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Old October 25th, 2005, 06:45 AM   #561
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CAAC clears doubling of fuel tax
Charlotte So
25 October 2005
South China Morning Post

China's aviation regulator will permit mainland airlines to double their surcharges to ease fuel cost pressure on the cash-strapped carriers but few airlines expect the charges will raise their bottom lines.

According to China Eastern Airlines, quoted in a mainland newspaper, the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) had allowed the three big airlines - China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Air China - to raise fuel surcharge per passenger between 104 per cent and 114 per cent.

From the mainland to the Asia Pacific region (excluding Japan), fuel surcharges per passenger will increase from 98 yuan to 210 yuan. It is the second time this year that mainland airlines have adjusted their fuel surcharges on international routes.

"While we have not received a formal letter yet, it is common practice to be able to adjust the fuel surcharge to keep parity with international carriers on the same route," said Rao Xin-Yu, investor relations manager at Air China.

Air China, which draws 40 per cent of its passenger revenue from international traffic, is likely to benefit most from the surcharge increase.

However, analysts and other carriers believed any gain would be offset by the normal drop to low season ticket prices.

"The fourth quarter is traditionally the low season. I wonder how much the carriers will have to trim their ticket price due to the weakness in demand," said Ella Li, analyst at Shenyin Wanguo Sercurities.

"Surcharges in both the passenger and international cargo segments are expected to boost the revenue [of China Eastern] by around 940 million yuan next year. However, we expect this to be offset by higher fuel and interest costs," Paul Dewberry, an analyst at Merrill Lynch, said in a report.

The share prices of China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines plunged yesterday - China Eastern dropping 4.7 per cent to $1.02 and China Southern plunging 3.6 per cent to $2.00.

Air China closed unchanged at $2.425.

Fuel costs, which comprise one-third of the airlines' total costs, have hurt China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines this year with both slipping into the red.
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Old October 25th, 2005, 04:23 PM   #562
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GERMAN PRESS: Deutsche Post Sees More DHL Growth In China
25 October 2005

FRANKFURT (Dow Jones)--German mail and logistics company Deutsche Post (DPW.XE) expects its DHL unit to continue growing strongly in China, German magazine WirtschaftsWoche is to report Wednesday, citing Chief Executive Klaus Zumwinkel.

Despite increasing competition, Zumwinkel said the company is gaining strength in China with a network of over 300 locations and an extensive product portfolio which includes its "China Domestic" service.

Magazine Web site: http://www.wiwo.de
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Old October 27th, 2005, 05:30 PM   #563
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China's first private airlines moves on amidst difficulties
26 October 2005
Xinhua News Agency

HARBIN, October 26 (CEIS) -- Despite survival pressures, Okay Airways, China's first private air company, will open a new passenger route soon, signaling it is still moving on amid difficulties.

The new route, starting on Oct. 30, will connect this capital city of the northeastern province of Heilongjiang and Tianjin Municipality where the company is based.

China's fledgling budget airline market is in sluggish progress because of tight grip from the government. Unlike their foreign counterparts enjoying free and booming business, Chinese private carriers like Okay face regulatory barriers against their efforts to open huge domestic market

State monopoly and uncompromising pricing system frustrate the country's budget airlines, leaving them little room of maneuvering. They can not make even basic decisions unless having regulators' permission, such as which airports and flight routes to use or when to purchase a plane, said Zhou Liqun, a professor with the School of Economics of the Tianjin-based Nankai University.

Okay's maiden flight in March was largely considered as a landmark that will possibly break the monopoly by state-owned airlines. But its low-cost strategy was questioned about how far it could go.

Following Okay's first move, a couple of private airlines have taken to the skies, such as United Eagle Airlines and Spring Airlines, while a lot of others are on the waiting list of approval.

Okay has announced earlier it will focus on cargo service in future to dodge fierce competition in passenger carrying. Liu Jieyin, present of Okay, said it has been in touch with the Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. for cooperation, which is allegedly willing to take over 49 percent of the Chinese company's shares.
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Old October 28th, 2005, 01:49 AM   #564
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China Southern net soars to 852m yuan
Alman Loong
28 October 2005
Hong Kong Standard

China Southern Airlines, the country's largest carrier reported an unexpected net profit of 852 million yuan (HK$817.09 million), reversing a first-half loss as costs fell on a stronger yuan and a surcharge helped cover costs from rising fuel prices.

The airline's third-quarter net profit rose 310 percent from last year's 208 million yuan.

China Southern had a profit of nine million yuan for the nine months of the year. It lost 48 million yuan in 2004 and 358 million yuan in 2003 and had expected a smaller second-half loss for 2005.

Chairman Liu Shaoyong said a stronger yuan helped reduce costs as it mainly used the US currency to fund the purchase of aircraft, jet fuel, equipment and maintenance services. It also largely used the US dollar to settle foreign debts and pay landing fees.

China scrapped its decade-long currency peg to the US dollar on July 21, and instead linked it to a basket of currencies. As a result, the yuan's value against the US dollar rose by about 2.1 percent, and the currency closed at 8.0862 against the US dollar Thursday, a record high.

"The appreciation of the yuan has led to a one-off foreign exchange gain, as well as a reduction in costs,'' Liu said. "However, we will face challenges on international routes because of the appreciation.''

The airline said costs fell by 15 percent in the third quarter from a year ago. The carrier had said it will book about one billion yuan one-off gain.

China Southern and other mainland airlines have also benefited from the mainland's strong economic growth, which helped boost personal income, thus resulting in a higher demand for air travel.

The airline said it flew 126.1 million passengers in the third quarter, up 63 percent from a year ago, while cargo grew 51.7 percent more to 213,600 tonnes.

To offset the losses from rising fuel prices, mainland airlines, including China Southern, Air China and China Eastern added a surcharge on tickets for domestic flights. The move particularly helped China Southern, which runs more domestic flights than its rivals.

However, Liu said the company will still have to deal with cost pressure brought by soaring jet fuel prices.

Jet fuel prices have more than doubled this year, rising from US$48.82 (HK$380.79) a barrel to US$109.06 a barrel between January and September.
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Old October 28th, 2005, 01:51 AM   #565
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Rigid China market controls bring low-cost airline down to ground
28 October 2005
South China Morning Post

There was a relatively quiet development in China's aviation industry this week that should have sent a loud message to the architects of the country's liberalisation plans for the sector.

Tianjin-based Okay Airways, the mainland's first privately owned carrier, said it had abandoned the low-cost airline model because it just was not viable under the country's present regulatory regime.

That may have been obvious to those closely involved with the industry but to consumers who are bombarded daily with media reports about how budget carriers are really "taking off" in Asia, it helps explain why we appear to be missing out on the phenomenon here in Hong Kong.

The fact is, with the comparatively high user costs meted out by the airport authority, it does not make economic sense for budget carriers to base themselves in Hong Kong, unless the mainland market beckons.

"Given the current conditions, it's impossible for Okay to really succeed as a low-cost, budget airline," Okay president Liu Jieyin told Xinhua on Tuesday. "There are too many costs we cannot control, which makes it difficult for us to reduce costs on a large scale. This is the major reason we ditched the low-cost business model."

There is another reason: mainland airlines control very few of their own economic levers.

The only significant operating cost they do control is labour - and that is less problematic for airlines in China than for most of their regional competitors.

Okay had trimmed its workforce to 40 per cent of its mainland rivals on an employee per aircraft basis and had precious little other fat to cut.

Mainland authorities control what routes their carriers fly, the airports at which they can call, ticket prices and how much they pay for fuel - historically at least 15 per cent higher than the international market rate.

Handcuffed, Okay threw in the towel and decided to focus on cargo for the next few years.

"We need a looser policy and market environment," Mr Liu said. "It will take three to five years for the [low-cost] aviation market to mature in China."

Actually it may take an equal amount of time for the industry to develop in North Asia, where protectionist aviation regimes are more prevalent than in countries further south.

Despite all the fanfare, true low-cost airlines marshalled just 1.8 per cent of the 42,000 flights offered in the Asia-Pacific region last month, according to data from OAG.

Granted, the number of budget flights grew 666 per cent year on year - a number that undoubtedly will have significance to the region's traditional carriers, which have been keeping a wary eye on developments - but low-cost travel still represents just a fraction of the market.

China did drive overall Asia-Pacific growth rates; the number of flights grew 12 per cent for the month and domestic timetables offered more than 115,000 flights, up 18 per cent year on year. But none of that was budget, at least not in the low-cost carrier sense.

For budget carriers to thrive on the mainland - and for Hong Kong to act as the hub for that growth - they need to be given the kind of regulatory flexibility afforded to American express operators in the last Sino-US bilateral agreement. When FedEx selected Guangzhou as its Asia-Pacific hub last year, the new Sino-US deal allowed it to commit to 228 flights a week through Baiyun airport from 2008, services it says will generate US$60 billion in direct economic benefits to the city by 2020.

Below Deck knows his friends in the logistics industry will disagree but there is really no reason why a passenger airline given the same regulatory flexibility could not make a similar contribution.

But China would not allow that to happen in the near future for several reasons.

When they swung open the doors to UPS and its ilk last year, Beijing's decision makers knew that China's main airlines did not rely that heavily on cargo revenues for profitability and therefore were unlikely to lobby as strongly against liberalisation of that part of the aviation sector.

It would be a far different story if the Big Three mainland carriers - already teetering from higher fuel costs - were asked to fend off a fleet of new budget carriers for core passenger revenues.

The fathers of China's new aviation era are equally reluctant to remove the restrictions on ticket prices, ostensibly to stave off a price war. But any parent will tell you it's hard to let go, for whatever reason.

So, China's growing pains will continue to limit the ability of airlines such as Okay Airways to provide the increasingly affluent masses with the budget services they covet.

And Hong Kong's consumers will remain largely on the sidelines of the budget boom, at least for now.
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Old October 28th, 2005, 09:28 AM   #566
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Old October 29th, 2005, 07:01 AM   #567
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China Eastern Airlines operates 100 Airbus aircraft
28 October 2005
Xinhua's China Economic Information Service

BEIJING, October 28 (CEIS) -- The Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines took delivery of its 100th Airbus aircraft on October 27, becoming the first carrier operating a fleet of over 100 Airbus aircraft in China and the entire Asia-Pacific region, the China Daily said on October 28.

The carrier took delivery of its first Airbus, an A310, in June 1985, which marked the beginning of Airbus' entry into the Chinese market.

By the end of August 2005, China Eastern had built up the largest Airbus fleet in China, including aircraft from the A300/310 family, the A320 family and the A340 family.

The airlines was also the first Airbus A310 operator and first A340-600 operator on the Chinese mainland. It also has 20 A330-200 and A330-300 aircraft on order.

The carrier has become one of the top three Chinese airlines with an extensive air network connecting Asia, Europe, America and Australia.

Currently, China Eastern operates nearly 200 aircraft on more than 400 domestic and international routes. Chairman of the airlines Li Fenghua and Gustav Humbert, Airbus president and chief executive, attended the delivery ceremony, which was held on October 27 at the Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 02:09 PM   #568
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China Eastern Airlines plans to buy 80 planes in next four years
31 October 2005

BEIJING (AFX) - China Eastern Airlines Corp Ltd (SHA 600115; HK 0670; NYSE CEA) plans to buy about 80 planes in the next four years -- half of which will be Airbus planes -- China Eastern Airlines' general manager, Luo Chaogeng, said according to the China Securities Journal.

The newspaper said the airline has about 200 planes and more than 400 routes. It is the only company to own more than 100 Airbus planes in the Asia-Pacific.

'Though the price of jet fuel rose sharply this year, as long as there is no big unexpected event, the company will definitely make profit,' Luo is cited as saying.
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Old November 1st, 2005, 05:42 AM   #569
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Airbus to open storage facility in Shanghai - report
31 October 2005

BEIJING (AFX) - Airbus plans to open a storage facility in Shanghai soon, the China Daily reported, citing Laurence Barron, Airbus China president.

The newspaper said Airbus will move the spare parts of its wide-body airplanes to the new site and the current storage unit in Beijing will only supply parts for the A320 single-aisle jet and the A380.

Airbus will not create a new organization in Shanghai but 'will rent a space' by cooperating with China Eastern Airlines Corp, the paper said.
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 01:51 AM   #570
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Air crash families file civil suit in US
Relatives demand answers a year after 20 died in Baotou

2 November 2005
South China Morning Post

Relatives of 20 people killed in last year's China Eastern Airlines plane crash in Baotou , Inner Mongolia , have filed a civil suit in a US court against the carrier and makers of the aircraft and its engine.

Flight MU5210 to Shanghai burst into flames less than a minute after takeoff from Baotou on November 21 and plunged into a frozen lake, claiming the lives of all 47 passengers and six crew on board and two people on the ground.

Shanghai businesswoman Gui Yaning , whose husband died in the crash, said in Beijing yesterday that more than 80 family members of 20 victims had put their names to a suit submitted to the Los Angeles County Superior Court against General Electric, Bombardier, Bombardier Aerospace and China Eastern Airlines.

The plaintiffs are suing the manufacturers of the engine and the Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft for unspecified compensation over alleged defects in their products, and the carrier for its alleged failure to inspect, maintain and repair the aircraft.

Eighteen relatives have also signed a letter sent to the State Council's crash investigation team, urging it to release the results of its investigation.

"We believe that after one year, the [investigation] report should have been finished," the letter reads. "We hope the report will be released soon so the victims' families can know the truth about the incident, take appropriate legal action and hold those who caused the accident responsible."

Under regulations issued in 2000, investigation reports into plane crashes should be submitted to the State Council within 120 days of the incident. But almost a year after the crash, the industry watchdog, the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC), has yet to release the findings.

Ms Gui alleged the airline was resorting to delaying tactics in the hope that the victims' families would not seek compensation as time passed.

She said the airline "thought the incident is already in the past".

Ms Gui said: "You [the airline] don't care about it, but I do. I will call for justice through the media."

She said she was furious about the airline's attitude toward the victims' families and accused it of being insincere.

During the past few months, some family members and their lawyers have expressed concern over what they see as attempts to cover up the investigation.

Family members said the carrier promised a year ago to let them know the cause of the crash by March and asked them to sign an agreement which deprived them of further compensation rights.

Ms Gui's lawyer, who declined to be named, said most of the families signed the agreement and received more than 210,000 yuan from the airline, but at least eight families refused to sign.

CAAC representatives were not available for comment yesterday.
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 02:11 AM   #571
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Shipping firm wants major stake in airline
AlmanLoong in Shanghai
3 November 2005
Hong Kong Standard

China Shipping Group, parent of Hong Kong-listed China Shipping Container Lines and China Shipping Development, is in talks to buy a controlling stake in Shanghai-based cargo carrier Yangtze River Express to fulfill its aim to become an integrated transportation firm.

"We want to develop in all [transportation] sectors, including shipping, aviation and land transport in the future, but we are not experts in the aviation sector," said Lim Jianqing, vice president of China Shipping Group, Wednesday in Shanghai.

Yangtze River Express, founded by HNA Group in 2002, is the second airline specializing in cargo transport in China. The first, China Cargo Airlines, was set up by China Eastern Airlines and China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co in 1998.

Four other carriers are also reported to be interested in investing in Yangtze River Express, including China Airlines, Luxembourg-based Cargolux Airlines International, Yang Ming Marine Transport and Wan Hai Lines.

Lim expects Yangtze River Express to make a final decision next year.

Yangtze River Express has four Boeing 737-300 cargo aircraft and operates more than 50 domestic routes. It expects to expand the fleet size to 10 by 2005 and to 30 by 2008.

Other transportation groups from the mainland are also expanding into the aviation sector. Sinotrans, which owns shipping and freight forwarder businesses, bought a 49 percent stake in Sichuan Airlines Group earlier this year to boost its express freight business as profit margin is expected to be squeezed by increased foreign competition.

Meanwhile, China Shipping Group may give owners of China Shipping Development's Shenzhen-listed shares 2.3 to 2.5 shares for every 10 shares they hold as compensation under the nontradable share reform, Lim said.

Shares of China Shipping Development fell 0.89 percent Wednesday on the Hong Kong stock exchange, closing at HK$5.55, but gained 1.31 percent in Shenzhen to close at 6.19 yuan (HK$5.94). Shares of China Shipping Container Lines fell 0.94 percent to HK$2.625.
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Old November 6th, 2005, 03:45 PM   #572
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Old November 7th, 2005, 03:37 AM   #573
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Shanghai Airlines to swell fleet by 50
Alman Loong in Shanghai
7 November 2005
Hong Kong Standard

Shanghai Airlines, the mainland's fifth- biggest carrier, plans to purchase or charter 50 aircraft to meet market demand over the next five years. The company will also explore opportunities to operate direct flights between Shanghai and Hong Kong in the next round of China-Hong Kong air talks, Shanghai Airlines chairman Zhou Chi said.

Zhou said the company will consider placing new shares and obtaining a bank loan to finance its plans. Half of the aircraft will be purchased over the next five years in a deal believed to involve US$5 billion (HK$39 billion) to be paid for 25 Boeing aircraft. The prices are according to those provided by Boeing. Zhou made no mention of any likely discount or planemaker. The other 25 aircraft will be chartered.

Shanghai Airlines will have 93 aircraft in 2010 after its planned expansion. Boeing has projected that, by 2010, China's airlines' fleets will have expanded to 1,500 aircraft.

Zhou said the company is considering both issuing new shares and inviting strategic shareholders to invest. ``Many investment banks [have] approached me, but our decision will come up after nontradable share reforms are finished,'' Zhou said. Beijing has not mentioned any timeframe on its share- reform plans.

Zhou also said Shanghai Airlines will add 50 new Asia Pacific destinations, for a total of 200.

Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong's biggest airline, has only two mainland destinations, Beijing and Xiamen, and will not be allowed to start passenger services to Shanghai until 2006. It is expected that Shanghai will be included in the next round of air talks.

``If Cathay Pacific is allowed to resume flights to Shanghai, Shanghai Airlines will also be allowed to fly to Hong Kong,'' Zhou said.

Shanghai Airlines says its profit for the first nine months fell 57 percent to 114 million yuan (HK$109.38 million), while revenue increased 23 percent to 5.9 billion yuan. Zhou has blamed the profit drop on a sharp rise in oil prices. Aviation fuel showed the biggest increase among cost factors, increasing 200 million yuan in the first nine months, he said.

But he expects profit will be maintained in the full-year result as traffic volume will be strong, even though growth of passenger and cargo volume is expected to fall 15 percent next year, slightly down from 17 percent this year. ``Strong traffic will offset the negative impact of high oil prices,'' he said.

In the light of the overall mainland air industry's expansion plans, there have been market concerns that carriers will lower ticket prices to boost profits. But Zhou said carriers have not cut prices in the past two years and ticket prices actually have slightly increased with strong traffic growth.

In line with Beijing's liberalization of the aviation industry, five private airlines have already obtained approval to operate. There are fears that traditional carriers may face fierce competition from low-cost carriers.

But Zhou said: ``We don't think it is meaningful,'' because there are too many costs that low-cost carriers cannot control and it is difficult for them to reduce costs significantly.

One big factor contributing to low- cost carriers' inability to reduce costs is that Beijing has no plans to build secondary airports.
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Old November 9th, 2005, 05:04 PM   #574
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Delta Air Lines Applies For Nonstop Routes To China
9 November 2005

BEIJING (Dow Jones)--Delta Air Lines (DAL) has new plans to tap China's fast-growing travel market, the Wall Street Journal Asia has learned, part of an international expansion by the U.S. airline aimed at helping turn around its troubled finances.

Jorge Fernandez, Delta's vice president of international and alliances, said Wednesday that the Atlanta-based airline has applied with the U.S. Department of Transportation to fly nonstop routes between Atlanta and China starting as early as 2007.

The airline Wednesday also opened its first sales representative office in Beijing to sell tickets for its code-sharing partners, including China Southern Airlines (1055.HK) and Korea Airlines (003490.SE), he said.

(This story and related background material will be available on The Wall Street Journal Web site, WSJ.com).

"Now, we're plowing the field here and expect to reap the harvest in the near future," Fernandez said in an interview. [ 11-09-05 0653ET ]

Delta is a relative latecomer to China's travel market, however, and analysts said it would face a challenge catching up to other international airlines with a strong presence there already, including Northwest Airlines Corp. (NWAC) and UAL Corp.'s (UALAQ) United Airlines.

Mao Ang, an aviation analyst with China Galaxy Securities Co. in Beijing, said that while Delta has a good chance to be chosen to ply the next direct U.S.-China route because there are no direct routes from China to many southern U.S. states, its biggest challenge will be how to lure travelers from existing routes.

"It will take at least one or two years for Delta to foster the market, and during this time, breaking even in its Chinese business is the best scenario we could expect," Mao said.

Beijing has agreed to open another nonstop route to a U.S. airline in 2008, but Delta has asked Washington to push for this to happen in 2007, Fernandez said.

He said the U.S. DOT is likely to bring up the issue to the Civil Aviation Administration of China when the two sides meet in January to discuss further opening of China's aviation sector.

In July 2004, China and the U.S. signed a bilateral aviation agreement to expand services between the two countries and to drop most restrictions on each other's airlines.

Under the agreement, both countries would add five new entrants, including passenger and cargo carriers, to fly U.S.-China routes over the next six years. And the number of passenger and cargo flights will rise in stages over the same period to 249 per week from 54 at the time the agreement was signed. Earlier this year, Continental Airlines (CAL) was awarded the right to fly between China and the New York area.

Delta's expansion of international operations, announced earlier this year, has been accelerated after the airline filed for bankruptcy court protection on Sept. 14.

Under its expansion plan, Delta plans to boost its revenues from international operations to 35% by summer 2006 from the current 20%.

However, as Delta's planned new route to China wouldn't have been approved by then, Fernandez said the contribution from its Chinese operations will be limited.

-By Cui Rong, The Wall Street Journal Asia
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Old November 9th, 2005, 08:59 PM   #575
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Kansai International Airport has lost 10 flights a week to and from China--its key market--due in part to stalled bilateral aviation negotiations
10 November 2005
Asahi Shimbun

In its winter schedule that took effect on Oct. 30, All Nippon Airways Co. cut flights to Shanghai, Xiamen and Dalian.

Instead, the airline increased flights from Narita International Airport to Guangzhou and from Chubu Centrair International Airport (Chubu airport) to Shanghai.

While the reductions represent less than 5 percent of Kansai airport's total passenger flights serving China, ANA's decision is a serious blow to airport management.

"It is a considerable setback for friendship between Japan and China and the aviation industry that we cannot increase flights, which serve as a bridge between the two countries," Kansai International Airport Co. President Atsushi Murayama said.

Japan and China have failed to agree to increase the number of flights between the two countries even though government officials held three rounds of negotiations this year.

Japanese airlines are operating about 220 passenger flights to China weekly, which is at the upper limit stipulated under the bilateral aviation agreement.

Under the situation, ANA has shifted some of its China-bound flights to Narita and Chubu airports, where the airline expects more demand.

Murayama, a former vice president at Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., has led efforts to develop routes to China since he took over as president of the airport operator in 2003.

"We hope for the earliest possible conclusion to the aviation negotiations," Murayama said.

At Kansai airport, the number of weekly flights to and from China, including cargo services, is 215.5. The figure represents about 30 percent of the airport's total flights and is nearly five times the original 45 flights when the airport opened in September 1994.

The airport operates flights to 15 Chinese cities, more than any other Japanese airport, including Narita, which serves 14. It is the only Japanese airport serving Kunming, Yantai, Nanjing and Haikou.

Chinese operations have grown into a key revenue source for the airport. Even the flights that ANA cut were profitable.

The number of passengers departing from Kansai airport to China reached a record 1.2 million in 2004, sharply up from 700,000 in 1995. In 2004, 399,000 Chinese nationals either left or arrived at Kansai airport, nearly four times the 108,000 in 1995.

ANA has said it plans to reinstate the flights from Kansai airport once the bilateral flight quota is increased.
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Old November 9th, 2005, 09:01 PM   #576
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Britain, China sign aviation contracts worth 1.3 bln dlrs

LONDON, Nov 9 (AFP) - Britain and China on Wednesday signed commercial aviation contracts totalling 1.3 billion dollars (1.1 billion euros), witnessed by Chinese President Hu Jintao and Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair in London, an official spokeswoman confirmed.

In one of four deals signed before the two leaders at Blair's official Downing Street residence, China agreed also to open its markets to Lloyds of London, the world's biggest insurance underwriting market.

Representatives of Rolls-Royce signed an 800 million-dollar deal with Air China bosses, while China Aviation Industry Corporation 1 (AVIC-1) signed a 500 million-dollar deal with Airbus.

Consultancy firm Arup was also contracted to develop a master-plan for three new cities by the Shanghai Industrial Investment Corporation.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 06:43 AM   #577
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China signs contracts with Rolls Royce, Airbus

LONDON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Britain and China signed $1.3 billion worth of business deals on Wednesday during a state visit to London by President Hu Jintao. The contracts included one with British aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce Plc and Air China worth $800 million. A second between Airbus and Chinese plane maker AVIC1 Co. Ltd was worth $500 million.

A third was with consulting engineers Arup.

Beijing also agreed to open up the Chinese market to the reinsurer Lloyds of London.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 06:48 AM   #578
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Mainland carrier Air China reports 14 percent increase in passenger numbers
10 November 2005

HONG KONG (AP) - Air China Ltd. said Thursday it carried 14 percent more passengers in October than in the same period last year.

The Beijing-based airline said it transported 2.7 million passengers in October, with domestic passengers accounting for 78 percent of the traffic, according to figures published on its Web site.

The increase was bigger than the 11 percent rise in passenger figures recorded in September.

For the first nine months of this year, Air China's passenger traffic grew 12.4 percent to 23.2 million, up from 20.6 million during the same period in 2004.

In October, Air China carried 65,771 metric tons of cargo, up 9.6 percent from the same month in 2004.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 01:37 AM   #579
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China To Add 100-150 Planes A Year In Next 5 Yrs - Xinhua
13 November 2005

BEIJING (Dow Jones)--China is expected to add at least 100 to 150 commercial airplanes a year in the next five years, the official Xinhua News Agency reported over the weekend.

The estimates are part of China's main economic development plan for 2006-2010, known as the Five-Year Plan, the report said, adding the mainland's aviation sector is expected to maintain a stable and rapid growth during this time.

By 2010, China's total commercial air fleet should reach nearly 1,600 planes, or a net addition of around 700 planes from this year, the report said, citing the General Administration of Civil Aviation.

At the same time, airports used for civil aviation should reach 187, up by around 40 from 2005, the report said.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 07:29 PM   #580
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WSJA:FedEx Sees China Ops Rising Rapidly With New Hub
14 November 2005

BEIJING (Dow Jones)--FedEx Corp. (FDX), the world's largest air express delivery company, said it expects its Chinese operations to continue growing at a rapid rate, with the introduction of a new hub and more flights.

"China is an important part of our business with growing importance," David L. Cunningham Jr., president of FedEx's Asian-Pacific division, said in an interview Monday. This "could be reflected in our investments of assets and people here."

(This story and related background will be available on the Journal's Web site, wsj.com.)

Cunningham said FedEx will add three new flights to its China service by March, bringing the total number of its routes into and out of the country to 26. Currently, the Memphis, Tenn., company offers delivery services between China and such destinations as the U.S., Europe Japan and India.

In July, FedEx announced plans to spend $150 million to build up its Asia-Pacific hub in southern China, replacing the existing one at Subic Bay in the Philippines. The new hub, to be based at Guangzhou's Baiyun International Airport, will become FedEx's largest in the region when it opens in December 2008.

"Effectively, we'll more than double the size and the number the flights we have been operating in Subic Bay," said Cunningham.

Cunningham declined to release profit or growth figures for the Chinese market, saying the company doesn't break out those figures separately. FedEx has voiced concern over China's Postal Law, which is now under revision as a part of the country's restructuring of its postal sector aimed at separating the government from enterprise management. The revised law is expected to be submitted to the National People's Congress, or legislature, for approval in March.

Currently, China's State Post Bureau, the national postal service also known as China Post, is playing a dual role as an express delivery service provider and as market regulator. Although it has already lost about 75% of the international express delivery service market to global rivals in the last two decades, it has fared better in domestic courier services, as the market has yet to be fully opened. According to the Conference of Asia-Pacific Express Carriers, an interest group representing global express courier firms in Asia, including FedEx, DHL and United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS), the proposed revisions would give China Post a monopoly over delivery of domestic mail weighing less than 350 grams. The current law doesn't extend any monopolies to China Post, but under Beijing's agreement with the World Trade Organization, foreign companies can deliver domestic mail in China only via a joint venture company with a Chinese partner. DHL has such a joint venture company, but it focuses on heavier packages.

"Simply, we're asking for a level playing field," said Cunningham, explaining that an industry competitor shouldn't also play the role of regulator.

Cunningham also expressed concern over a proposal for "some sort of tax" to be levied to fund China's universal postal service under the revised law. "We are confused at why the express industry is particular, and shall bear the tax or contribute to a fund of universal postal service," he said.

FedEx, along with other industry players, continues to raise these issues with China Post and other ministries, he said. FedEx will retain its joint venture with Tianjin-based DTW Group as long as it mutually benefits both sides, and proves a productive and successful relationship, Cunningham said.

-Cui Rong contributed to this article
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