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Old September 14th, 2013, 06:49 PM   #2881
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Cathay Pacific A340-313X 'Oneworld' (B-HXG)
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Old September 18th, 2013, 08:35 PM   #2882
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Cathay Pacific releases combined traffic figures for August 2013
Press Release Excerpt
16 Sep 2013

Cathay Pacific Airways today released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for August 2013 that show a healthy growth in passenger numbers and a modest increase in cargo tonnage compared to the same month last year.

Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried a total of 2,749,582 passengers in August – an increase of 5.3% compared to the same month last year. The passenger load factor was up 3.6 percentage points to 86.7%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), fell by 0.4%. For the year to date, the number of passengers carried has increased by 2.6% while capacity has fallen by 3.7%.

The two airlines carried 122,724 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, a 0.3% increase on August 2012. The cargo and mail load factor fell by 3.2 percentage points to 58.7%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, rose by 6.9% while cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres were up by 1.4%. For the year to date, tonnage has fallen by 1.5% compared to a 0.3% capacity increase.

Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management James Tong said: “The strong demand we saw in July carried through into August with some very high load factors in our Economy cabins, particularly on long-haul routes and the main holiday destinations within Asia. The fact that we saw an increase in passenger numbers despite a drop in capacity highlights the strength of traffic over the summer peak, particularly in the home market. Demand in the premium cabins was relatively soft, in line with expectations, though we expect to see an uptick as we move in the traditional peak period for corporate travel.”

Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing Mark Sutch said: “There was no real change in the market situation in August and demand was dampened further by holidays in various destinations across our network. The Europe and North Asia markets remained particularly soft, though demand on transpacific flights held up reasonably well thanks in part to the shipment of perishables. We took delivery of our 10th Boeing 747-8 Freighter last month which means we are well positioned in terms of capacity for any market upturn in the latter part of the year.”
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 04:26 PM   #2883
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Enter the Dragon as resort set for revamp Hong Kong direct flights a huge coup
2 October 2013
The Cairns Post

CAIRNS is set to cash in on the Hong Kong dollar as more direct flights between Cairns and the one of world's most densely populated cities start in March.

Cathay Pacific will offer four direct non-stop services on the Airbus A330-300 between Hong Kong and Cairns each week to take advantage of business and tourism travellers from Hong Kong, and European and Asian passengers using the city as a stopover.

Currently the carrier operates seven flights per week between Cairns and Hong Kong via Brisbane.

Cairns Airport general manager for aeronautical development Janice Antonson said passengers on four flights per week had to fly to Brisbane before heading to Hong Kong, and

there were only three direct inbound flights per week.

``The convenience of a truly direct service is important for international visitors and business travellers coming to our region from Hong Kong or from China and other parts of Asia and Europe via Hong Kong,'' she said.

``Local people travelling to Hong Kong and beyond will also enjoy the benefits of the direct service.''

The year-round flights will translate into extra freight opportunities which will increase by 30 per cent and open up export options for local producers, Ms Antonson said.

Cathay Pacific Queensland business development manager Howard Field said the airline was ``closely monitoring'' Chinese investment in Cairns, admitting to seizing on the opportunity to carry business-class passengers.

``We'll be departing two hours earlier which will enhance our connections to China,'' he said.

``Cathay launched 13 new destinations last year - all of them in Asia.''

Mr Field said Cairns was lucky to become a regular passageway for travellers worldwide.

``This will cater for potential high-rollers if this new Aquis development (at Yorkeys Knob) goes ahead.''

The airline's Southwest Pacific general manager Dominic Perret said services would also be boosted in

Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne to take advantage of the inbound Chinese tourism market.

``We have been flying to Australia continuously for over 40 years and to Adelaide and Cairns specifically for 20 years or more,'' he said.

``Until now some of these flights have been shared between two cities - many Adelaide flights, for example, also stopped in Melbourne,'' he said.

``However we know many passengers, particularly business travellers, prefer to fly point-to-point . . . ''

The number of Cathay Pacific flights between Hong Kong and Australia will increase from 70 to 74 flights per week - a 6 per cent rise in seat availability.

``By introducing more non-stop and better connecting flights, we will be able to make it even more attractive for Chinese tourists to come to Australia.''
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 05:20 AM   #2884
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Old October 5th, 2013, 08:46 AM   #2885
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Dragonair named Best Regional Airline for four consecutive years at TTG Travel Awards
Press Release
04 Oct 2013

(HONG KONG) Dragonair is proud to have received the “Best Regional Airline” award at the 24th Annual TTG Travel Awards Ceremony held in Bangkok on Thursday night (3 October). This is the fourth consecutive year the carrier has been given the honour.

The TTG Travel Awards, presented by leading regional travel trade publication TTG Asia, have been recognising the luminaries of the travel industry since 1989 and are determined through votes cast by TTG Asia readers across the Asia Pacific region. The awards not only serve as a benchmark for high standards across the industry, but also as a trajectory for the travel industry's advancements.

“We are happy and excited to be awarded in the TTG Travel Awards for the fourth consecutive year and my sincere thanks go to all those readers who voted for us,” said Dragonair Chief Executive Officer Patrick Yeung. “The award is clear recognition of our quality products and services as well as our commitment to making Dragonair the choice for travellers across the region. Credit for this honour goes to the whole Dragonair team that contributes to our success.”

As part of a continuing effort to provide the best travel experience for its customers, Dragonair recently embarked on a full-scale inflight product enhancement which begins the introduction of new Business Class and Economy Class cabins on most of its aircraft, together with a brand-new on-demand inflight entertainment system, StudioKA.

Dragonair has also been busy expanding its network. The airline has launched or resumed 12 destinations since April 2012, marking the biggest expansion in the carrier’s history. Another new destination, Siem Reap, will be added in October.

“The growing demand for air travel in the Asia Pacific region, and China in particular, offers tremendous opportunities for the aviation industry,” Mr Yeung said. “We at Dragonair will continue to strive to further enhance our products and services in order to provide a world-class travel experience for this growing customer base.”

This is the second major award for Dragonair in 2013. In June, the carrier was named “World’s Best Regional Airline” by Skytrax for the third time.
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Old October 7th, 2013, 09:15 AM   #2886
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Cathay Pacific extends Premium Economy product to regional routes
Press Release
27 Sep 2013

Cathay Pacific Airways is making its popular Premium Economy Class seats available to passengers on 22 regional routes from 27 October 2013. The seats will go on sale from 2 October.

"Our Premium Economy Class has been very well received by our long-haul passengers, with many telling us that it is a genuine upgrade in the travel experience as well as being good value for money," said Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management James Tong.

"A total of 74 of our long-haul aircraft are now fitted with Premium Economy and, as a third of their flying time is on regional routes, it makes great sense to make Premium Economy available on regional flights, offering more premium choice to our passengers," he added.

The Premium Economy product will be available on regional flights to and from Bangkok, Beijing, Cebu, Colombo, Denpasar/Bali, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Nagoya, Osaka, Penang, Sapporo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Surabaya, Taipei and Tokyo (Narita and Haneda), as well as tag flights linked to a second destination such as Bangkok to Delhi and Taipei to Fukuoka. This service is subject to aircraft and seat availability.

Cathay Pacific first introduced Premium Economy on its long-haul and medium-haul routes to/from Europe, North America, Australia, the Middle East and India in March 2012. It is a separate cabin class with 26 and 34 seats (depending on the aircraft type). The seat offers higher levels of comfort with a 38-inch seat pitch - six inches more than Economy Class – and a greater recline angle. In-seat features include a large meal table, cocktail table, footrest, a 10.6-inch personal television, an in-seat power outlet, a multi-port connector for personal devices and extra personal stowage space.

Passengers enjoy an increased baggage allowance of 25kg, access to dedicated check-in counters, priority boarding and 110% Asia Miles accrual.

Passengers can visit the airline’s website, www.cathaypacific.com, or contact their travel agent for full details of Premium Economy Class availability and pricing, and to make bookings.
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Old October 9th, 2013, 04:32 AM   #2887
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Cathay Pacific to add fourth daily service to Los Angeles, increase flight frequency to Chicago
Press Release
08 Oct 2013

Cathay Pacific Airways today announced that it will add a fourth daily direct flight to Los Angeles from 1 June 2014 and three additional direct flights to Chicago from 2 Aug 2014, bringing the number of flights to the Windy City to 10 a week (subject to government approval).

These additional services demonstrate Cathay Pacific’s ongoing commitment to expand connectivity between Hong Kong and North America, providing more scheduling flexibility and greater customer choice.

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive John Slosar said: “North America is an important market for Cathay Pacific and we are pleased to be able to expand our services further and provide even more options for travellers. Los Angeles and Chicago are important gateway cities in the United States and we have been seeing consistently strong demand from business and leisure customers on both routes.

“Adding a morning departure from Hong Kong to Los Angeles will give passengers the option of a morning arrival into the city, with a range of connections to other cities in the US. For the Chicago flight, meanwhile, we’ll be providing an additional choice of an evening departure out of Hong Kong, which will mean better connections for travellers arriving from cities around the region,” Mr Slosar added.

These additional North American flights come on top of Cathay Pacific’s recent announcement that it will launch a daily service to Newark from 1 March 2014. This will complement the airline’s current four-times-daily service to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York. Cathay Pacific also operates two daily flights to another key US gateway, San Francisco.

The fourth Los Angeles frequency will be operated by Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, with a consistent product offering of First, Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class seats and Cathay Pacific’s award-winning cabin services. Also operated by Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, all Chicago flights offer Business Class, Premium Economy Class and Economy Class products.
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Old October 10th, 2013, 05:34 PM   #2888
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Old October 11th, 2013, 11:43 AM   #2889
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港龍逾300客 滯留尼泊爾35小時
10月10日


Synopsis : Dragonair's KA191 from Kathmandu to Hong Kong was delayed by 35 hours due to a bird strike. The flight was originally scheduled for Monday but encountered a bird strike on the inbound leg. 304 passengers were provided hotels and the flight finally departed Wednesday afternoon.

【本報訊】港龍航空一班原定於本周一晚從尼泊爾首都加德滿都返港的客機,疑在之前的航班已遭雀鳥撞擊,被要求即時檢查引擎,逾三百乘客滯留當地約卅五小時。據悉,港龍於周一安排乘客入住附近酒店,本爭取盡快在周二早上返港,但旅客翌日到達機場時,港龍仍未能提供航班復飛資料,航機再度延誤,直至昨晚航機飛抵本港。

雀鳥襲擊引擎

港龍發言人證實,航班KA191於本周一由加德滿都返港,因涉事航機疑於之前航班曾遭遇雀鳥撞擊,須按既定標準程序檢查引擎,故飛機未能運作,港龍已即時通知乘客最新航班狀況,為乘客提供餐飲及酒店休息,航班最終於本周三當地時間中午起飛,並於同日香港時間晚上約七時抵港,受影響乘客共三百零四人,港龍向受影響旅客致歉。
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Old October 13th, 2013, 03:23 PM   #2890
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Old October 29th, 2013, 05:17 PM   #2891
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Incumbant Hong Kong Airfreight Handler Prepares For The Effect Of A New Entrant
14 October 2013
Aviation Daily

Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd. (Hactl), the largest air freight handling company at the world’s busiest freight airport, is determined not to start a price war in response to a huge rise in capacity. Instead, the company is aiming at differentiating itself by service standards, though that may not be easy.

A powerful combination of factors has made the Hong Kong market ripe for a price war: there are now three competitors; each has high fixed costs; capacity is far above demand; and there is little product differentiation. While Hactl Chief Executive Mark Whitehead is looking for a unique selling point, none of the three companies has much room to move from the consistently high service quality that Hong Kong is known for.

Having begun ramping up in February, new competitor Cathay Pacific Services became fully operational this month, joining Hactl and Asia Airfreight Terminal at Hong Kong International Airport, where 3.98 million metric tons of freight was handled in 2012, slightly more than the 3.92 million tons handled at FedEx’s Memphis International Airport hub last year.

When completed in 1998, Hactl’s terminal could handle 2.6 million tons of freight a year. Since then, improvements to its procedures and computer systems have stretched it to a nominal capacity of 3.5 million tons a year, although Whitehead says the practical limit, because of the ups and downs of freight demand, is probably 3.2 million. Moreover, he does not think process improvements can further increase the capacity. Already, when the facility is very busy, the software that chooses optimal stowage locations is sending goods to quite remote bays.

The facility, with around 400,000 sq. meters (4.3 million sq. ft.) of floor space, is almost too big, Whitehead says.

The new terminal of Cathay Pacific Services, part of former Hactl shareholder Cathay Pacific Airways, is rated at 2.6 million tons a year while the facilities of Asia Airfreight Terminal are designed for 1.5 million tons annually.

Because Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong’s dominant airline, has taken all of its business, about half of what Hactl handled last year, to its own terminal, the older facility has immediately suffered a massive fall in activity.

None of the competitors is interested interest in starting a price war and so none is likely to do so, says Law Cheung Kwok of the aviation center of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

“None of them would know where it would finish,” he says.

Instead, he expects the companies to try harder to deliver a quality service. That is just what Hactl is proposing to do, while promoting itself as being free from favoritism toward a shareholding airline, an obvious dig at Cathay Pacific Services.

Demand growth will help alleviate the problem of overcapacity and risk of a price war. Although freight on European routes is not recovering, “the U.S. is coming back,” says Whitehead, and trade through the Persian Gulf “is going gangbusters.”

Hactl has always made a profit, and Whitehead expects it to do so next year, without Cathay’s business, though he will not say what the company’s margins have been.

Labor at Hong Kong airport is in short supply. Whitehead says pay will have to increase substantially to attract enough people, so Hactl is instead forced to find ways of increasing labor efficiency. The shift of business to Cathay Pacific Services may not have alleviated the problem decisively, since the new competitor for business is also a new competitor for workers.

Competition from shipping lines is also mounting. By controlling container temperatures, for example, shipping lines now have greater scope to carry medicines, which would otherwise go by air. For inbound air freight at Hong Kong, that is a significant issue, since foreign medicines support the very weak demand for freight space into China from Europe or North America. A

At first glance, Hong Kong’s strength as an air freight hub for China is remarkable. To go through the city, goods must clear customs twice. But Hong Kong’s customs procedures have a reputation for efficiency, and they are easily offset by the network advantages of the huge hub operation at the city’s airport, not to mention efficient air traffic control.

Hactl notes, however, that Chinese airports are keen to get into the cargo business; Shanghai is already the third placed globally, with 3.09 million tons last year. Moreover, Hong Kong’s growth will be stunted if it does not get a third runway, which has only in-principle approval.

Hactl can keep its concession on its facility for up 30 years, ending 2028. Whitehead expects that the equipment that stows and retrieves containers and pallets will last for the same period.

Once the new capacity is filled, there should be room for yet more cargo terminals near the new runway—assuming it is built, and assuming that competing mainland airports in southern China have not by then grabbed much of the business.
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Old November 3rd, 2013, 01:51 PM   #2892
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Old November 6th, 2013, 04:30 AM   #2893
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Airline marks milestone
6 November 2013
Cairns Sun

HONG Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific has carried one million passengers and 50,000 tonnes of freight between its island home and Cairns in the last 20 years.

The milestone was marked by the airline, Cairns Airport, the tourism industry and local dignitaries last week at a gathering to celebrate the anniversary of Cathay's first flight into the city on October 31, 1993.

Cairns Airport chief executive Kevin Brown said Cathay Pacific had continued to grow.

He said the airline had contributed ``somewhere between two and three billion dollars to the region's economy at today's value''.

``This year-round service plays a vital role for our international tourism industry, providing the closest connectivity from Asia to the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region via the global aviation hub of Hong Kong.

``Hundreds of thousands of Cathay's passengers to Cairns have had the opportunity to experience the natural wonder of the Great Barrier Reef. They can arrive in Cairns direct any time of the year, explore this region and then continue on.

Mr Brown said Cathay's continued commitment to the region was reinforced recently with its announcement that from the end of March next year it will offer four direct, non-stop services between Hong Kong and Cairns each week.
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Old November 6th, 2013, 08:22 AM   #2894
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Old November 10th, 2013, 06:39 AM   #2895
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Online shopping a big boost to air cargo industry, FedEx says
6 November 2013
South China Morning Post

Online shopping and the launch of new personal electronic products in recent weeks have helped spur demand for express and air cargo early in the fourth quarter, boosting hopes of a sustainable rebound in the air cargo market next year.

Express freight giant FedEx Express has welcomed the growth in online shopping, especially noticeable in the Asia-Pacific region. Its expects shipments on its busiest day this year to jump 13 per cent from last year in the lead-up to the Christmas holiday.

FedEx expects to move 22 million shipments on December 2, almost double the number on its busiest day six years ago.

The year's busiest day for FedEx has been moving gradually forward, from December 17 in 2007 to December 2 this year, because shoppers are shopping earlier for holiday items in order to better spread their gift budget, according to the Washington-based National Retail Federation.

This year will be the first in which FedEx's busiest day will coincide with Cyber Monday, the first Monday after Thanksgiving Day when online retailers cut prices for technology products.

Cathay Pacific Airways said it had put on a number of extra flights and charters in order to meet air cargo demand, buoyed by new products from Apple, Samsung and Microsoft. "The market demand from Hong Kong to transpacific is currently fairly strong," Cathay cargo director James Woodrow said.

E-commerce is growing at three to four times the rate of traditional retail sales at physical outlets, eMarketer, a research company that focuses on digital media and internet marketing, said in June.

Growth in the Asia-Pacific region was leading the way, with sales expected to grow 23 per cent this year - accounting for nearly a third of global on-line retailing, eMarketer said.

Growth in air cargo demand, including express cargo and general air cargo, was muted in the first three quarters of the year, with Asia-Pacific operators hardest hit by weak demand from the United States and Europe.

Asia-Pacific carriers saw cargo traffic fall 3.1 per cent year on year in September, with traffic in the first three quarters down 2.1 per cent, the International Air Transport Association said.
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Old November 14th, 2013, 05:16 PM   #2896
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Kingdom 'still top destination'
Despite political tensions, Cathay Pacific upbeat on Thailand's long-term prospects
14 November 2013
The Nation

Hong Kong-based airline company Cathay Pacific is confident that Thailand will remain one of the most favoured travel destinations in the region and that the current political unrest is only a short-term issue for the tourism industry.

So far, the group's two airlines, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair, have not noticed any effect from the demonstrations that have been dragging on for some time in Bangkok and a few other centres. Its load factor on Bangkok-Hong Kong flights has reached 81 per cent and is projected to remain dynamic during the coming festive season, according to Leslie Lu, the firm's Thailand country manager.

Thailand still shows strong fundamentals as an attractive destination, not only Bangkok, but also provincial destinations such as Chiang Mai and Phuket. Given the growth in business potential, Dragonair flies to those two secondary cities, seven times a week from Hong Kong to Chiang Mai and 13 times a week to Phuket.

The two airlines are committed to playing a rising role in Thailand by boosting flight frequencies and adding new routes in the long term. Cathay Pacific has flown to Thailand for 67 years.

Since June, Cathay Pacific has been operating between Bangkok and Hong Kong with 52-63 flights a week, up from 42 per week previously.

The number of Thai travellers to Hong Kong is on the rise too. In the January-to-September period, their numbers grew by 8 per cent year on year.

Lu said a major challenge for the airline was fuel cost, accounting for about 42 per cent of the total. The firm has implemented fuel hedging to minimise its risk. Another challenge is competition, which is becoming more intense because of the growing number of low-cost carriers in Thailand, now including Lion Air and AirAsia X.

However, Lu said there were still a large number of passengers who wanted to fly with full-service airlines like Cathay because of the added convenience and better service. The company's competitive edge over budget airlines and other rivals also includes good connectivity, products and services, and affordable fares.

For example, 12 airlines fly the Bangkok-Hong Kong route, for a total of 174 flights a week, but Cathay Pacific controls up to 63 of these. This shows that price is not the only factor when passengers choose which airline they want to fly with, Lu said.

At present, Cathay Pacific operates from Hong Kong to 117 destinations in 40 nations worldwide, while Dragonair has 45 destinations in 14 nations in Asia, mainly in mainland China with 20 cities.

Dragonair is also a premium-service airline and an independent firm in which Cathay Pacific holds a 100-per-cent stake. Its aims at capturing the big market in mainland China. Overall, the two airlines work together to create business synergy and strengthen network connections.

New legislation in China aimed at cracking down on unethical travel agents who offer low-price services has not had any impact on the number of passengers flying with the group's airlines. So far, passenger traffic is still good, the company says.

Cathay Pacific posted a jump in net profit of 102 per cent to 24 million Hong Kong dollars (Bt98 million) in the first half of this year. It was confident that it would be more active in the second half, even as the competition is tough during the period. Cathay Pacific has 137 aircraft in its fleet and has placed an order of 74 more. It is a member of the Oneworld Alliance. Dragonair has 39 aircraft in its fleet.
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Old November 15th, 2013, 05:34 AM   #2897
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Dragonair to operate flights to Penang from March 2014
Press Release
12 Nov 2013

Dragonair today announced that it will operate 10 weekly flights between Hong Kong and Penang effective from 30 March 2014, further strengthening the airline’s network in Asia.

Penang will be Dragonair’s second destination in Malaysia and becomes the 14th destination to have been launched or resumed by the airline since April 2012. Dragonair currently operates daily flights between Hong Kong and Kota Kinabalu.

The Penang service will be operated by Dragonair’s fleet of Airbus A330-300 aircraft with a two-class configuration. In addition to a daily flight departing Hong Kong in the afternoon, additional flights will go to Penang every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning, giving Dragonair passengers more flexibility when planning their travel itinerary.

The new service to Penang marks an important step in building Dragonair’s presence in the Malaysian market, where it launched its very first flight - to Kota Kinabalu - in 1985.

Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific will maintain its four daily flights between Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. Together, Dragonair and Cathay Pacific will operate a total of 45 weekly flights to Malaysia.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 11:22 AM   #2898
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Cathay Pacific adds Seychelles to network through new code-share agreement with Air Seychelles
Press Release
21 Nov 2013

Cathay Pacific Airways today announced the launch of a new code-share agreement with Air Seychelles that will add the Seychelles to its network and offer passengers direct services to one of the world’s most alluring destinations. Tickets for the new code-share services are open for sale from 21 November 2013 for travel commencing 9 December 2013 (subject to government approval).

This will be second destination in the Indian Ocean to be added to the Cathay Pacific network in the space of just two months. The airline launched a new four-times-weekly service to the Maldives in October.

Under the new code-share agreement, Cathay Pacific’s "CX" code will be placed on Air Seychelles’ three weekly return flights between Hong Kong and the Seychelles, and two flights per week from the Seychelles to Abu Dhabi.

At the same time, Air Seychelles will place its "HM" code on Cathay Pacific’s three weekly return flights apiece between Hong Kong and Seoul, and Hong Kong and Melbourne. In addition, the codeshare will apply to three weekly flights apiece from Hong Kong to Perth and to Johannesburg, as well as two flights per week from Perth to Hong Kong. The new code-share will offer greater choice and convenience for passengers connecting through the Hong Kong hub.

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive John Slosar said: "We are pleased to be able to offer our passengers yet another new destination through this important code-share agreement. This new partnership with Air Seychelles will boost both business and leisure travel between Hong Kong and the Seychelles and provide passengers travelling from the Seychelles with more choice and flexibility when travelling through our superb Hong Kong hub to connect to the network of Cathay Pacific. We look forward to welcoming guests from Air Seychelles onto our flights soon."

Air Seychelles Chief Executive Officer Cramer Ball said, "We are delighted to enter this deal with Cathay Pacific Airways which will go a long way to support the growing desire for flights between the Seychelles and China, as well as Asia generally. Both airlines are now poised to benefit from that demand. This deal is a win-win for both airlines, and we look forward to strengthening our affiliation with our new friends at Cathay Pacific in the future."

Mr Cramer Ball paid a visit to Hong Kong and attended a ceremony held at Cathay Pacific City on 11 November 2013 for the signing of the new code-share agreement.
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Old November 27th, 2013, 06:36 PM   #2899
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Cathay's Bump to Upper Class
27 November 2013
Copyright © 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

The global jet-set crowd is stirring. For a leveraged bet on a travel rebound, investors should book into Cathay Pacific Airways.

After a tepid first half of the year, long-haul business travel from continent to continent appears to be getting back up to speed. The global airline industry's profits could grow 40% next year, according to the International Air Transport Association. That's welcome news for big international carriers, who are also celebrating less-menacing fuel prices.

Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong's hometown airline, is in the captain's seat for a travel rebound. Like other Asian airlines, Cathay is seeing its traffic to and from Europe starting to edge up after a year and a half of decline, as Europe seems to put the worst of its recession behind it. Traffic rose 7% on average the past four months.

And Cathay's North American business, which generates roughly a quarter of its revenue, remains solid with room for growth. Cathay is adding a flight to Newark, expanding its reach in the New York area. It will add a fourth daily nonstop flight to Los Angeles, a monopoly route for Cathay. Meanwhile chief rival Singapore Airlines is grounding its nonstop Singapore-Los Angeles and Singapore-Newark flights.

Singapore Airlines faces a more competitive landscape than Cathay. Middle Eastern rivals such as Emirates are encroaching on lucrative routes connecting Australia to Europe, and closer to home it contends with a flock of low-cost carriers branching out across Southeast Asia. Cathay has stayed relatively insulated from the low-cost threat, and has recently pushed Hong Kong's government to prevent a low-cost carrier from encroaching on its turf.

An increase in passenger traffic should fall quickly to Cathay's bottom line thanks to cuts it made in capacity when demand suffered in recent years. Operating and net-profit margins will have doubled between 2012 and 2014, says Citi's Michael Beer.

Higher debt lets it lever sales better, too--Cathay's net debt as of June 30 was equivalent to 60% of its equity. State-owned Singapore Airlines holds more cash than debt, making it safer in a downturn, but less of a leveraged play when business take off.

Cathay's stock has rallied 18% in the last three months, so some of the optimism is baked in. But shares trade at an inviting 15 times forward earnings, compared with Singapore's 19. Cathay is valued a third cheaper than its five-year average, though a spike in valuations during the financial crisis affects the comparison.

If the global economy speeds up, both Cathay and Singapore Airlines will get into the slipstream. The Hong Kong carrier is the more aerodynamic one.
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Old December 8th, 2013, 08:40 AM   #2900
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Cathay averts pay turbulence
The Standard
Friday, December 06, 2013

Cathay Pacific announced an average pay rise of 4.5 percent, an offer described by staff unions as acceptable.

Christmas holidaymakers set to fly with the flag carrier will no doubt be relieved at the news, as the Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union had demanded a pay rise of 7.5 percent - citing first-half net profit of HK$24 million.

Last December saw a three-week standoff with flight crew after an initial offer of a 2 percent rise, which was resolved just days before Christmas with a deal on work conditions.

The 4.5 percent pay rise will take effect in the new year for all eligible local ground staff and cabin crew, with discretionary bonus based on a month's salary also on the cards.

Chief executive John Slosar said the past year has been challenging but there were some improvements.

"High fuel prices and a protracted slump in the global air cargo markets continue to have an impact on the overall business situation," he said, adding that Cathay strives to balance staff rewards and the airline's financial situation. The union, meanwhile, said while the pay rise failed to meet their demand, it was acceptable in view of the positive response to their other demands.

Union external vice chairman Julian Yau Chi-hung said apart from the pay hike, the carrier agreed to raise flying allowances by 10 percent for monthly paid as well as hourly paid crew with over five years' experience.

Cathay also pledged to study the continuation of a housing allowance for foreign crew based locally, Yau said, with a result expected by March.

"The current housing allowance of about HK$9,000 is expected to be discontinued in 2016," Yau noted.

About 1,500 of Cathay Pacific's 8,000-strong workforce are expats.

Yau also called for an improved promotion system, saying: "Since the implementation of a performance evaluation, many [flight pursers] have not been promoted despite working for over 16 years."

He also said crew retirement age should be raised from 55 to 65.
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