraft-purchasing system, an airline negotiates with a manufacturer such as Boeing Co., of Chicago, or its European rival, Airbus, and then draws up a wish list of jets that it submits to the Civil Aviation Administration of China, or CAAC. Officials there scrutinize the request and refer it to a ministry-level agency for final approval.

Even a straightforward purchase can take months, sometimes years, and airline executives say they often get approval for far fewer planes than they asked for. Sluggish approvals hamper the carriers' ability to respond to changes in the market, while the government's role deprives them of an important means of developing expertise in strategic planning. Meanwhile, they face intensified competition from nimbler foreign rivals that suffer little if any interference from their own governments.

"It is a vestige of the past," says Andrew Miller, chief executive of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, a consulting firm in Sydney. Chinese authorities are deregulating in steps but are being "selective about which strings they cut," Mr. Miller says.

CAAC didn't respond to a request for comment.

Chinese carriers must also contend with state-approved monopolies in ticket sales and jet fuel. With the government in charge of all three of these crucial parts of their business, the airlines lack effective control over as much as half of their total operating costs.

The archaic arrangement persists even as Chinese aviation is coming of age. As the state completes its consolidation of its once-fragmented industry into three big carriers -- Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines -- and a few smaller, regional players, China's people are flying more and farther than ever before. Opportunities are springing up for domestic and foreign carriers, giants and upstarts alike, as China gradually opens up its skies under new regulations and international pacts.

So why won't the government let go?

Industry experts, including a number of Chinese airline executives, say that for all its drawbacks, centralized purchasing offers some compelling benefits. It lets Beijing pool orders to maximize bargaining power with the plane makers. And it lets the government regulate the growth of its airlines, which are eager to swell their fleets to boost market share. So far, Beijing has been able to prevent the carriers' capacity from outstripping passenger demand -- a mismatch that is afflicting the U.S. airline industry, among other problems.

"The airlines order more than they need, and the government knows that. It's like a game," says Li Wei Jian, formerly the executive president of China's Hainan Airlines.

Safety is an issue, too. During the 1990s, Chinese airlines had a hard time training enough pilots to keep up with rapid expansion, and they suffered many crashes as a result, Xiamen Airlines President Wu Rongnan says. "Even though I have the discipline not to order too many aircraft at a time, I don't trust others to show the same discipline," he says.

Then, as ever, there is politics.

For example, French President Jacques Chirac was widely expected to announce an order from Chinese airlines for the Airbus superjumbo A380 when he visited China in October. But the Chinese backed off, in part over delays in lifting a 15-year-old European ban on selling military equipment to China, according to European and Chinese industry executives familiar with the matter. Airbus finally won an order in January for five A380s from China Southern -- announcing the deal on the same day Chinese officials signed an order for 60 of Boeing's new fuel-efficient 787 Dreamliners, in an apparent effort to keep both trading partners happy.

"From the central government's perspective, one of the levers that they have with the United States and with Europe is the contest between Airbus and Boeing," says Joseph Massey, director of the Center for International Business at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business and assistant U.S. trade representative for Japan and China from 1985 to 1992. "If they were to let the individual airlines make all the purchasing decisions, think of the negotiating leverage they would lose."

That leverage has a long pedigree. In October 1997, when Chinese leader Jiang Zemin paid a visit to Washington, differences over human rights and other issues had strained relations between the U.S. and China for eight years, and both countries were hoping Mr. Jiang's visit would herald a thaw. Within days, the Chinese had agreed to buy 50 Boeing airliners with a total list price of $3 billion.

Beijing "always thought that a purchase of Boeing aircraft or a major deal with a Fortune 500 company would be something that would have resonance with the U.S. Congress," says Jeffrey Bader, assistant U.S. trade representative for China and Taiwan from 2001 to 2002. Concern today among American lawmakers about the wide U.S. trade deficit with China suggests that Beijing might consider a similar tactic again, says Mr. Bader, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

In December, CAAC officials indicated that the government wouldn't approve any new aircraft deliveries for 2005, with the agency's director-general, Yang Yuanyuan, saying that domestic airlines had already ordered sufficient planes -- 147 of them -- to meet the country's travel demands. The move came amid growing pressure in China to improve air safety, but as the government's January orders from Boeing and Airbus show, it apparently didn't affect deals that were already under discussion.

On one occasion, Beijing signaled its displeasure at U.S. policy by telling China Southern to buy Airbus jets the company didn't want, a person with knowledge of the deal says. In April 1996, China Southern placed its first order with Airbus, for 10 A320s, even though it entailed extra costs to train its pilots and mechanics to operate them. The decision came after Chinese Trade Minister Wu Yi had postponed a planned March visit to the U.S., during which $4 billion in orders from Boeing and McDonnell Douglas were expected to be announced.

Li Kun, chief operation officer for China Southern, says the decision was market-driven.
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Old June 12th, 2005, 10:23 PM   #434
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HK HAECO's Unit To Build 5th Hangar At Gaoqi Intl Airport
10 June 2005

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Taikoo (Xiamen) Aircraft Engineering Co., or TAECO, said Friday it has signed an agreement with the government of Xiamen to build its fifth hangar as well as ancillary facilities at Gaoqi International Airport in Xiamen.

TAECO is 54.55% owned by Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co. (0044.HK), or HAECO, which is controlled by conglomerate Swire Pacific Ltd. (0019.HK).

The capital cost of the new facility will total US$70 million, which will be funded from TAECO's internal reserves. The new facility is scheduled for completion in 2007.

'The new facility, together with the fourth hangar due to open by the end of this year, will provide the required additional capacity for the robust cargo conversion business and increasing workloads on heavy maintenance from our clients' expanding fleets,' said TAECO's Chairman P.K. Chan.

Heavy maintenance refers to detailed checks on aircraft.

TAECO's other shareholders include Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (0293.HK), Japan Airlines Corp. (9205.TO) and Boeing Co. (BA).
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Old June 13th, 2005, 12:16 AM   #435
FM 2258
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I'm glad to see China's Aviation grow and get better. Only thing is that I'm sad to see some of their airliners go like China Northwest, China Southwest and China Northern fade from the picture. I think there are some others that are being done away with but I can't think of them off hand.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 04:28 AM   #436
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Frankfurt Airport buys 25 pct stake China's Ningbo Lishe Airport
10 June 2005

BEIJING (AFX) - China's Ningbo Lishe Airport said it has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Frankfurt Airport under which it will sell a 25 pct stake to the German airport operator.

No financial details were disclosed in the company statement.

Ningbo Lishe Airport in eastern China handled 1.85 mln passengers and 34,800 tons of cargo last year and it is expected to handle 2.3 mln passengers and 52,000 tons of cargo in 2008, the Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po reported today, citing Mu Qifa, spokesman of the Ningbo airport.

Mu was also quoted as saying that Ningbo Lishe Airport has invested 780 mln yuan to build a new terminal.

Frankfurt Airport handled 48.4 mln passengers and 1.65 mln tons of cargo last year, the statement said. No comparative figures were available.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 02:48 PM   #437
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Monday June 13, 4:21 PM
Rolls-Royce wins $800 mln Air China deal

LE BOURGET, France, June 13 (Reuters) - British engine maker Rolls-Royce Plc said on Monday Air China had selected the Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engine for its fleet of 20 Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

"Together with a long-term Totalcare services agreement for the engines, the total value of the contract is $800 mln," Rolls-Royce said a statement at the Paris Air Show.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 11:37 PM   #438
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Air France-KLM launches 2nd daily flight on Paris-Beijing route
13 June 2005

PARIS (AFX) - Air France-KLM said it is introducing a second daily flight from Paris to Beijing starting today.

The extra Air France flight will have a capacity of 310 passengers on board a Boeing 777-300, a statement said.

It said the flight will make it the first European Airline to offer two flights per day to Beijing.
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Old June 14th, 2005, 05:50 AM   #439
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China mulls building own large aircraft to serve rapidly growing market

BEIJING, June 13 (AFP) - China's aerospace sector is considering building its own large aircraft with a capacity of between 150 and 200 passengers to serve its rapidly growing market, state media said Monday.

China has the capability of building an indigenous "trunk-liner" of this size but time is of the essence, the China Business Weekly newspaper reported, citing the China Aviation Industry Corporation AVIC I.

"If China does not roll out its own trunk-liner by 2020, then the country will not succeed in 2030 or 2040. So it is really a rush," said Liu Daxiang, a senior official with AVIC I.

The newspaper cited projetions from AVIC I that 600 to 700 such aircraft would be needed in China "in the near future."

With 120 million people traveling by air last year, China is now one of the three major aviation markets in the world after the United States and Europe, according to the newspaper.

The 150-200 seat aircraft fits right into China's economic geography as the distance between each of the key powerhouses -- the Bohai region, the Yangtze Delta and the Pearl River Delta -- is more than 1,000 kilometers (625 miles), it said.

Adding to pressure on China to move sooner rather than later is that this point in time offers conditions in the global aerospace industry that are unlikely to ever repeat themselves, aviation officials said.

"This may be the time to minimize (foreign competition) since the major players are busy with their own problems," said Liao Quanwang, deputy director of the China Aviation Development Research Center.

Industry juggernauts Boeing and Airbus may find themselves too preoccupied to respond to a Chinese move because they are currently busy competing with each other on 250-seat-plus aircraft, the newspaper said.

Should such a Chinese aircraft be built by 2020, it may fill a market gap left by Boeing and Airbus, which may perhaps choose to halt production of similarly sized B737s and A320s by that time, it aruged.

"If Chinese aircraft makers can roll out a trunk-liner with less than 200 seats before Boeing and Airbus' new models replace the B737 and the A320, we may have a larger chance to succeed in that particular market tier," Liao said.

Liu Gaozhuo, president of AVIC I, said it was one of China's "long-awaited dreams" to produce an indigenous large aircraft of this type but it might take time.

"Judging from our present strength and the current market environment, perhaps we still have a fairly long way to go before having that dream come true," he said.
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Old June 14th, 2005, 06:01 AM   #440
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I am sure China would be able do it. But, build it with style and safety in mind as well.
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