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Old December 22nd, 2010, 05:43 PM   #2101
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Chaos @ London Heathrow!!!










靠惡 講關係 個個出奇謀求上機 訛稱父死奔喪

【本報訊】英國惡劣天氣持續,大批香港留學生被迫滯留倫敦希斯路機場或鄰近酒店,苦等候補機位。要成功歸家,除靠惡講關係,有人竟報稱「死老竇」。有留學生指,學生為求一張機票,不惜訛稱老父過身要奔喪,結果成功爭取機位,乖乖按指示留在酒店等待的學生反而走不了,甚至因此染上感冒,「好唔公平啫,聽話嘅學生反而要受罰」。記者︰夏志禮、盧文烈、蔡元貴


滯留倫敦的香港留學生被安置於機場酒店會議廳,環境欠佳

港府駐倫敦人員向港生講解政府支援,被指無用


不滿國泰安排
有學生更表示,特區政府駐倫敦經貿辦職員曾向學生分發問卷,要求學生填上背景資料和回港原因。有學生洞悉該問卷將用作分流,排列登機優先次序,於是紛紛「老作」,有人自稱長期病患者,有人說急須回港做手術,有人甚至說家人離世,急着回港奔喪,齊齊做孝子,有學生說:「有人話填老竇死咗,可以即刻上機,於是個個都咁填,一時間個個都死老竇。」超過 410名 13至 16歲的留學生,獲國泰安排於倫敦 Park Inn酒店會議廳暫住。有學生形容:「國泰安排我哋嚟呢度,只係想拖住我哋。」學生 Annie形容酒店「叫天不應、叫地不聞」,職員對機位安排「十問九唔知」,她和朋友其後更收到消息,知道有學生躲在機場,沒有聽指示到酒店,反成功取得後補機位。Annie與另外 5名同學商量後,昨決定返回機場等機位,但國泰和酒店卻拒絕提供交通工具, 6個學生最後夾錢租的士返回機場。 Annie說:「機場保安要我哋有登機證至畀入,但最後我哋都成功偷入機場。」 Annie等 6人在機場等到傍晚,全數等到機位,乘搭 6時班機回港,她在飛機上難掩興奮心情,但同時怒斥國泰安排混賬:「證明我哋偷走返機場決定正確,聽話留喺酒店嘅學生根本得個等字,我哋以後都唔會坐國泰。」有學生拍攝會議廳情況製成短片上載至 YouTube,只見會議廳黑壓壓一片都是人,未見任何枱椅或床鋪,不少學生席地而坐甚至卧睡。該學生指:「國泰冇話取消班機,一切如常運作,但係都係飛唔到,等足七個鐘都係冇……我們不介意讓那些更有需要的人走,但我們介意四天來連統一的訊息也沒有。」

「唔少人病咗」
有學生家長引述女兒指該處衞生欠佳,「唔少人病咗,感冒又有關節痛又有,暖氣又唔夠,喺密閉空間好易傳染開去,成個集中營咁,個女都拎咗百幾粒 panadol派畀人」。國泰發言人強調,除飲食、電話及沐浴設施,有安排醫生提供醫療協助,盡力為學生提供最好服務。







受大風雪影響,昨日最少 5班來往香港和倫敦的航班要取消,另有 20班來回歐洲的航班延遲。目前仍有最少 400多名本港留學生滯留倫敦,希斯路機場情況依然混亂,四處都有等待候補機位的人龍,附近酒店房間供應亦緊張,有學生決定合資租房,亦有人返回寄宿家庭等待消息。為撲得回港機票,港生各出奇謀。家長林太女兒只得 16歲,她引述女兒指,要獲得一張回程機票原來要靠惡,「佢話見到人哋鬼佬都係好勞氣好惡咁同櫃台嘈,之後就攞到機票返屋企。佢人咁細,英文又唔係好好,唔知做得啲咩,問我究竟做緊咩幫佢手」。
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 05:48 PM   #2102
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Dragonair Introduces Steamed Rice in Hot Pot Casserole on Inflight Menu
21 December 2010

(HONG KONG) First Class passengers on Dragonair flights can now savour an authentic seasonal menu featuring ‘Steamed Rice in Hot Pot Casserole’. The seasonal menu was first introduced inflight in 2008 and has been so well received by passengers, the menu is being run again with a number of new tasty dishes on the menu.

Premium travellers on flights between Hong Kong and Beijing/Shanghai are now able to enjoy a range of hot pot dishes until 15 March next year. Steamed Rice in Hot Pot Casserole is a popular local Hong Kong dish for winter, incorporating a wide range of seasonal ingredients.

Dragonair Inflight Services General Manager Cecilia Leung said: “It’s a big challenge to serve Hot Pot Steamed Rice onboard due to the constraints of inflight environment and equipment.

“But our goal is to bring the best local tasty dishes to passengers and the Dragonair catering team and catering service provider put a great deal of effort into selecting the finest ingredients, ensuring they had the right rice-to-water ratio and designing the best way to heat up and serve the dishes inflight.

“This complicated dish also requires several steps to be executed by the cabin crew inflight before presentation and, without their help and expertise, it would not possible to offer these wonderful seasonal tastes to our passengers,” Cecilia adds.

The seasonal menu consists of over 16 popular dishes including:

On flights from Hong Kong to Beijing / Shanghai

•Spareribs with Dried Oyster and Chinese Preserved Vegetable *
•Chicken & Chinese Preserved Sausages with Abalone
•Cod Fish with Dried Ham, Mushroom and Prawn Cake *
•Beef Pattie with Abalone
•Chicken with Cordyceps, Cuttlefish and Yellow Fungus *
•Assorted Seafood *
•Pork Belly with Dried Shrimp and Silver Fish *
•Chicken with Dried Scallop and Octopus *

* Newly introduced in 2010

Other dishes available on flights from Beijing and Shanghai to Hong Kong include Pork Ribs with Dried Scallop and Garlic, Cod Fish and Scallop with Deep Fried Garlic, and Chicken and Chinese Preserved Sausage with Fresh Ginseng and Chinese Wolfberries.

In addition, Dragonair also partners with renowned and Michelin-starred restaurants in Hong Kong, including Dynasty Restaurant from Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Hong Kong, JW's California from JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong, and Lei Garden Restaurant to bring authentic cuisine to passengers onboard.









港龍推時令空中餐膳 地道煲仔飯 冬日添暖意
21 December 2010


(香港) 港龍航空自二零零八年推出時令煲仔飯系列後廣受好評,今年再度推出此系列之空中食譜,並增添多種款式,為頭等客艙乘客帶來不同風味的佳餚。

時令煲仔飯食譜由現在起至明年三月十五日,於香港來往上海及北京航班的頭等客艙提供。煲仔飯是冬季時份的地道港式美食,融合多款時令食材烹調而成,深受歡迎。

港龍航空機艙服務總經理梁皚亭表示:「由於機艙環境及設備上的限制,在飛機上提供煲仔飯菜式是極具挑戰性的。」

「為了保持煲仔飯的最佳質量,專責機艙餐飲的同事們以及空中餐膳供應商經過多番鑽研,無論在選擇食材、烹調方法如水和米的比例,以及加熱程序均一絲不苟,要求嚴格。」

「在空中準備煲仔飯的過程亦頗為繁複,全賴機艙服務員的專業及熟練技巧,才能為乘客提供色香味俱全的佳餚。」

煲仔飯菜譜有超過十六種不同款式,包括:
於香港前往上海及北京航班上提供:
•蠔豉梅菜排骨煲仔飯*
•鮑魚臘腸潤腸雞球煲仔飯
•香菇雲腿鱈魚蝦餅煲仔飯*
•鮑魚牛肉餅煲仔飯
•蟲草花黃耳花枝雞球煲仔飯*
•錦繡海鮮煲仔飯*
•蝦乾銀魚五花腩煲仔飯*
•瑤柱鱆魚雞球煲仔飯*

* 二○一○年全新推出

而在北京及上海前往香港的航班上則提供瑤柱金銀蒜排骨煲仔飯,蒜子鱈魚帶子煲仔飯及人蔘杞子臘腸雞球煲仔飯等不同款式。

此外,港龍航空亦與多間知名及米芝蓮一星級食府攜手合作,包括香港JW萬豪酒店JW’s加州餐廳、萬麗海景酒店滿福樓及利苑酒家,推出嶄新的空中食譜,讓乘客有更多選擇。
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 04:18 AM   #2103
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Passengers delayed as engine on Cathay jumbo malfunctions
21 December 2010
SCMP

An engine on a Cathay Pacific Boeing 747 that was supposed to fly to Frankfurt on Sunday night malfunctioned as the flight prepared for take-off.

Passenger Chiang King-lun, 13, who was aboard the flight with his mother, later called his father, Anthony Chiang Shum-lam, who was remaining in Hong Kong, and described hearing a loud bang from the engine and seeing a large, brief flash.

A Cathay spokeswoman confirmed that the number two engine on flight 289 developed a problem at 11.50pm and said it was a rare incident, but also said there had been no explosion. She refused to say what the engine fault was.

She said the airline arranged another plane for the 345 passengers on board, whose journey was delayed for three hours and 24 minutes.

A spokeswoman for the Civil Aviation Department confirmed it had received a preliminary report about the incident, but said it was brief with few details. The airline is due to submit a more detailed report within 96 hours.

The boy's father, a 53-year-old accountant, was angered by the airline's response. "It was not a minor incident. It was a loud bang that all the passengers could hear. [Cathay] just want to play down the incident," he said.
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 06:24 AM   #2104
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Let's give a "Like" to CX



「集中營」有改善 機位查詢仍唔通

【駐英國記者章怡報道】希思路機場大癱瘓,苦了一批歸期未卜的香港留學生,國泰航空特別在機場附近一間酒店設立臨時接待及登記中心,讓滯留港生毋須露宿機場,有學生形容,能在該個「國泰集中營」等候機位已相當幸運,至少還有地氈作床褥。



記者昨到訪國泰在機場附近Park Inn酒店設立的臨時接待及登記中心,由於國泰已安排不少學生取道曼徹斯特回港,接待中心內的學生已減少。該中心不但有清水供應,就連汽水也任飲,即使還要「打地鋪」,卻有地氈作床褥,工作人員還會舉行問答遊戲及連步舞比賽,讓學生打發時間。


佘同學透過本報網頁了解最新情況。
安排醫生診症
十七歲的陳同學稱,他前晚被安排進入登記中心,雖然他因屬較年長而被安排稍後才啟程到曼徹斯特上機,但延誤了四天的歸期終露曙光,心裏已安慰不少;就讀大學二年班的司徒同學認為,國泰有安排醫生到酒店為身體不適同學診症,即使有傳診金高達四百鎊(約四千八百港元),但患病同學已無其他選擇。

大學生郭同學則批評當地國泰提供的查詢電話不是無法打通就是無人接聽,他為了佔着線路,手持電話逾一個小時,深怕一掛線再也打不進去。在倫敦大學讀一年班的佘同學更指,國泰最大問題是高層與前線人員缺乏溝通,他曾目睹當地外籍國泰經理粗聲粗氣警告一名香港女生,指如果不到酒店登記便無望聖誕節前離境,女生被嚇得當場哭起來。


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Old December 23rd, 2010, 09:47 AM   #2105
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Our Heathrow hell
The Standard
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cathay Pacific is putting on rescue flights to bring stranded passengers home from London as the lucky ones who have escaped the freezing hell of Heathrow told of the dreadful conditions they endured.

The airline has arranged three extra flights for three consecutive days to bring back 400 students and other Hong Kong residents from Heathrow, described as a war zone and refugee camp.

Returning passengers have accused Cathay of not providing adequate help. The carrier apologized yesterday for the inconvenience but reiterated the company has done its best in the emergency.

It said the extra flights began yesterday but, with the situation at snowbound Heathrow still unstable, passengers may have to depart from other airports such as Manchester.

Its a war zone, said a student who returned to Hong Kong yesterday. Many people could not board their flights and were kept waiting.

A 14-year-old student named Tang said: It became especially chaotic when handouts were distributed. It was like a refugee camp and some people fell sick.

He said he was lucky as he was allowed to stay in a hotel function room provided by Cathay Pacific.

Others were less fortunate. Hotels were full so we had to stay in the airport, one student said. But they started washing the floor in the middle of the night and the lights were all on.

Another added: I slept at the airport for two days and no one offered any help. It was chaotic.

The Security Bureau said that, as of yesterday, it was handling 426 cases of stranded passengers, including 13 students who had fallen ill.

Major British airports are operating with limited capacity, while several other European airports continue to suffer disruptions as tens of thousands of travelers from across the world scramble for seats.

According to the Travel Industry Council, 400 Hong Kong people from 15 group tours have had their trips delayed but are safe in hotels. Other groups avoided London and made detours to fly out of Tel Aviv, Moscow and other airports outside Europe.

Yesterday, 20 flights between Hong Kong and Europe were delayed and five canceled, the Airport Authority said.

Some Hong Kong travelers whose trips are delayed may have to endure a freezing Christmas in Europe as more snow is forecast.

Airlines were accused of being unhelpful, but Cathays corporate affairs director Chong Wai-yan said the airline is doing what it can.

When limited flights resumed on Monday, we sent our colleagues to strengthen the capacity of our London office, she said yesterday.

There are 90 airlines operating at Heathrow. Every company wants to help its own passengers. The pressure on the airport is immense.

Some passengers also accused the company of offering seats to those able to pay a premium. Chong denied this.

Undersecretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said the government is still considering the option of sending a chartered flight to bring back students and other passengers, if necessary.

He said stranded students should try their best to find accommodation or contact their guardians or relatives to help find a place to stay.

However, some callers to radio shows objected to the chartered flight option.

The government should only dispatch a chartered flight when people are in danger. Is there a danger there? a caller, Miss Cheuk, said.

Authorities in Macau are also arranging flights to bring home dozens of students stuck at Heathrow.
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 03:44 PM   #2106
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CX pilots & management have reached an agreement on pay rise, so no union actions on X'mas time! As far as I know the raise is decent enough for the pilots.
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 07:47 PM   #2107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caelus View Post
CX pilots & management have reached an agreement on pay rise, so no union actions on X'mas time! As far as I know the raise is decent enough for the pilots.
I heard that their salary has been one of the highest in the world for 2 decades




Cathay Pacific clears all stranded passengers as final additional flight gets set to depart London
23 December 2010


Cathay Pacific Airways today announced that the third and final additional flight mounted to clear passengers stranded by the snowstorms in London will depart from Heathrow International Airport today (Thursday, 23 December) at 2.30 pm UK time. When the flight, CX8250, lands in Hong Kong at around 10 am local time on Friday, the airline will have cleared the backlog of Hong Kong-bound passengers in London.

The airline is now operating according to its normal schedule, with four flights per day in each direction between London and Hong Kong. With the backlog of stranded passengers now cleared, it has no plans to operate any more additional flights.

Cathay Pacific made a big effort to get passengers home in time to spend Christmas with their loved ones, having already operated two additional flights from Manchester Airport on Tuesday and Wednesday. The airline moved around 600 passengers by bus from London to ensure they could get home as soon as possible.

During the height of the disruptions, Cathay Pacific arranged to look after hundreds of young students and passengers with special needs in the ballroom of the Park Inn Hotel, sending staff from Hong Kong to help its London team look after those who were left stranded. The airline closed down its operation at the hotel late on Wednesday night but arranged rooms at the Park Inn for the small number of students still waiting to get back to Hong Kong.

“We are pleased that we have now been able to clear the backlog of passengers from London Heathrow and that everyone will be home in time for Christmas,” a Cathay Pacific spokesperson said. “The snowstorms caused severe disruptions to airlines operating out of Heathrow and we thank all our passengers for their patience and understanding.”
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 09:27 PM   #2108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaitak747 View Post
I heard that their salary has been one of the highest in the world for 2 decades
.......ten years ago it is, since then they have had a few adjustments (pay cut), and now, before the upcoming raise, their pay, comparing with other premium airlines, is just average, although still higher then SQ
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Old December 24th, 2010, 03:56 AM   #2109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caelus View Post
.......ten years ago it is, since then they have had a few adjustments (pay cut), and now, before the upcoming raise, their pay, comparing with other premium airlines, is just average, although still higher then SQ
They should consider themselves very fortunate they're not working in the US.
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Old December 24th, 2010, 10:16 AM   #2110
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Fedex & UPS has a better pay, comparing with CX pilots who were hired after the first pay cut in the 90s. Currently the 2 cargo airlines has the highest pay pilot positions in USA.
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Old December 24th, 2010, 04:37 PM   #2111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caelus View Post
Fedex & UPS has a better pay, comparing with CX pilots who were hired after the first pay cut in the 90s. Currently the 2 cargo airlines has the highest pay pilot positions in USA.
But I bet Fedex & UPS are making more money than any typical passenger freighter.
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Old December 25th, 2010, 12:48 AM   #2112
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Cathay Pacific on track to post largest-ever annual profit

COO cites 30% rise in carrier's air cargo sales as major factor.

Rania Moussly

December 25, 2010



John Slosar- Chief Operating Officer, Cathay PacificImage Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: Cathay Pacific Airways expects to make its largest profit of all time this year, generating almost HK$13 billion (Dh6.13 billion), John Slosar, Chief Operating Officer (COO) said recently.
He cited various reasons for the Hong Kong-based airline's outstanding performance this year, having recently released a Hong Kong Stock Exchange notice with the businesses' projected profits.
"We expect to make a profit of not less than HK$12.5 billion, which would be for Cathay the biggest profit of all time," Slosar said.
He attributed a 30 per cent tonnage increase in the carrier's air cargo sales during the first half of the year as one major contributing factor to its 2010 success.
"Cargo this year for us has been very strong," he said. "In the first half of 2009 cargo was very bad, but in the second half it picked up and the load carried on into 2010."
An increase in demand for air cargo and insufficient supply also contributed to cementing Cathay Pacific's place as one of the top five worldwide cargo carriers.

Stellar performance
However, Slosar merely reinforced the findings of the Swire Pacific Limited 2010 Interim Report, which says both the passenger and cargo businesses of Cathay Pacific and Dragonair performed well, with revenues continuing to increase despite uncertainty over the stability of the global economy.
Swire Pacific is the Hong Kong arm of the Swire Group, a transnational corporation headquartered in London, to which Cathay Pacific belongs. Slosar will take over as CEO of Cathay Pacific Airways next April when current CEO Tony Tyler steps down to head the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
As the carrier's new leader he intends to focus on further developing successful products and services for passengers.
"We've built a reputation for product and service and one of my goals would be to further develop that," he said.
Slosar will oversee two brand new products and services in the immediate future as Cathay Pacific rolls out its new business class cabins with wider seats.
The business class upgrade will initially be introduced next March on the Airbus A330-300 aircraft flying the Sydney route. Slosar will also visit the UAE's capital next year as the airline launches its two new routes to Abu Dhabi and Chicago set to commence next June.
"In the 1980s we launched flights to Abu Dhabi, but unfortunately we left and are now pleased to be going back," he said.
COO cites 30% rise in carrier's air cargo sales as major factor
Airline to pay pilots reduced damages
Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong's biggest carrier, won a reduction in damages for defamation it must pay a group of pilots fired in 2001 to HK$700,000 (Dh330,500) each.
The city's Court of Appeal also overturned a wrongful dismissal judgment, sparing the carrier from having to pay the pilots a month's salary. Judges Frank Stock, Susan Kwan and Johnson Lam further set aside the lower court's award of costs to the pilots, and said they should pay some of Cathay's costs.
The almost decade-long case centres on 18 pilots who were among 49 fired by Cathay on a single day in 2001.

http://gulfnews.com/business/aviatio...rofit-1.735510
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Old December 25th, 2010, 04:42 PM   #2113
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CX to launch HKG--AMS--CDG from 28/3/2011!


HKG --> CDG
CX261 23:45/06:30+1 74A(D)
CX271 00:15/10:00 74A(246) <-- via AMS
CX279 14:25/21:35 34B(x246)

CDG --> HKG
CX270 11:45/07:05+1 74A(246) <-- via AMS
CX260 13:50/07:20+1 74A(D)
CX278 23:05/17:10+1 34B(x246)

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Old December 25th, 2010, 05:07 PM   #2114
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^ Oh .. that was a surprise ... thought it'd be via Moscow.
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Old December 26th, 2010, 04:59 PM   #2115
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Old December 26th, 2010, 09:10 PM   #2116
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Hong Kong court overturns Cathay pilot ruling
24 December 2010
AFP

A Hong Kong court on Friday overturned a ruling that ordered Cathay Pacific to pay 18 pilots about eight million US dollars for unfairly dismissing and defaming them.

The city's Court of Appeal cut the amount of defamation damages for each pilot to 700,000 Hong Kong dollars (90,000 US dollars), down from a lower court's 3.3 million Hong Kong dollar award last year.

The appeal court's ruling also overturned unfair dismissal claims for which the pilots were each awarded 150,000 Hong Kong dollars.

"We welcome the court's ruling that reduces the amount of damages payment to the pilots," Cathay said in a statement.

"We are reviewing the 78-page judgement with our legal counsel on other points of the ruling."

A spokesman for the former employees could not be reached.

It was unclear whether the group would fight the ruling at the Court of Final Appeal, Hong Kong's top adjudicator.

The group -- among 49 pilots sacked by Cathay after talks broke down with management over their work conditions in 2001 -- argued that they were dismissed after starting a campaign against certain employment rules.

The union members had been campaigning since the 1990s against what they alleged to be Cathay's practice of making pilots perform duties over and above their contractual obligations.

Pilots were often required to fly longer hours with shorter breaks between duties, they said.

But the appeal court ruled the group was properly dismissed and compensated with wages in lieu of notice to terminate their contracts.

The court also described the earlier defamation award as "excessive", despite the "serious allegations" made about the pilots by company executives.

When current Cathay chief executive Tony Tyler announced the pilots' dismissal in 2001, he suggested they were unprofessional, had poor employment records and did not care about the interests of the airline.

Cathay management had the right to form such a "private opinion" about the employees, the appeal court said Friday.

"But it is quite a different matter when Cathay made public statements implicating them as bad employees and troublemakers who caused disruption," the ruling said.

Last November, Judge Anselmo Reyes ruled on the bitter nine-year court battle, saying the "predominant reason for the plaintiffs' termination by Cathay was their perceived participation in union activities."

He ordered Cathay to pay all but one pilot 3.3 million Hong Kong dollars, saying Tyler and then chief operating officer Philip Chen made defamatory and career-damaging statements about them.

The other pilot died in 2002.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 01:45 PM   #2117
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Old December 29th, 2010, 02:24 PM   #2118
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By LV27 from HKADB :





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Old December 31st, 2010, 05:00 AM   #2119
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Flights make it to NY's Kennedy Airport, but passengers get stranded on tarmac for hours
29 December 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - For some airline passengers who were finally able to make it to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport after a blizzard shut the region down, the travel nightmare started once they landed.

Passengers on two Cathay Pacific flights and a British Airways flight spent hours on the tarmac after landing because there were no gates available for them.

One Cathay Pacific flight that originated in Hong Kong and was diverted to Toronto before landing at JFK sat for more than 10 hours before passengers were allowed off Tuesday morning.

The weary travelers said they were given meager snacks like juice, water, cookies or instant soups. They also said they got conflicting reports about why they could not leave.

"It was so frustrating, just sitting there for hours, waiting for more bad news," said 24-year-old Gigi Godfrey of Belize City, Belize. She was passing through New York after spending Christmas in Thailand and couldn't remember when she had first boarded a plane.

"I am so tired I don't even know what day yesterday is," she said.

Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the airport operator, said airlines were dispatching planes to the airport without coordinating gate space first.

"So without gate space for them, they have nowhere to go," Coleman said.

The second Cathay Pacific flight -- which also originated in Hong Kong and made a stop in Vancouver, British Columbia -- sat for about 8 hours after landing at JFK Tuesday. Coleman said Port Authority staff tried to help find a place for that plane to go, even though it's the airline's responsibility.

For passenger Abi Subramanian, an investment banker returning home to New York from a holiday trip in Vancouver, the wait was especially torturous because he was traveling with his 2 1/2-month-old daughter.

"She's been very patient but she's not feeling well," he told The Associated Press shortly before they finally got off the plane. "I've been through this before in New York City," he said, referring to big snowstorms. "There's never been anything like this."

Cathay Pacific spokesman Gus Whitcomb said the planes had taken off under the assumption that they would have somewhere to go upon landing.

"We dispatched the planes expecting we would have gates. That was not the case," he said.

Planes that were expected to depart and clear room for incoming flights were still taking up space, Whitcomb said. He apologized to Cathay's passengers, calling it "one of those situations where the best of intentions didn't go the way we would have liked."

Whitcomb said the airline will try to figure out a tangible way of making it up to passengers.

About 300 passengers on a British Airways flight from London spent more than seven hours overnight at Kennedy.

British Airways spokesman John Lampl said Flight 183 landed Monday night but waited until about 4:30 a.m. for an open gate. By that time, Lampl said, Customs officials had gone home for the night, and passengers had to remain on the plane until more workers arrived at 6 a.m.
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 08:19 AM   #2120
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Cathay launches huge survey on pilot fatigue
2 January 2011
South China Morning Post

Tens of thousands of questionnaires are being filled in by Cathay Pacific cockpit crew in a pioneering study into the effects of fatigue on pilots.

The airline has drafted in two international experts and asked every pilot to fill out forms on every route over three months to identify routes and patterns that cause the greatest fatigue.

The two-page forms ask pilots to detail how much sleep they have had in the 72 hours before the flight and to record in detail any fatigue-related problems they have, ranging from eye-rubbing and yawning to being grumpy or withdrawn or experiencing microsleeps - when the brain seems to nod off for half a second to a few seconds or more.

The results will be analysed to figure out which routes and flight patterns pose the biggest risk and may need to be changed to avoid pilot fatigue.

A spokesman for the Hong Kong Airline Pilots Association, which is working with Cathay Pacific on the survey, said: "With over 7,000 flights operated each month, in excess of 60,000 survey forms could be generated, easily the largest single survey ever undertaken by an airline."

With busy schedules and flights crossing international time zones, fatigue has been identified as one of the biggest safety issues in modern aviation.

It was named as a factor in an Air India Express crash in Mangalore in May last year that claimed 158 lives.

No incidents of major fatigue have been recorded in Hong Kong, but Swedish investigators said they believed tiredness contributed to a Cathay PacificBoeing 747-200 freighter plane colliding with an airport tractor while taxiing in Stockholm in 2007.

There is also unconfirmed speculation that pilot fatigue may have played a role in a series of attempted take-offs from taxiways rather than runways at Chek Lap Kok, including one involving a Finnair flight in November that is now under investigation.

A Cathay Pacific spokeswoman said the survey "may help highlight any area which would need more attention".

She said: "Cathay Pacific has decided to implement a fatigue risk management system even before such a programme becomes mandatory.

"Seldom, if ever, can risks be entirely eliminated. However, if known and measured, risks can be actively and effectively managed and reduced to an acceptable level."

Two Cathay Pacific flight patterns have already been altered with the approval of the Civil Aviation Department in the past year to avoid excessive pilot fatigue.

In the first case, a flight to Dubai via Mumbai caused difficulties for pilots who were expected to sleep in Dubai during what would be daytime in Hong Kong before returning to Hong Kong via the same way. The route was adjusted to allow pilots to sleep better according to their body clocks.

A change of flight crews in Riyadh was also introduced on a 12 hour 45 minute trip to Bahrain via Riyadh - where crews originally performed longer duties to avoid an overnight stay in the Saudi Arabia capital.
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