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Old February 28th, 2005, 04:57 PM   #281
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28 February 2005
Corporate Press Release
Cathay Pacific celebrates first passenger service to Xiamen

Cathay Pacific Airways this morning celebrated the success of its first passenger service to Xiamen. Flight CX350 departed Hong Kong on schedule at 10:05am this morning. The airline’s first return service from Xiamen arrived back in Hong Kong at 13:45pm.

The flight’s arrival marked an important milestone in Cathay Pacific’s ongoing effort to strengthen Hong Kong as a global hub and gateway to the Chinese Mainland. Xiamen has long held strong overseas connections. With the new services to the city, Cathay Pacific offers passengers greater choice in providing same-carrier connections through Hong Kong to points across the region and up to 90 destinations around the world.


Cathay Pacific’s Engineering Director Derek Cridland and Manager Xiamen Raymond Ma at the Xiamen airport together with the pilots and cabin crew from flight CX350, the airline’s first flight to Xiamen.


(From left) Cathay Pacific’s China Sales Coordination Manager K W Young and Passenger Sales Manager Stephen Wong at the Hong Kong International Airport this morning to meet with passengers who travel on the airline first flight to Xiamen.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 03:52 PM   #282
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Cathay seeks extra US cargo services
Joseph Lo
01 March 2005
South China Morning Post

Cathay Pacific Airways is considering launching all-freight services to Dallas and Atlanta this summer.

The plans coincide with the delivery of a half-dozen freighter aircraft later this year, following the addition of a new Boeing 747-400 cargo plane last month.

Cathay spokeswoman Carolyn Leung said: "We are interested in operating to more cities in North America, but there are planning and operational issues yet to be sorted out."

If the route were approved it would operate three times a week, Ms Leung said, adding that additional stops could be added.

In January, Cathay returned to the Shanghai market with a daily freighter service from Hong Kong after a lengthy battle with Dragonair for mainland route rights.

While Cathay awaits more opportunities to expand in the mainland - an air services deal signed between Hong Kong and Beijing last year gives it the right to apply for new passenger services and additional freighter capacity to Shanghai by late next year - senior managers said the airline planned to boost transpacific flights.

The airline operates 18 freight-only flights per week to the United States and Canada, as well as passenger and freight flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Toronto and Vancouver.

Ms Leung said Cathay expected the delivery of nine new aircraft this year, including six Boeing 747-400s that were being converted into cargo planes.
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 03:33 PM   #283
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Thursday March 3, 3:38 AM
HK Cathay Pacific 04 Net Likely Soared On Record Traffic

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (0293.HK) is expected to report a threefold surge in net profit last year, mainly on a rebound from losses suffered during the SARS crisis in 2003.

Though 2004 turned out to be a record breaker for Hong Kong's biggest airline, prospects for this year appear modest at best because of the continued volatility of oil prices, analysts said.

Cathay Pacific carried 13,663,958 passengers and 972,416 tons of cargo last year, both all-time highs. Traffic was boosted by new and more frequent passenger and cargo services to key cities such as Beijing, Sydney, New York and Moscow.

"The first-half numbers from Cathay, plus passenger and cargo traffic data for the full year already gave us a clear picture of what to expect for the airline's 2004 results," said Gary Zhang, an analyst at SHK Financial.

Cathay Pacific likely made a net profit of HK$4.01 billion in 2004, according to 15 brokers surveyed by data provider Thomson One Analytics. That's more than triple the airline's HK$1.3 billion net profit in 2003.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson expect Cathay Pacific to report earnings per share of HK$1.15 for 2004, up from 39 HK cents in 2003.

The airline is scheduled to report its earnings Wednesday.

Cathay Pacific's policy of hedging its fuel costs by imposing surcharges helped it cushion the blow of volatile oil prices in 2004. Fuel accounts for around 25% of the airline's total operating cost.

In June last year, Cathay Pacific imposed a surcharge of US$5 per sector - or leg of a journey - for each passenger on a short-haul flight, and US$14 for long-haul flights. Such surcharges and the time frame for their implementation are subject to approval by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department.

The latest approval given to Cathay Pacific allows the airline to collect a fuel surcharge of US$5.30 for short-haul flights and US$15.00 for long-haul flights until March 31.

Whether the airline can continue to pass on part of the costs of high oil prices to consumers remains to be seen, and is a major concern for investors.

"Oil price volatility is such a big unknown variable for Cathay Pacific, as it is with other airlines, and that causes us to avoid this stock for now," said a Hong Kong-based regional fund manager.

Morgan Stanley said it has cut its EPS projections for Cathay Pacific by 5%, to HK$1.22 for 2005 and HK$1.38 for 2006, because of expectations of higher oil prices.

Although fuel prices remain volatile, they have nevertheless softened after hitting a peak of US$56 a barrel last October.

Light, sweet crude oil prices rose US$1.37 to US$53.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Wednesday, its highest close since Oct. 25, amid reports of refinery outages in Texas and California.

Meanwhile, analysts don't expect Cathay Pacific's new services to China to be a significant contributor to the airline's bottom line just yet.

Cathay Pacific resumed passenger services to Beijing in December 2003 after a 13-year hiatus in the mainland, and it now operates daily services to the capital.

The airline resumed cargo operations in Shanghai on Jan. 27 and in Xiamen on Feb. 28 this year.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 01:35 AM   #284
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Double Triple Bonus Ofer
Earn up to 97,450 Asia Miles in 2 Round-trips with CX

Mar 01, 2005 Corporate Press Release



(Vancouver, B.C.) - The more you fly the more you earn! Cathay Pacific announces the "Double Triple Bonus Offer" allowing travellers the opportunity to earn Bonus Asia Miles that increase with every round-trip. After just two qualifying round-trips from Canada to Hong Kong in First or Business Class, travellers can earn up to 97,450 Asia Miles.

For travel between March 1 through June 15, 2005, inclusive, the "Double Triple Bonus Offer" is available with the purchase of a qualifying Cathay Pacific First or Business Class round-trip ticket between Canada and Hong Kong. Passengers can earn Double Asia Miles for the first round-trip and Triple Asia Miles for the second and subsequent round-trips. There is no limit to the number of bonus miles earned during the promotional period.

To be eligible, travellers must register online and be enrolled in the Asia Miles program prior to travel. This offer is not combinable with any other promotional offer and applies to Asia Miles members residing in Canada.

As part of the oneworld alliance, Asia Miles are redeemable on more than 17 airlines, flying just about anywhere in the world. Travellers can enjoy a wealth of free travel awards to destinations such as the Caribbean, Mexico, Asia, Europe and Asia.

Cathay Pacific offers two flights daily non-stop from Vancouver to Hong Kong, daily non-stop 747-400 service from Vancouver to New York and daily direct A340-300 service from Toronto to Hong Kong, plus a 3-time weekly freighter service between Vancouver and Hong Kong.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 05:40 PM   #285
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Friday March 4, 12:01 PM
Three Cathay Pacific flight attendants win pay dispute suit against Hong Kong carrier

AP - Hong Kong's High Court sided with three Cathay Pacific flight attendants Friday who claimed the airline breached their contracts by refusing to give them automatic annual pay rises.

The crew members argued that Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. began violating their contracts in 1999 by refusing to automatically bump them up one salary grade each year.

But the airline has said that the change in its policy was needed to help the company remain competitive in the wake of the 1997-98 Asian financial meltdown that threw Hong Kong and other parts of Asia into recession.

On Friday, High Court Judge Anselmo Reyes ruled in favor of the three flight attendants, Esperanza Cruz Lajom, Maria Victoria Santos Calleja and Sushil Dev Biaspal.

The crew members welcomed the judge's decision.

"It's not only the salary. It's the declaration of our contractual rights. Right now, we know what's right and what we deserve," Biaspal told reporters outside the court.

But contrary to what the crew members sought, Reyes said his ruling cannot automatically apply to about 4,000 current and former attendants hired before 1996.

"I do not believe my judgment can apply to any flight attendants other than Ms. Lajom, Ms. Calleja and Mr. Biaspal," Reyes wrote. "The circumstances of breach in individual situations can only be evaluated on a case by case basis."

Hong Kong broadcaster TVB, however, quoted Cathay's flight attendants union officials as saying that they planned to claim about 300 million Hong Kong dollars (US$38 million; €29 million) in back payments from the company on behalf of the 4,000 attendants.

Union chairwoman Becky Kwan did not return calls from The Associated Press to confirm the report.

Cathay's spokeswoman Carolyn Leung said the union has not contacted the company so far about seeking any compensation.

"We will be studying the judgment carefully in consultation with our legal advisers before deciding on any course of action," Leung said in a statement.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 05:45 PM   #286
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04 March 2005
Corporate Press Release
Cathay Pacific marks 30 years in New Zealand with Maori warriors

Cathay Pacific Airways today marked its 30th anniversary in New Zealand with Maori warriors issuing a traditional “challenge” to Chief Executive Philip Chen as he arrived in Auckland.

Tourist arrivals to Hong Kong from New Zealand have risen steadily as Cathay Pacific has increased the frequency of services to Auckland to 12 a week. The number of New Zealanders who last year visited Hong Kong hit an all time high of over 70,000 – up from 50,000 a decade ago.

Cathay Pacific offers the fastest service from Auckland to major Mainland destinations, including timely same-carrier passenger connections from Beijing and Xiamen and a daily freighter service to Shanghai.

Cathay Pacific established a presence in New Zealand in 1974 to serve the country’s emerging tourism market and strong ties to Europe. It promoted Hong Kong via services through Sydney and Singapore.

The airline’s first scheduled service was a joint venture with Air Niugini and Air New Zealand. It launched its own weekly scheduled flight in 1983, a one-stop service via Port Moresby, went daily in 1998 and now operates 12 non-stop services a week with its A340-300s.

A seamless connection from Auckland to Cathay Pacific’s new daily freighter service to Shanghai allows the airline to make next-day deliveries of perishable goods from New Zealand, including fresh seafood.

New Zealand’s trade and tourism ties to China are now major drivers for growth in air services. New Zealand received approved destination status from China early on. In 2004, New Zealand received 84,368 arrivals from the Chinese Mainland, an increase of nearly 28 percent over the previous year. Many Mainland travellers flew via Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen said: “Our success over the past three decades reflects the growth of Cathay Pacific as a network carrier and Hong Kong’s strength as a global aviation hub and gateway to the Chinese Mainland. New Zealand’s connections to China are growing stronger by the day. It is Hong Kong’s position as the gateway to the Chinese Mainland and Cathay Pacific’s strength as Hong Kong’s home carrier where our future commitment to New Zealand lies.”


Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen meets a Maori warrior face to face as he encounters a traditional “challenge”.


Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen, Country Manager New Zealand & Pacific Islands David Figgins and the Maori cultural group.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 08:38 PM   #287
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I'm curious to know if CX's flights to mainland China from HKG are categorized as "Domestic" flights, or are they "International?"
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Old March 4th, 2005, 08:49 PM   #288
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All flights to China are international. Hong Kongers have to carry a special identification document for entering China.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 08:59 PM   #289
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Thanks @hkskyline! That satisfied my curiosity! I guess HKG is still it's own entity and hasn't been fully integrated into China.
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Old March 6th, 2005, 05:33 AM   #290
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All persons crossing the Hong Kong border, whether it is by air, ferry, or land, must go through Hong Kong and Chinese customs. The border is still there, and is not expected to go away any time soon. In fact, mainland Chinese need special visas to enter Hong Kong for business or leisure, while Hong Kongers can visit the mainland any time they wish with their mainland "travel cards".
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Old March 6th, 2005, 06:01 AM   #291
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Hong Kong's biggest airline to report record-breaking 2004 profits, analysts say
By RITA RAAGAS De RAMOS
5 March 2005

HONG KONG (AP) - Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Hong Kong's biggest airline, is expected to report a record-breaking threefold surge in net profit last year, mainly on a rebound from losses suffered during the SARS crisis in 2003.

But prospects for this year appear modest at best, mainly because of the continued volatility of oil prices, analysts say. The carrier plans to report its earnings on Wednesday.

Cathay Pacific carried 13,663,958 passengers and 972,416 metric tons (1.06 million short tons) of cargo last year, both record highs. Traffic was boosted by new and more frequent passenger and cargo services to key cities such as Beijing, Sydney, New York and Moscow.

"The first half numbers from Cathay, plus passenger and cargo traffic data for the full year already gave us a clear picture of what to expect for the airline's 2004 results," said Gary Zhang, an analyst at SHK Financial.

Cathay Pacific's net profit for 2004 is expected to come in at HK$4.01 billion (US$513.87 million; euro387.99 million), according to 15 brokers surveyed by data provider Thomson One Analytics. That's more than triple the airline's HK$1.3 billion (US$166.59 million; euro125.78 million) in net profit in 2003.

Cathay Pacific's policy of subsidizing its fuel costs by imposing surcharges helped it cushion the blow of volatile oil prices in 2004. Fuel accounts for about 25 percent of the airline's total operating cost.

In June last year, Cathay Pacific imposed a surcharge of US$5 (euro3.77) per sector -- or leg of a journey -- for each passenger on a short-haul flight and US$14 (euro11) for long-haul flights. Such surcharges and the time frame for their implementation are subject to approval by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department.

The latest approval given to Cathay Pacific allows the airline to charge a fuel surcharge of US$5.30 (euro4) for short-haul flights and US$15 (euro11.32) for long-haul flights until March 31.

Whether or not the airline can continue to pass part of the costs of high oil prices to consumers remains to be seen, and is a major concern for investors.

"Oil price volatility is such a big unknown variable for Cathay Pacific, as it is with other airlines, and that causes us to avoid this stock for now," said a Hong Kong-based regional fund manager.

Although fuel prices remain volatile, they have nevertheless softened after hitting a peak of US$56 (euro42) per barrel last October. Light, sweet crude oil prices rose US$1.37 (euro1.03) to $53.05 (euro40.05) a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Wednesday, its highest close since Oct. 25.

Meanwhile, analysts don't expect Cathay Pacific's new services to China to be a significant contributor to the airline's bottom line just yet.

Cathay Pacific resumed passenger services to Beijing on Dec. 2, 2003, after a hiatus of 13 years in the mainland, and it now operates daily services to the capital.

The airline resumed cargo operations in Shanghai on Jan. 27 and in the southeastern city of Xiamen on Feb 28.

Last week, the airline lost a lawsuit in Hong Kong's High Court, which sided with three flight attendants who claimed the company breached their contracts by refusing to give them automatic annual pay raises in 1999. The airline had argued it needed to change its salary policy to help the company remain competitive in the wake of the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.
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Old March 6th, 2005, 05:56 PM   #292
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By Vincent Tong from : http://www.fotop.net/vincenttong/











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Old March 7th, 2005, 06:51 PM   #293
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HK's Cathay Pacific H2 profits to slip on fuel prices

HONG KONG, March 7 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's main airline Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. is expected to post a 16 percent drop in second-half earnings on Wednesday as heavy fuel bills outweighed growth in passenger traffic.

But for the full-year, Cathay looks set to have trebled its net profit to HK$3.95 billion from HK$1.30 billion in 2003 when the city's tourism industry ground to a halt after an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Analysts said Cathay could face further turbulence this year on spiking oil prices and fears that a recovering U.S. dollar could hurt yields.

Net profit growth in 2005 is expected to slow to around 10 percent, to HK$4.42 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

The extent of Cathay's fuel price hedging and its strategy towards fending off competition from a slew of low-cost airlines will be key issues this year, analysts said.

"We continue to prefer other names in the sector, including SIA and Qantas on valuation ... and less low-cost competition overhang," Lehman Brothers said in a research note.

Cathay, the world's sixth-largest airline by market value, is expected to post net profit of HK$2.13 billion (US$273 million) for the six months to Dec. 31, based on a mean forecast from 20 analysts polled by Reuters Estimates.

That 16 percent dip could also hit second-half profits at conglomerate Swire Pacific Ltd. , which owns 46 percent of Cathay, as its aviation operation dents a budding recovery in its rental business. Cathay accounts for about 35 percent of blue-chip Swire's profits.

Cathay is valued at 12 times forecast earnings, versus 11 times for Singapore Airlines and 9 times for Qantas.

Cathay's shares have fallen 14 percent in the 12 months to Friday's close of HK$13.90, underperforming a 2.3 percent gain by the blue-chip Hang Seng Index , Singapore Airlines' 7 percent rise and Qantas' 1 percent gain over the same period.

Cathay said last month its January passenger traffic rose 7 percent from a year earlier.

FUEL, COMPETITION

Cathay's second-half earnings will be hit by a 50-90 percent increase in fuel expenses, which represent about 25 percent of total costs, even though the airline slapped fuel surcharges on its flights, analysts said.

In 2004, jet fuel prices averaged US$47.64 a barrel, up 46 percent year-on-year.

Cathay also faces rising competition from budget carriers that are popping up across Asia, such as Jetstar Asia and AirAsia .

Swire Pacific, one of Hong Kong's leading property landlords, is expected to say on Thursday that its second-half net profit fell 12 percent to HK$3.25 billion, based on a mean consensus from 21 analysts polled by Reuters Estimates.

Swire's full-year 2004 net profit is expected to rise to HK$6.2 billion from HK4.9 billion in 2003.

Shares of Swire, seen as a proxy for the Hong Kong economy, advanced 20 percent in the 12 months to Friday's close. (US$1=HK$7.8)
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Old March 8th, 2005, 03:42 AM   #294
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Tuesday March 8, 8:19 AM
HK PRESS: Cathay Pacific To Expand Flight Schedule

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (0293.HK) plans to boost its trans-Pacific and Asian passenger services this summer as it takes delivery of at least six new wide-body jetliners, reports the South China Morning Post, quoting sources.

The carrier, which is due to report its 2004 results Wednesday, plans to add the west coast of the U.S. to its schedule of flights, and increase its services to north Asia, Beijing and Vietnam.

Cathay has also assigned a tentative July 1 launch for its inaugural Moscow services, but a source said the flights still haven't been given the final go-ahead by management, the paper reported.
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Old March 8th, 2005, 03:39 PM   #295
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Cathay seeks aggressive growth
The carrier, which is forecast to report earnings of up to $4.8 billion, plans to boost its transpacific and Asian services

Joseph Lo
08 March 2005
South China Morning Post

Cathay Pacific Airways plans to boost its transpacific and Asian passenger services this summer as it prepares to take delivery of at least six new wide-bodied jetliners over the coming year.

The carrier, which was due to unveil its final results for last year tomorrow, would add the west coast of the United States to its schedule of flights while increasing its services to north Asia, Beijing and Vietnam, sources said.

Cathay has also assigned a tentative July 1 launch date for its inaugural Moscow services but a source said the flights still had not been given final go-ahead by the senior management.

Analysts expected Cathay to record profits for the year to December within the range of $3.6 billion to $4.8 billion, after the airline reported $1.77 billion in interim profit for the first six months.

As part of an aggressive expansion drive after nearly two years of industry uncertainties over the Sars crisis and the war in the Middle East, Cathay intends to launch a raft of new flights on July 1.

These increases include doubling its San Francisco services to two daily flights and adding a third daily flight to Los Angeles.

Besides, the carrier plans a second daily flight to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam as well as Beijing, to which it returned early last year after a lengthy battle with Hong Kong Dragon Airlines over mainland route rights. It also intends to add a fifth daily flight to Incheon Airport in Seoul.

In response to improved passenger traffic from Japan, the airline will add three more weekly flights to Nagoya in western Japan, while resuming daily non-stop services to Fukuoka.

Cathay spokeswoman Angelique Tam declined to answer questions about the expansion, saying only: "We are expanding our network and plan to add quite a number of flights in the summer schedule."

She said a detailed announcement would be released in the coming weeks.

The airline has six wide-bodied passenger jetliners on order for delivery by 2007, including two Boeing 777-300s and six Airbus 330-300 aircraft.

While the cost of jet fuel has surged in the past month - its price on the Singapore market reached a 12-month high last week and rose from about US$46 a barrel in October to US$63.25 yesterday - analysts said the determining factor to Cathay's bottom-line performance would be continued revenue growth in its passenger and cargo businesses and its ability to cut non-fuel operating costs.

The carrier reported a $1.3 billion net profit for 2003, after having lost $1.24 billion in the first half due to the Sars crisis, which paralysed regional air travel.

Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Peter Hilton, who forecast a $3.65 billion net profit, said Cathay's outlook for the coming year looked good, although the industry could suffer from high fuel costs over the medium term.

He said that on the revenue side of the equation, the firm looked to be in a solid position. The question that did worry many analysts about its outlook was costs.

"Everyone expects jet-fuel prices to cool off by the end of the year. Our energies team expects crude oil to fall to US$40 to US$45 a barrel. The end of the year is a long time, though. Certainly, [Cathay] is capable of surprising us on the costs side. There are some bulls out there," Mr Hilton said.

Other analysts expected Cathay to report profit as much as $4.8 billion, given that the carrier had recorded the highest passenger and cargo load figures among regional carriers in the past year.
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Old March 8th, 2005, 06:24 PM   #296
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Hard work helped Cathay to soar
Cathay Pacific, now recognised across the globe, had humble beginnings

08 March 2005
New Zealand Herald

GO OUT to Auckland International Airport and see the dozens of airlines and thousands of passengers flying off to every part of the world and it's easy to forget that travel was not always so easy and travellers did not always have so many options.

Things were very different, even as recently as 30 years ago, when Cathay Pacific Airways first opened an office in New Zealand.

David Figgins, now Cathay's country manager but then a one-man band, recalls that when he first set up shop "aviation was over-regulated and monopolised by a state-owned airline".

Only a handful of international airlines called at New Zealand, fewer than 250,000 Kiwis took trips abroad in a year, and fewer than 350,000 foreign tourists came here.

Cathay Pacific's operation was a basic affair, with Figgins doing any bookings "on a card with a pencil and a rubber".

For the first eight years after opening its office the airline had no direct links to this country and had a battle to get landing rights.

Even when Cathay did start a service to Auckland it was only weekly and operated on a shared basis with Air New Zealand and Air Nuigini. The flight had a brief stopover at Port Moresby but passengers had to stay on board as the transit lounge was not big enough to cope with a jumbo jet.

The service lapsed after two years when Air Niugini pulled out and there was a two-year break with no Cathay flights to New Zealand. In 1986 Air New Zealand and Cathay started another joint venture with each airline operating it in alternate years.

In 1991 the joint venture terminated and each airline started its own service.

Initially, Figgins says, it was very hard for Cathay to make its mark. "Everybody got us confused with Air Pacific. No one knew anything about us. We were regarded as being a very small Far Eastern carrier."

To try to change that he traipsed the country taking as many travel agents as possible out to breakfast, lunch and dinner, trying to win business away from the national airline. "I became a legend in my own lunchtime but I don't think it was very good for my health."

It is all very different today.

Now, as Cathay Pacific celebrates its 30th birthday in this country, Figgins has 35 staff in Auckland - plus 30 flight crew and nine cabin crew based in New Zealand - and his cards, pencil and rubber have been replaced by e-tickets.

Crucially, Figgins says, "New Zealand is now one of the most deregulated countries in the world for aviation."

Cathay is just one of 28 international airlines with regular services here - and the number is growing - and it runs 10 to 12 flights a week.

All that choice and competition has, he says, been hugely beneficial to New Zealanders. "It's now easy to go anywhere in the world and on most routes there's a range of options to choose from."

Thanks to all those choices, last year 1.7 million New Zealanders took trips abroad and 2.3 million tourists arrived.

With Cathay Pacific now firmly established on the aviation scene it's also easy to forget the airline's decidedly humble beginnings.

It had its origins in 1945 when a swashbuckling American aviator, Roy Farrell, bought a war-surplus DC3, affectionately named Betsy, and with his Australian mate Sydney de Kantzow operated a cargo service out of Shanghai.

The following year political pressure forced them out of Shanghai and they moved to Hong Kong's damaged Kwai Tak Airfield.

Betsy and her sister DC3 Nikki were registered in Hong Kong and Farrell and de Kantzow put up HK$1 each to form a new company called Cathay Pacific Airways.

Their fledging air passenger and cargo service took a big leap forward two years later when one of Hong Kong's major trading companies, Butterfield and Swire, bought nearly half the company and Australian National Airways took a 35 per cent stake.

The revamped company, with a nominal capital of HK$10 million, expanded rapidly.

By the time the airline reached New Zealand its fleet had expanded to 12 Boeing 707s and three Lockheed TriStars and its routes had grown from Asia to North America and Europe.

That growth has continued and Cathay Pacific now operates 650 flights a week to 85 destinations on all five continents.

In sharp contrast to its rough-and- ready early days, in 2003 the annual Skytrax survey, involving 4.4 million passengers, voted Cathay Airline of the Year.

Figgins says New Zealand remains a rather challenging destination "because of the distance, the isolation and the lack of population".

But, he adds, "The country is now very much part of the international aviation network - a development Cathay Pacific has been very much a part of - and we've all benefited as a result."
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Old March 9th, 2005, 09:19 AM   #297
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09 March 2005
Corporate Press Release
Cathay Pacific announces 2004 Annual Results
Code:
Results  	 	             2004   2003      Change
Turnover         	HK$ million	39,065	29,578	+32.1%
Attributable profit	HK$ million	4,417	1,303	+239.0%
Earnings per share	HK cents	131.4	39.0	+236.9%
Dividend per share	HK cents	65.0	48.0	+35.4%
Cathay Pacific Airways today reported its second best full-year results on record with an attributable profit of HK$4,417 million in 2004, compared to HK$1,303 million in 2003. Turnover increased by 32.1% from last year to a record HK$39,065 million.

Cathay Pacific carried a record 13,664,000 passengers and 972,416 tonnes of cargo as the airline increased both flights and capacity, further strengthening Hong Kong as a global aviation hub. The airline extended its Chinese Mainland network with the introduction of a daily service to Beijing and in early 2005 the launch of new passenger service to Xiamen and freighter service to Shanghai.

Improved world and Hong Kong economies were the main drivers for growth. 2004 would have been the airline’s best year on record had there not been a sharp rise in the price of fuel. Fuel accounted for 23.9% of the airline’s total operating cost, up from 19.8% in 2003.

Demand from both business and leisure travellers remained strong throughout the year. Passenger capacity increased by 24.9% over 2003. This increase, combined with higher load factors and yields, which rose 5.8% to HK45.8 cents for every passenger kilometre, contributed to a passenger revenue record of HK$26,407 million.

The airline set a new cargo revenue record of HK$10,549 million, which resulted from the continued growth in demand from Europe, Japan and the United States for goods manufactured in Mainland China. Cargo yield decreased slightly by 1.1% to HK1.76 cents. Access to the Mainland cargo market was further strengthened with the launch in January 2005 of a daily freighter service to Shanghai.

Cathay Pacific’s acquisition of a 10% stake in Air China at its initial public offering established a strategic partnership with the Mainland flag carrier and a platform for co-operation on a number of commercial and operational fronts, including strengthening network connections between Hong Kong and Beijing.

Cathay Pacific Chairman David Turnbull said: "Persistently high fuel prices along with greater regional and long haul competition will place further pressure on us to improve productivity and reduce unit costs. The aviation business often sees sharp ups and downs, yet we remain focused on maintaining profitable growth and are optimistic over our future. We are expanding our network and fleet and will continue to deliver superior service and value to our customers."
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Old March 9th, 2005, 05:36 PM   #298
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Cathay Pacific 2nd-Half Net Income Rises Unexpectedly


Chief Executive of Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. Philip Chen smiles during a press conference in Hong Kong Wednesday, March 9, 2005. Hong Kong's biggest airline Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. on Wednesday reported its second-highest ever net profit thanks to stronger passenger and cargo traffic, although surging oil prices boosted its costs. The airline's 2004 net profit jumped more than threefold to 4.42 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$567 million), from HK$1.30 billion (US$167 million) in 2003. (AP Photo/Lo Sai Hung)

March 9 (Bloomberg) -- Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Asia's second-largest carrier by market value, had an unexpected increase in second-half profit as travel demand surged.

Net income rose 4 percent to HK$2.65 billion ($340 million) from HK$2.54 billion a year earlier. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 11 analysts was for a 17 percent decline. Second-half profit was calculated from Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific's annual figures released today.

Cathay Pacific and other carriers benefited from a rebound in travel demand after Asia's 2003 SARS outbreak, as more people took vacations and business trips. Philip Chen, 49, who took over as Cathay Pacific's chief executive in January, may need to deepen savings as fuel prices surged and competition increased with British Airways Plc and AMR Corp.'s American Airlines.

"Jet fuel is going to be the main issue,'' Kevin O'Connor, head of transport research at CLSA Ltd. in Hong Kong, said after the results were announced. "Repeating that result this year is going to be a bit of a challenge.'' O'Connor said Cathay Pacific would "underperform'' other stocks.

Cathay Pacific shares closed 1.8 percent higher at HK$14.20. They have fallen 3.4 percent this year, compared with a 2 percent gain on the Bloomberg Asia-Pacific Airlines Index, which has 14 members.

Cathay Pacific's sales rose 21 percent to HK$20.9 billion in the second half.

Fuel Bill

The price of jet fuel has risen 31 percent this year, according to Bloomberg data.

Cathay Pacific's fuel bill rose 55 percent in the second half to HK$4.4 billion. For the full year, fuel costs rose 50 percent to HK$7.84 billion, accounting for 24 percent of the airline's total operating costs. Fuel costs made up 20 percent of costs in 2003.

The airline imposed charges on tickets and cargo last May as the price of jet fuel surged, reaching a 14-year high in October.

Cathay Pacific has hedged 15 percent of its fuel costs in the first half of this year, and 4 percent in the second half, Finance Director Robert Atkinson told reporters today after the earnings were announced. Last year, the airline hedged about 30 percent of its fuel costs.

"Fuel prices will remain a major challenge this year because most of our hedging gains have been realized and fuel prices are still rising,'' Chen told reporters.

Cathay Pacific also faces more competition as Singapore Airlines Ltd. and other carriers in the region expand amid growing travel demand in the region. As many as 10 low-cost airlines are also operating in Asia.

American, Continental

"Volatile fuel prices and the steady emergence of low-cost carriers within the region will place further pressure on us to improve productivity and reduce unit costs,'' Turnbull said.

International traffic from Asia-Pacific is forecast to grow 8.3 percent annually until 2008, compared with a global average of 6 percent, according to the International Air Transport Association, which represents more than 270 airlines worldwide.

American Airlines and Continental Airlines Inc. on Feb. 22 won permission to begin passenger flights to China. In December, Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic Airways began flying between London and Sydney via Hong Kong. British Airways has also said it will increase the number of flights to Asia.

Cathay Pacific's 2004 profit more than tripled to HK$4.42 billion, or HK$1.31 a share, from HK$1.3 billion, or 39 Hong Kong cents a share last year, the airline said earlier today. Full- year sales rose 32 percent to a record HK$39.1 billion.

Operating Expenses

The airline will pay a final dividend of 45 Hong Kong cents a share, compared with 17 Hong Kong cents in 2003.

Cathay Pacific's operating expenses, excluding finance costs, rose by a quarter to HK$17.9 billion in the second half. Operating expenses for the full year rose 24 percent to HK$33.8 billion, the airline said.

Finance costs fell 21 percent in the second half to HK$267 million. For the full year, they fell 6 percent to HK$583 million, according to Cathay.

Cathay Pacific's passenger yield, or average revenue from each passenger for every kilometer flown, rose to 45.8 Hong Kong cents in 2004, from 43.3 Hong Kong cents in 2003.

The airline carried a record 13.7 million passengers last year, up 36 percent from 2003, it reported earlier.

Reporter - Vicki Kwong in Hong Kong
Editor - Eugene Tang in Tokyo
Last Updated: March 9, 2005 04:47 EST
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Old March 11th, 2005, 09:35 AM   #299
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11 March 2005
Corporate Press Release
Cathay Pacific offers double Asia Miles on all economy flights

Cathay Pacific Airways today announced it will offer double Asia Miles to all members travelling in economy class on all Cathay Pacific flights for a special limited period.

The offer will be open to all existing Asia Miles members and anyone wishing to join the programme in order to take advantage of the offer.

To qualify, all tickets must be issued in Hong Kong and online registration through asiamiles.com completed between 10 March and 15 April 2005. Travel must be completed between 1 April and 30 June 2005. This promotion is eligible for members residing in Hong Kong only.

Asia Miles continues to grow and now has more than 2.25 million members worldwide. Members can earn and redeem Asia Miles through Cathay Pacific and 17 other world-class partner airlines, plus over 220 partners in other categories

Cathay Pacific General Manager Hong Kong & China Sales Clement Lam said: “With Cathay Pacific’s double Asia Miles promotion, members can take advantage of great offers from travel and lifestyle partners that much faster. It’s also a great time for anyone who is not already a member to join."
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Old March 13th, 2005, 08:41 AM   #300
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Union given 2 months to rethink deal on sacked Cathay pilots
Simon Parry
13 March 2005
South China Morning Post

Cathay Pacific has given its pilots two months to change their minds and accept the offer of a 10-month payout or job interviews for the group of sacked pilots known as the "49ers".

The airline has told the Aircrew Officers Association it will withdraw the offer on May 16 and pay into court a smaller sum as an out-of-court settlement in return for dropping their legal action.

The union has, meanwhile, warned members it faces a "very real membership crisis" and has called an emergency meeting to decide whether to fight on or accept the Cathay offer.

The 49ers were dismissed by Cathay during a bitter 2001 dispute over pay and rosters and have been supported by union members for the 31/2 years since.

The sacked pilots receive up to a $25,000 subsidy each a month as well as legal funding. Supporting the group has pushed union dues up to 5 per cent of salaries and cost the union hundreds of members.

A motion to accept the Cathay offer proposed by the union last month narrowly failed to gain the necessary two-thirds majority,

Now members will be given a second chance to accept the offer if they fail to agree to extra legal funding at an extraordinary general meeting next month.

If they want to carry on with the legal cases in three jurisdictions, they will have to vote to pay tens of thousands of dollars each in special levies to fund the court battles.

The union, which says accepting the offer remains the best option, is trying to stem the fall in membership numbers by cutting subscription rates from 3 per cent to 1.5 per cent from May 1. New members are also exempt from levies to fund the legal cases.

In a circular, president Murray Gardner points out the union - which had about 1,300 members in 2001 - now has only 925 of the airline's 1,912 pilots as members.

"We are in a precarious position," he said, adding that last month's vote had "created the potential for a very real membership crisis within our association".

Mr Gardner said lawyers for the union estimated it would cost another $13 million to carry on with the court cases in Australia, Hong Kong and Britain, which are expected to last another year.

If members decide to fight on, they will have to commit to special levies amounting to as much as 36 months of subscriptions at 3 per cent on top of regular union dues.

Most of the 49ers want to continue with their fight and supporters have accused the union committee of "bad faith" by resubmitting the Cathay offer to members.
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