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Old November 30th, 2004, 08:38 AM   #81
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Guangzhou plans airport tie-ups to create south China hub
26 November 2004
Xinhua Financial Network (XFN) News

GUANGZHOU, China (XFN-ASIA) - Guangzhou wants to become southern China's air hub through a tie-up plan with other regional airports, said Zhang Kejian, vice-president of Guangdong Airport Management Corp which runs the city's Baiyun International Airport.

Zhang said he is in talks with airport bosses in nearby Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Macau.

"We want to be the hub airport of southern China," Zhang said. "We are exploring alliances with Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Macau airports ... we think that the most important thing is cooperation with other Chinese airports."

The announcement comes days after talks on a similar arrangement between Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Zhuhai effectively collapsed.

Hong Kong had hoped an alliance could have secured its prominence in the southern Chinese air market.

Failure to strike a deal with two of its strongest rivals on lucrative China routes is likely to deepen investor fears of rising competition before a planned listing of Hong Kong's airport in 2006.

Although Zhang would give no details of what form the alliance would take, he indicated it could involve the purchase of equity stakes in the other airports.

He added that while he hopes business at his airport will eclipse that of its southern rival, he has not ruled out other forms of cooperation with Hong Kong.

"We often negotiate with the other large airports -- Beijing and Shanghai included -- and we are also exchanging ideas with Hong Kong," he said.

The 2.4 bln usd Baiyun Airport, the largest in China, opened in August and immediately drew worried looks from Hong Kong airport, which has enjoyed primacy in the region for decades.

Zhang said that in its first three months of operation 6.1 mln passengers had passed through its gates, and it is well on the way to achieving its target of 27 mln passengers and 1 mln tons of cargo in its first year.

Hong Kong, which can handle 35 mln passengers and 3 mln tons of cargo per year, still has the advantage as China's aviation infrastructure struggles to modernize, according to logistics experts.
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Old November 30th, 2004, 08:51 AM   #82
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Guangzhou airport eyes HK's prime hub status

It wants to link up with nearby airports to be main base for southern China


Guangzhou (China) - GUANGZHOU'S new international airport threw down the gauntlet on Thursday, vowing to rob rival Hong Kong of its status as southern China's air hub through a tie-up plan with other regional airports.

Mr Zhang Kejian, vice-president of Guangdong Airport Management Corporation which runs the city's Baiyun International Airport, said he was in talks with airport bosses in nearby Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Macau. 'We want to be the hub airport of southern China. We are exploring alliances with Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Macau airports...the most important thing is cooperation with other Chinese airports.'

The announcement comes days after talks on a similar arrangement between Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Zhuhai effectively collapsed. Hong Kong had hoped that an alliance could have secured its prominence in the southern Chinese air market. Failure to strike a deal with two of its strongest rivals on lucrative China routes is likely to deepen investor fears of rising competition before a planned listing of Hong Kong's airport in 2006.

Mr Zhang indicated that the alliances could involve the purchase of equity stakes in the other airports. He added that while he hoped business at his airport would eclipse that of its southern rival, he had not ruled out other forms of cooperation with Hong Kong.

The US$2.4 billion (S$4 billion) Baiyun airport, one of the busiest in China, opened in August and immediately drew worried looks from its Hong Kong counterpart, which has enjoyed primacy in the region for decades.

Mr Zhang said that in its first three months of operation, 6.1 million passengers had passed through its gates. And the airport was well on the way to achieving its target of 27 million passengers and a million tonnes of cargo in its first year.

Hong Kong, which can handle 35 million passengers and three million tonnes of cargo annually, still has the advantage as China's aviation infrastructure struggles to modernise, say logistics experts. -- AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
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Old December 1st, 2004, 09:20 PM   #83
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U.S. Airlines Vie for Rights to Fly to China
Carriers Enlist Employees, Politicians to Press Their Cases in Washington to Win Routes


By Amy Schatz and Evan Perez
1 December 2004
The Wall Street Journal

FOR U.S. AIRLINES struggling with bruising competition at home, a fight has broken out over rights to fly to China.

Late this year or early in 2005, the Department of Transportation will choose one passenger carrier to provide nonstop service to China starting as soon as March and another airline -- either passenger or cargo -- to start service in 2006.

Airlines vying to be chosen have to submit reams of documents but can't lobby bureaucrats directly, so they have enlisted hundreds of politicians and business leaders and thousands of employees to write on their behalf. AMR Corp's American Airlines has drafted 26 senators, 78 congressmen and 38 chambers of commerce to write letters on its behalf.

In the end, serving the lucrative Chinese market could all come down to location.

American Airlines wants to begin nonstop service in May to Shanghai from Chicago, a route UAL Corp.'s United Airlines already flies. Continental Airlines wants to fly to Beijing from Newark, N.J. It argues that no U.S. carrier provides daily nonstop service to China from the New York City area, though Air China offers nonstop flights four days a week.

Delta Air Lines wants to begin flights to Beijing from Atlanta -- but only in 2006 when it can afford to refit aircraft to fly the Chinese route. It argues that the fast-growing U.S. Southeast, with no direct flights to China, is being neglected.

American and Continental also are applying for the route that starts in 2006, in case they don't win in the first round -- but four freight carriers also are fighting for that slot.

The new flights are the product of a pact reached in June between Chinese and U.S. officials. The two sides agreed to allow 249 weekly flights, up from the 54 flights Beijing previously allowed, by the end of the six-year agreement. Altogether, seven passenger and seven cargo airlines are trying to win new flights to the world's most populous nation.

Passenger traffic between the U.S. and China rose 26% from 1999 through 2003, including a drop in traffic last year, partly the result of difficulties obtaining visas in both countries. About 341,600 passengers flew to China from the U.S. on commercial airlines last year, down from 484,000 in 2002, according to the Transportation Department.

The competition for the new slots is especially fierce because the big U.S. carriers, battered by high fuel costs and domestic fare wars, see increased international service as their ticket out of financial troubles. They want to cash in on trans-Pacific routes, especially to China, where they face little competition and can charge premium fares. Delta, United and American all announced restructuring plans in recent months that include more international flights.

Besides, new routes to tightly controlled markets don't come up very often. Scott Yohe, Delta's lead Washington lobbyist, says restrictive bilateral government agreements still govern many of the industry's most coveted routes. "Because of the financial condition of the industry it magnifies it even more," he says.

Patrick Murphy, a Washington aviation consultant working for a cargo carrier that is vying for more Chinese flights in 2006 says some of the activity "is defensive: If you don't do it, you look like you've got no support."

At times, the contest has become downright nasty: Northwest Airlines, which offers passenger and cargo service to China, charged in a letter last week that Federal Express Corp. should be disqualified from receiving any additional flights in 2006 because the company didn't file proper business forecasts. A FedEx spokeswoman said the company believes it provided ample information in its application and dismissed Northwest's charge.

Meanwhile, American's intense lobbying effort so far has yielded more letters from supporters, but Delta and Continental aren't far behind. United and US Airways Group Inc. are operating under bankruptcy-court protection and Delta has been on the brink recently.

American is trying to avoid a repeat of 2000, when it lost a competition with United Parcel Service Inc. to offer service to China. UPS had gathered letters from more than half the Senate and thousands of its employees, most slight variations of a form letter. It is unclear whether UPS's letters were a deciding factor, but they certainly didn't hurt.

American is taking no chances this time around. In addition to letters from politicians and chambers of commerce, it has drummed up thousands of letters from employees. "We took that seriously and this time tried to show as much support as we could," says William Ris, American's lead Washington lobbyist. "We want to make sure there is very widespread support for the proposal we're making."

Not to be outdone, other airlines have launched similar letter-writing campaigns. Delta says it has won support from House and Senate aviation subcommittee chairmen, more than two dozen mayors, airport directors and governors, as well as from economic-development officials from 13 states.

Transportation Department officials look at many of the letters, but "the fact of the matter is we make our decision on the merits of the case," says Karan Bhatia, DOT's assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs, who will award the Chinese flights.

U.S. negotiators, meantime, have turned their attention to opening up broader pacts with other countries. Efforts to reach an "open skies" agreement with the European Union has failed to date, but U.S. officials will begin formal talks for such an agreement with India early next year. India is "a huge market and it's only going to get larger and larger," says John Byerly, the State Department's deputy assistant secretary for transportation affairs.

Negotiators also hope to work out a deal with Mexico to allow more passenger service between the U.S. and Mexican cities by early next year, and they are scheduled to talk with Hong Kong officials in April.
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Old December 2nd, 2004, 12:02 AM   #84
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Wow..China is like gold to the airlines. I don't hear much about Chinese carriers applying for American routes..odd.
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Old December 2nd, 2004, 07:55 PM   #85
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Friday December 3, 12:27 PM
CORRECT: Air China's Jet Fuel Provider Added 2 Suppliers

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Air China Ltd. (0753.HK), the mainland's largest commercial airline, Thursday said the China Aviation Oil (Singapore) Corp. (C47.SG) debacle won't have any impact on the country's jet fuel supply or pricing mechanisms.

China Aviation Oil is the dominant jet-fuel supplier in the mainland and is seeking court protection from creditors after racking up US$550 million in losses from oil derivatives trading. It is also being investigated by its parent, China Aviation Holding Co.

Air China's Chairman Li Jiaxiang said the company has consulted various government departments on the issue and was assured that the scandal will have no impact on jet fuel supply and prices.

Li said Air China aims to have diversified sources of jet fuel and has just added PetroChina Co. (PTR) and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (SNP), or Sinopec, as suppliers two weeks ago. He didn't provide further details on the deals.

The China Aviation Oil scandal also didn't hurt investors' appetite for Air China's initial public offering, with the institutional tranche having been fully booked, said a person familiar with the situation.

The carrier is selling 2.806 billion shares at between HK$2.35 and HK$3.1 a share. Of the offered shares, the Hong Kong retail tranche will be 10% with the rest to be placed with institutional investors. The company has an option to sell another 15% of the offered shares.

Air China said the IPO's retail tranche will open for subscription Friday and close on Wednesday. The shares will be listed on Hong Kong stock exchange Dec. 15.

Last month, Cathay Pacific (0293.HK) signed a memorandum of understanding to buy 9.9% of Air China's IPO shares.

Air China has a fleet of 136 aircraft serving 69 domestic and 34 international destinations.
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Last edited by hkskyline; December 3rd, 2004 at 08:14 AM.
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Old December 3rd, 2004, 10:44 PM   #86
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Friday December 3, 11:37 PM
UPS plans expansion into China but Hong Kong still its major hub

HONG KONG (AFP) - US logistics giant United Parcel Service (UPS) said that it plans a major expansion into China but Hong Kong will remain its major regional logistics hub.

"It's essential, it's extremely important," Ken Torok, company president for the Asia-Pacific Region, said, referring to Asia's rising economic giant.

He said the company will launch a service to southern Guangzhou city in April with six flights a week. A Shanghai hub is planned for 2007.

UPS said Thursday it will take full control of its international operations in China from its Hong Kong partner Sinotrans Air Transportation.

The 100 million dollar deal will see UPS take over operations covering Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Qingdao in January 2005 to be followed by another 18 additional locations by December 2005.

UPS shipments from China soared 129 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, compared with growth of 30 percent for the Asia region as a whole.

While Torok recognised the importance of raising the group's profile in China, he said Hong Kong's role as a major regional hub would not be threatened as it has good connections with Asia and the rest of the world.

"We don't see Hong Kong's role as a regional hub will diminish," he added.
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Old December 4th, 2004, 11:58 PM   #87
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Zimbabwe Independent - AAGM: Airzim Faces Stiff Challenge
Itai Dzamara
03 December 2004
Zimbabwe Independent

AIR Zimbabwe's flight to China could fail to generate profits for the national airline because of stiff competition from Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airways and South African Airways.

The national airline officially launched its service to Singapore and Beijing last month. It is having to undercut rivals on the same route to attract customers. This is likely to impact negatively on the national airline's capacity to show a profit from its much-trumpeted new schedule.

South African Airways has daily flights between Johannesburg and Singapore as well as Hong Kong where code-sharing partners such as Cathay Pacific pick up passengers to other points in China, while Kenya Airways has daily flights between Nairobi and Hong Kong. It has KLM as a technical partner.

Kenya Airways also flies to Harare three times a week and redistributes passengers to the Far East from its hub in Nairobi.

Ethiopian Airways has two flights to China a week, which pass through Johannesburg.

The three airlines, which have better standards and international reputations than Air Zimbabwe, are likely to continue attracting the bulk of travellers from southern Africa to the Far East.

Air Zimbabwe launched its inaugural flight to Beijing via Singapore last month. Acting managing director Oscar Madombwe said last week soon after the airline's Boeing 767 returned from China that Air Zimbabwe would provide two flights to China a week.

Madombwe admitted that the airline faced stiff competition from established regional carriers.

"There is very stiff competition indeed," he said. "As you would appreciate, Johannesburg is currently the hub of international travellers and there is Ethiopian Airways flying to Beijing while Kenya Airways and South African Airways also have flights to China," he said. "There are a number of things that we need to improve, especially on standards, in order to compete favourably."

Air Zimbabwe will continue charging a promotional fare of US$1 000 for the return ticket to China, while the other airlines are charging between US$1 500 and $1 800, a factor which could affect the national airline's viability on the route.

Madombwe confirmed that the promotional fare would be used for some time.

"The operational fare of US$1 000 will be used at least up to the end of the year because we want to attract clients. I acknowledge that it affects viability but we have to adopt such measures to penetrate the market."

Madombwe said he didn't have the figures for bookings to date. "But I think the main source of our market must be China."

Air Zimbabwe has two long-haul Boeing 767s, one of which will be plying the China route while the other plies the lucrative Harare-London route.
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Old December 5th, 2004, 05:20 AM   #88
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Shanghai''s Surprise
BY IAN PUTZGER
04 December 2004
Air Cargo World

As the latest wave of the stampede to China kicked into gear, Shanghai was solidifying its place as the main object of desire. Polar Air Cargo, the new entrant into the scheduled United States-China market, is putting all of its frequencies into the city''s Pudong airport. Northwest Airlines, FedEx Express and UPS have plans for other points, but for now they''re concentrating on Shanghai.

And when Menlo Worldwide Forwarding teamed up with World Airways last month for charter authority, it was Shanghai the company wanted to serve.

Chinese carriers jockeying for position to enter the international arena have also set their hearts on Shanghai. The city is a natural choice for Shanghai Airlines, seen widely as the frontrunner, but less obvious for Hainan Air, which has ambitions to mount Shanghai-San Francisco cargo flights next year, according to one observer.

Away from the world'' s favorite boom town, the interest focuses on the Pearl River Delta and the industrial cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Beijing works well for passenger flights but the heavy industry in the north is more geared to maritime transportation. Factories in Southern China, on the other hand, exported $19.23 billion worth of toys, textiles, electronics and other goods in 2003, about a third of the country''s export total.

Jaded Service

Already before its new Baiyun airport opened this summer, Guangzhou had been widely tipped to emerge as the next major gateway. Northwest wanted to fly freighters there, but didn''t get sufficient traffic rights from the U.S. Department of Transportation, so those plans are on hold until 2006. FedEx has signed a framework agreement with the airport authority with a view to establishing a hub there.

Lufthansa Cargo is equally bullish about the south but it is betting on Shenzhen, despite Lufthansa passenger flights to Baiyun.

In October, the German carrier signed an agreement with Shenzhen Airlines to form a joint venture carrier called Jade Cargo International. Earmarked to start in February with two A300-600 freighters, Jade aims to serve Chinese as well as other Asian destinations like India, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. It may later expand beyond the region, according to LH Cargo. The agreement, which includes a Lufthansa 25 percent stake in the cargo venturee, follows the establishment of a cargo handling joint venture between Luffthansa Cargo and the Shenzhen airport authority.

Shenzhen''s airport managers aim to make the city the region''s chief cargo airport by 2015, but some observers are skeptical. Some carriers and forwarders believe the airport is going to be squeezed by both Baiyun and nearby Hong Kong International Airport.

Of greater concern, however, is that signs of strain are beginning to show at the world''s factory floor.

Energy Short

Energy production can''t keep pace with the rapid growth of economic development in the area. The power shortage has been exacerbated by the high cost of coal and oil and a number of deadly coal mining accidents.

As a consequence, several areas near Shenzhen have suffered frequent power outages, which has forced a number of factories to shut down for one or even two days a week, said Sam Tang, general manager of Grace Fine Paper Products, a Hong Kong-based packaging manufacturer whose production plant is half an hour''s drive from Guangzhou.

Like many others, Grace had moved production from Hong Kong across the border to escape the city''s high costs and tap into China''s pool of cheap labor. However, workers have been in short supply in the region this year, belying the myth of China''s seemingly inexhaustible supply of cheap labor. This has companies reconsidering their strategies, said Tang.

Costs have risen to a point where some manufacturers have packed up and moved. Hong Kong-listed Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings, the world''s largest shoe maker, is moving production further inland, while global brands such as Nike and Reebok have switched some manufacturing contracts away from China to places such as Vietnam. Labor and utility costs in provinces like Jiangxi are about 30 percent lower than those in the Pearl River Delta, which is also feeling the impact from a tight property market.

To spread development to the interior, the Chinese government embarked on a "go west" campaign two years ago, an effort that seems to be bearing fruit. Intel is building a $200 million plant in Chengdu in Sichuan province, more than 1,000 miles from Guangzhou, and Motorola has a research center there.

These developments are forcing carriers to consider their long-term strategies for China.

Recently, FedEx indicated that high costs could get in the way of a hub operation at Baiyun. Jim Friedel, president of NWA Cargo, believes that more gateways will open up in the years ahead. Northwest is still in line for Guangzhou: the airline has the city in its filing for traffic rights for 2006. This time, however, Northwest added another site to its wish list: Xiamen.
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Old December 6th, 2004, 06:19 PM   #89
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China signs $1 bln Airbus deal as Schroeder visits
By Daniela Vates

BEIJING, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Chinese flag carrier Air China Ltd. signed a $1.3 billion deal to buy 23 new Airbus jetliners on Monday during the annual visit to Beijing of German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

The agreement came during heightened speculation that China had suspended some of its dealings with Airbus until the European Union decides to lift an arms embargo imposed against China after the Chinese army brutally crushed pro-democracy protests in 1989. China has denied there is a link.

The 23 planes included A319s and A320s in a deal worth about 1 billion euros ($1.34 billion), German government sources said.

Schroeder arrived in Beijing on Monday for a three-day trip likely to focus on expanding trade ties and the arms ban, which Germany is keen to see lifted.

China's fixed exchange rate, blamed in Europe and the United States for yawning trade imbalances, had been expected to be on the agenda but was not discussed when Schroeder dined with Premier Wen Jiabao, German government sources said.

He meets President Hu Jintao on Tuesday.

Most of the schedule for the German leader's sixth working visit to China was devoted to expanding trade ties and tapping China's booming market.

"China's economy is growing in a very dynamic way. Everybody can see that. One of the core parts of this growth is the automotive industry," Schroeder told reporters in German at the inauguration of a production site for DaimlerChrysler AG.

DaimlerChrysler told Reuters in an interview it expects to sell 50,000 units in China this year, a top executive said on Monday, about 15 percent less than an earlier announced target.

Schroeder is accompanied by a large delegation from German companies including Deutsche Bank , engineering group Siemens AG and insurance giant Allianz .

On Tuesday, Schroeder will travel to the northeastern city of Changchun to open a Volkswagen AG plant before flying to Tokyo on Wednesday.

UNHAPPY ABOUT YUAN

Despite the increasing corporate ties, German officials have indicated unhappiness about China's yuan currency and urged Beijing to relax its peg of 8.28 to the dollar, with concerns the low exchange rate is giving Chinese exporters an unfair advantage.

But it is the arms embargo, imposed in 1989 after China's suppression of pro-democracy demonstrators on Tiananmen Square, that has become a key political issue.

China has received no less than three European leaders in the past week ahead of a China-EU summit in the Hague that begins on Wednesday, hoping to push the group to lift the sales ban it calls a relic from the Cold War that is jeopardising ties.

Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi is in China until Thursday, and British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott visited last week.

Local media also reported Hu spoke on the telephone with French President Jacques Chirac at the weekend, but did not mention whether the arms embargo was raised.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui last week dismissed reports China would not buy Airbus planes if the ban was not lifted, saying its developing tourism industry needed more aircraft.

Germany is one of the EU's biggest arms exporters and is seen as supporting an end to the embargo along with France, which first pressed for a review of the ban. (Additional reporting by Lindsay Beck)
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Old December 7th, 2004, 07:09 PM   #90
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China seen ordering Airbus superjumbo "soon"
By Scott Hillis

BEIJING, Dec 7 (Reuters) - European aerospace giant EADS said on Tuesday it expects China will soon buy its new superjumbo Airbus jet but warned time was running short to assure delivery by the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"Pretty soon we will sit together and sign a contract because the A380 will fly to China for the 2008 Olympics, not only for Chinese airlines but others as well," EADS chief executive Rainer Hertrich told reporters.

But Hertrich added: "The Chinese have to hurry up because there are not so many slots for the A380. All our customers are keen to get the aircraft as soon as possible."

The European Union's weapons embargo against China, in place since the crushing of the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy protests, did not appear to be linked to Beijing's delay in ordering the new aircraft, Hertrich said.

"I did not receive during my visit here any hint that the embargo was linked to the A380," Hertrich said.

Hertrich, in Beijing as part of a business delegation with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, spoke a day after China said it would buy 23 Airbus jets. That order did not include any of the superjumbo A380 jets.

Although German officials said on Monday that flag carrier Air China Ltd. would buy the planes for $1.3 billion, an Airbus spokesman said on Tuesday that the customer had not been officially announced and that the deal was worth $1.2 billion.

Airbus said in a statement that China Aviation Supplies Import and Export Group Corp., a trading firm for the country's air industry, would buy the 23 aircraft from the A320 narrow-body family of jets, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321.

Hertrich reiterated a goal of boosting Airbus's share of China's commercial aviation market to 50 percent from the current 25 percent and said Airbus would quadruple its subcontracting in China to $120 million by 2010.

Airbus's chief rival in China is U.S. aerospace giant Boeing Co. .

Asked about the effects of a weakening U.S. currency, Hertrich said EADS was well-hedged through next year, but warned that profits could be hurt if the exchange rate stayed near $1.30 to the euro beyond that.

"We do not have a problem in the short term. For 2005, nearly all of Airbus is actually covered by our hedge book," he said. "In the long term, it will affect profitability if the dollar exchange rate stays where it is today."

EADS also hoped to sell China a computer security system for the 2008 Olympic Games, Hertrich said.

The computer system could aid in crowd control, but Hertrich said he was not concerned that it would be used to put down civil unrest in China, where public protests are quickly quelled by authorities keen to maintain social stability.

"Take this knife," Hertrich said, picking up a utensil at a breakfast table. "You use it for your bread, your meat. But you can take it and kill someone with the same knife. Does that mean we should not build knives?

"China is a stable country and the world will be in Beijing for the Olympic Games, and those games will only take place if security is provided."
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Old December 11th, 2004, 06:26 PM   #91
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China Forecast to Have 200 Airports by 2010

BEIJING, Dec 9 Asia Pulse - China's civil aviation industry has entered a fast-growth stage and the number of airports is expected to reach about 200 by 2010.

Chinese civil aviation's total traffic volume, passenger traffic, and freight traffic (excluding those of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) have grown at an annual rate of 18 per cent, 16 per cent and 16 per cent on average in the past 20-plus years, more than tripling that of the world average level, said Gao Hong Feng, vice director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China at the opening ceremony of the Airport Conference of China-Portuguese-Speaking Countries held in Beijing on December 7.

More than 100 airport and civil aviation representatives from the mainland of China, Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, East Timor and Macao attended the conference.

They plan to examine issues concerning airport infrastructure development plan, investment system, operation efficiency and management, airport security and environment protection.
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Old December 12th, 2004, 06:42 AM   #92
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Air China raises $1.07bn in IPO

Air China, the biggest airline in China, raised $1.07bn (£558m), after pricing its flotation near the top of its range, sources said.

It sold 2.8 billion shares, or 31% of its equity, at HK$2.98 ($0.38) each, near the top of a HK$2.35-$3.10 range.

Strong demand meant its shares were more than 83 times oversubscribed by ordinary Chinese investors.

The Hong Kong market has been performing well and as a new listing, Air China should see strong demand.

Its flotation price values the business at nearly 11 times its projected 2005 earnings. By contrast, rivals China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines trade at 11.8 times and 14.9 times forward earnings, respectively.

Going for growth

Air China absorbed China Southwest Airlines and Zhejing Airlines under a broad consolidation of China's fragmented airline industry.

It now has a 35 percent market share of China's 20 busiest domestic routes and 51.4% of China's international market.

Air China is the last of China's three large airline groups to list and due to heavy demand from individual retail investors, the public portion of the float was lifted to 40% of the offering from 10%, after it was oversubscribed 83 times.

Institutional investors were also keen on the stock, placing orders for 37 times more Air China shares than were available to them.

Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong's dominant airline, paid HK$2.697bn for 905 million shares in Air China - 32.3% of the shares offered.

The company's earnings are expected to rise 13% to 2.6bn yuan (US$13.5m) in 2005, its underwriter China International Capital Corp. had said. Merrill Lynch is the other underwriter of the deal.

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Old December 14th, 2004, 09:10 AM   #93
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Sino-European Aviation Cooperation Enters a New Stage

SHANGHAI, Dec 14 Asia Pulse - Aviation cooperation between China and Europe has entered a new stage this year with the Europe-based Airbus having sold a record number of planes to China and China invited to share Airbus' new aircraft program for the first time.

Airbus's China company announced here recently that China has just signed contracts with Airbus for the purchase of 23 Airbus A320 family aircraft worthy of US$1.2 billion, marking a successful year for the cooperation between Airbus and its Chinese partners.

The year 2004 also witnessed a breakthrough of Sino-European aviation cooperation, as Chinese companies will take five per cent of the work on Airbus's A350 program, said Gustav Humbert, Airbus Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Programs in China recently.

According to Humbert, the five-percent share is only a short-term goal for Airbus' China strategy, and in the future, China will be allowed to take ten per cent share in new Airbus programs.

In 2004, Chinese aviation companies ordered a total of 58 aircraft from Airbus, increasing its total order from Airbus to 81.In the future, Airbus hopes to share half of China's commercial aircraft market, said sources with the European giant airplane-maker.

Airbus is planning to increase its subcontracts in China, according to its China strategy. Beginning from 2007, Airbus will increase its annual subcontract volume in China from the current US$30 million to US$60 million, and the figure will jump to US$120 million in 2010.

Airbus also plans to establish a program design center in China under its future strategy. Starting from 2008, about 200 Chinese engineers will have access to participating in aircraft-design work for Airbus, which will help China become an all-round partner of Airbus in the future.

When Airbus accelerates its pace to expand market in China, the owners of Airbus Industrie, the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) also made great progress in its China business.

EADS announced here recently that it had just signed an agreement with its Chinese counterpart in order to provide a solution for the 2008 Beijing Olympics safety system. It also planned to build a center to demonstrate its safeguarding system in case of big events in Beijing.

Sources said last year EADS invested US$30 million for five per cent share of Avichina, a branch company of the China Aviation Industrial Corporation (AVIC), to jointly develop, produce and export new aviation products, making itself the first overseas investor for China's aviation industry.

Currently, EADS is focusing on cooperation with China in the field of helicopter. Last month, the AVIC signed an agreement with Eurocopter, an EADS firm, to co-produce a new helicopter, which will be in operation in 2010. The Eurocopter also plans to set up a production line for EC 120 helicopter in Harbin, capital city of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.

(XIC)
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Old December 15th, 2004, 07:29 PM   #94
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China Eastern Air says Nov passengers up 9.5 pct

SHANGHAI, Dec 15 (Reuters) - China Eastern Airlines Co. Ltd. posted a 9.47 percent rise in November passenger traffic, thanks to an improving global economy and booming travel, the country's second-largest carrier said on Wednesday.

However, the number of passengers carried fell about 14.5 percent to 1.41 million in November from October, the Shanghai-based airline said in a statement.

It filled 66.02 percent of seats in November, up 6.45 percent from the same month last year but down 4.58 percent from October.

Larger rival, China Southern Airlines Co. Ltd. , reported a 12.4 percent jump in passenger numbers in November from the previous year, with 2.42 million people carried. But that was down about 9 percent from October.

Passenger traffic at China Eastern and China Southern eased on a monthly basis in November following China's week-long golden holiday in October.

Shares of China Eastern listed in Hong Kong have risen about 31 percent in the past year, compared with China Southern's 3.91 percent loss in the same period. (Additional reporting by Alison Leung in Hong Kong)
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Old December 16th, 2004, 06:13 AM   #95
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Thursday December 16, 2:01 AM
IATA: China to Lead Growth in Air Travel

AP - China is expected to be the world's fastest-growing market for air travel as the world's airlines look for global growth in passenger traffic of 6 percent annually over the next four years, a trade association said Wednesday.

The growth will help the industry continue its recovery from the 2001 terror attacks on the United States and the SARS epidemic, the International Air Transport Association said in its year-end report.

But it has a long way to go to erase the record $35 billion losses of the past four years, said IATA Director-General Giovanni Bisignani.

"It looks like we will finish 2004 with the strongest traffic rebound that the industry has seen since the 1991 recovery from the effects of the Gulf War," said Bisignani.

The industry carried 1.8 billion passengers this year, up 14 percent, he told reporters. Nonetheless, the world's airlines are still expected to post combined losses of nearly $5 billion dollars for 2004.

Economic growth and deregulation are expected to keep the number of passengers rising, IATA said.

"We are not quite forecasting a return to the buoyant 1990s trend but, at an average growth rate of 6 percent, it is not that far off," it said, noting that passenger traffic grew by an average 6.5 percent a year between 1990 and 2000.

The Chinese air passenger market, which numbered 21.9 million people in 2003, is forecast to turn in an average annual growth of 12.5 percent until 2008, the report said.

"China will lead the global economic expansion for the foreseeable future, which will generate significant long-haul business traffic to and from North America," IATA said.

Growth in air travel between North America and India is also expected to exceed 10 percent, it said.

Three former Soviet Bloc countries would be among the five fastest-growing passenger markets during the period _ Poland at 11 percent, Hungary at 9.6 percent and the Czech Republic at 9.1 percent, just behind fourth place United Arab Emirates at 9.3 percent, IATA said.

The industry continues to suffer from high fuel prices, but could break even in 2005 if oil prices drop to an average of $36 a barrel, it said.

Crude oil prices have been around $40 a barrel for much of this year _ although they reached a high of $55.17 in October.

IATA economist Brian Pearce said a $34-a-barrel average would let the industry earn a $1.2 billion profit in 2005.
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Old December 17th, 2004, 05:32 PM   #96
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Analysis - China Hastens Aviation Reform

BEIJING, Dec 17 Asia Pulse - Air China's debut on the Hong Kong and London stock markets Wednesday can be seen as a signal of deepening aviation reform, which changed from increasing aviation efficiency to redefining the ownership, said Chen Liran, an aviation insider.

China's huge potential in aviation is well-recognized. The stock price of China Southern and China Eastern rose 30 percent in November despite a plane crash and China Aviation Oil company scandal. The market value of China Southern reached about US$1.7 billion and that of China Eastern reached some one billion US dollars. After Air China's Initial Public Offering (IPO), its market value will surpass US$2.5 billion.

Several airlines listed earlier, including Hainan Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and Xiamen Airlines, made profits after their IPOs as well.

"Apart from the fact that they can collect more money on the market, the most crucial thing for these airlines is that they allbecome public companies," acknowledged Liu Yongtao, a Chinese aviation expert.

Experts hold that the goal of aviation reform is to make profitfor state-owned companies.

The debut of flag carrier Air China and the recent investment of Cathay Pacific to Air China signifies that China's aviation industry planned to strengthen public supervision on airline companies, according to experts.

Air China will release its fiscal report on operation performance to all investors after its IPO, and the market will judge its achievements by raising or lowering the stock price.

(XIC)'S
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Old December 17th, 2004, 07:06 PM   #97
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Be there!

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Old December 18th, 2004, 03:46 AM   #98
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Foreign Airlines Face Qualification Checks for Entry to China

BEIJING, Dec 17 Asia Pulse - China is working to strengthen safety supervision over foreign air carriers while speeding its opening-up drive.

Starting next year, foreign airlines who apply for passenger or cargo business in China will have to undergo a qualification examination from regional civil aviation authorities before entering the vast aviation market.

All foreign airlines that have been operating flights in the country will also have to undergo similar examinations before 2007.

A new regulation on airline management was mapped out by the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC), the industry watchdog. It is expected to take effect next year.

The regulation aims to regulate the management of foreign carriers and ensure safer flights, said Wang Changshun, CAAC's vice-director, in Beijing.

Based on the minimum safety criteria defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the regulation simplifies the procedure of examination and approval for market access but stresses safety supervision.

According to the regulation, airlines which operate less than 10 flights a year or carry out a specific contract during a certain period during the period of Olympic Games, for instance are exempt from the examination.

Some 74 foreign airlines operate regular flights in the country and the number of planes landing in or taking off from Chinese airports adds up to 500 per day, according to CAAC's statistics.

Their performance has a bearing on the nation's aviation safety as well as that of people and property on the ground, Wang said.

Airlines are expected to meet the standards of the individual countries where they operate as well as international safety standards, said an official from the CAAC's Department of International Co-operation.

"Although CAAC has attached importance to safety supervision of foreign airlines in the past, there were no regulations to standardize management," he said.

In the past, foreign airlines could operate after CAAC approved them, he added.

It has become an international practice to conduct safety exami-nation and supervision over foreign airlines, the official said.

(XIC)
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Old December 21st, 2004, 03:58 AM   #99
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Qatar Airways First Middle East Airline To Beijing
Award-Winning Carrier Links Chinese Capital With Arabian Gulf
Corporate Press Release
26 November 2004

Beijing, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA – Award-winning Qatar Airways, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, has become the first Middle East carrier to launch non-stop scheduled flights between Doha and Beijing, capital of the State of Qatar in the Arabian Gulf.

The first flight touched down at Beijing International Airport with a large delegation of dignitaries – including the Chinese Ambassador to Qatar, Zhao Huimin, and members of the media from Qatar – headed up by Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker.

The new flights, operated three times a week, are part of an aggressive winter route expansion campaign that sees six new destinations being served from Doha to cities around the world over the next two months.

Beijing, the political capital of the People’s Republic of China, becomes the second city in the country to be served by Qatar Airways following the successful launch last year of non-stop scheduled flights between Doha and Shanghai.

The Chinese capital also becomes Qatar Airways’ 9th destination in the Far East that also includes Seoul, Bangkok, Singapore, Cebu, Manila, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.

The airline now operates to 55 cities across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and the Far East. By the end of 2005, Qatar Airways will serve at least 70 destinations, including cities in North America and Australia.

Al Baker said on arrival in Beijing: “Since the launch of our Shanghai flights last year, the route has proved very popular and it was only natural for us to extend our Five Star service to business and leisure travellers by introducing Beijing as our second destination in China.

“Qatar Airways is pleased to be the only Middle East carrier to offer the travelling community an air link to yet another city in China and share in the prosperity of a country which is enjoying an economic boom.”

He added: “This new route will appeal to both business and leisure travellers and offer good connections to passengers travelling between continents via Doha which is rapidly developing as a convenient hub in the Middle East.”

As one of the fastest growing and youngest carriers in the world, Qatar Airways has made significant inroads in the global aviation industry to become an award-winning airline in just a short few years.

“We recently joined an elite club of only two other airlines to be awarded a Five Star ranking for our high standards, excellent service and good quality by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency,” said Al Baker.

Skytrax has also ranked Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as the best in the Middle East for the second year running and fifth best in the world following a survey of more than two million passengers worldwide.

The Beijing flights are operated by state-of-the-art Airbus A330-200 aircraft in a two-class configuration of 24 seats in Business and 236 seats in Economy.

Beijing is one of Qatar Airways’ six new route launches this winter from Doha to further enhance the airline’s position as a truly international brand. Flights to London Gatwick have been inaugurated today (November 26), Seychelles comes on line on December 1, Yangon joins the network on January 8, 2005, and both Johannesburg and Cape Town are launched on January 16.

From the beginning of next summer’s flying programme in March 2005, five additional routes – Osaka, Melbourne, Athens, Tunis and Algiers – will join the rapidly developing worldwide network, further extending Qatar Airways’ reach to 64 destinations from Doha.

Al Baker added: “This route expansion programme reinforces our position as one of the fastest growing airlines in the world with new aircraft joining the fleet at a rate of almost one a month.”

Qatar Airways operates a modern all-Airbus fleet of 36 aircraft which will double in size over the next few years following a $5.1bn order for 34 additional Airbus jets.

The airline currently offers the latest inflight interactive entertainment system on board the Airbus A330. The Audio and Video On Demand system features 32 Hollywood movies and films from around the world and short programmes, together with a choice of 40 CDs, 16 audio channels and 12 interactive games such as Solitaire and Millionaire.

To celebrate the launch of the Beijing flights, members of Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club frequent flyer programme will be able to earn double Qmiles for the first full month of the new service.

Qatar Airways flies to Beijing three times a week. Flight QR898 leaves Doha at 2315 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, arriving in Beijing at 1215 (next day) local time.

Return flight QR899 leaves Beijing at 2350 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, arriving in Doha at 0430 (next day) local time.
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Old December 21st, 2004, 09:48 AM   #100
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Shanghai pudong airport

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