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Old March 13th, 2005, 07:25 PM   #301
aznichiro115
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does cathays fleet have exterior camera that can be viewed from PTVs?
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Old March 13th, 2005, 07:51 PM   #302
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I don't think so. I've seen them on JAL.
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Old March 14th, 2005, 06:47 PM   #303
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14 March 2005
Corporate Pess Release
Cathay Pacific expands services to key cities in summer schedule
Beijing, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Ho Chi Minh, Johannesburg, Nagoya, Perth

Cathay Pacific Airways today announced the important expansion of a number of services in its summer schedule, including seven additional weekly flights to Beijing and a third daily non-stop flight to Los Angeles. Additional services will also commence to Amsterdam, Ho Chi Minh City, Johannesburg, Nagoya and Perth.

These new flights will further enhance Cathay Pacific’s global network, which now covers more than 90 destinations world-wide, and strengthen Hong Kong as a global aviation hub and gateway to the Chinese Mainland.

The seven additional weekly flights to Beijing follow on the heels of the recent launch of a daily freighter service to Shanghai and thrice-weekly service to Xiamen.

Cathay Pacific is the only airline that flies non-stop from Hong Kong to Los Angeles and offers more frequent services there than any other airline. The early departure and arrival of the new flight will offer greater choice of connections to all Cathay Pacific code share destinations across the United States.

Amsterdam and Johannesburg, now at five and six flights a week respectively, will become daily services, and Ho Chi Minh City will step up from a daily to double-daily operation. Nagoya will see another seven services a week on top of its double-daily schedule. Perth will move from three to four weekly flights and bring to 52 the number of direct flights the airline operates to six cities in Australia each week.

Cathay Pacific Director Corporate Development Augustus Tang said: “Increasing the frequency of services to double and even triple-daily to key cities is an important part of our growth strategy. Additional and daily services to other cities create a more convenient product for our customers, strengthen our network and thereby enhance Hong Kong’s global hub and Mainland gateway position.”
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Old March 15th, 2005, 04:59 AM   #304
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Heading for Hong Kong
15 March 2005
New Zealand Herald

ENTRIES have flooded in for the chance to win a $13,000 luxury holiday for two in Hong Kong to celebrate Cathay Pacific Airways' 30th birthday in New Zealand.

The competition doesn't close until noon tomorrow so there's still time to take part, using the entry form below.

The winners will fly to Hong Kong in Cathay Pacific's business class, which has an award-winning food and beverage service, and seats that stretch into full-length beds.

That's a far cry from when the airline launched in 1945 with a single refurbished war-surplus DC3 nicknamed Betsy.

These days, Cathay Pacific operates 650 flights to 85 destinations every week. When the airline first established a presence in New Zealand 30 years ago it had just one staff member - David Figgins, who is now country manager - and its planes didn't land here.

Now it has 74 staff based in New Zealand and its aircraft visit 12 times a week.

In Hong Kong the competition winners will stay for four pampered nights in the five-star Langham Hotel, which is in the Kowloon shopping district.

They will also enjoy tours, organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Bureau, of Hong Kong Island, including the Victoria Peak viewing point, Stanley Market and the Aberdeen Bay fishing village.
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Old March 16th, 2005, 09:19 AM   #305
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Report: Air China considering buying Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific
15 March 2005

HONG KONG (AP) - Air China Ltd., the mainland's biggest airline, is negotiating a takeover of Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways, a newspaper said Wednesday.

"A deal is very close to being completed," the South China Morning Morning Post reported, quoting an unidentified senior executive with one of Cathay Pacific's biggest share holders, the conglomerate Swire Pacific Ltd.

Under the deal, Cathay Pacific would first buy out its local rival, Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Ltd., before being subsumed into the Air China group, the paper said.

Swire has a 45 percent stake in Cathay Pacific and a 10 percent stake in Air China.

Carolyn Leung, a Cathay Pacific spokeswoman, declined to discuss the report. "We don't comment on market rumors," she said.

The newspaper said if Hong Kong-listed Swire accepts Air China shares in return for its stake in Cathay, it would be the single largest shareholder in the mainland carrier. This would place Swire's mainly British executives at the core of the Chinese airline's operations

The paper also cited unidentified "informed sources in the affected companies" as saying a deal would likely be announced in two weeks.

The newspaper said that talks over a crossholding structure between Air China and Cathay began in the middle of last year when the mainland carrier first set a date to list in Hong Kong.

Any deal will require consent from multiple shareholders at the listed firms that potentially have divergent interests. Dragonair is controlled by China National Aviation Co., while Chinese conglomerate CITIC Pacific Ltd. has stakes in both airlines.

But a deal would be a boon for Cathay, which only won the right to fly to China a couple years ago after an absence of more than 10 years. Cathay 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 early this year launched passenger services to Xiamen and a freighter service to Shanghai.
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Old March 16th, 2005, 05:11 PM   #306
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if cathay merged with any chinese airline it would kill them.
many people would not chose them if it were air china.
i would be one of them
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Old March 16th, 2005, 05:54 PM   #307
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Airline merger creates flying fortress
Cross-shareholding agreement between Cathay Pacific and Air China expected to raise concerns over competition

Joseph Lo and Russell Barling
16 March 2005
South China Morning Post

A tie-up between Cathay Pacific Airways and Air China will create one of the world's most dominant and dynamic airline groups, but is also bound to raise competition concerns.

The deal promises to marry Swire Group's western management practices with the world's fastest-growing tourism and trade market. It will also see Cathay take over Hong Kong Dragon Airlines, effectively giving control of the three most heavily travelled air routes in China - between Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing - to a single group.

Swire will gain a greater presence in the mainland, and Air China access to a talented management pool and strong international sales team.

"When they come together, it will be Fortress Cathay," aviation analyst Jim Eckes said. "Swire brings top-level management skills and the three airlines would create a cargo powerhouse.

"[Air China and Cathay] would greatly reduce their overhead costs and get a jump on the low-cost carriers in the mainland market."

According to a senior Swire official, the talks over a cross-shareholding structure between Air China and Cathay began in the middle of last year, when the mainland carrier set a date for its December listing in Hong Kong last year.

He was coy on when the deal might be completed, but another executive said Cathay had an announcement scheduled for the end of the month that he thought would be a "follow-up on [Cathay's] 10 per cent acquisition in Air China [last year]".

Ultimately, the Swire official said, approval had to be sought from the General Administration for Civil Aviation of China (CAAC), the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council and the State Council.

"It will take time, even after the terms are agreed upon, for the deal to filter through each of these bodies for stamping their approval," he said, declining to say if applications had been submitted for approval.

However, one banker said he believed all parts of the deal had been agreed, including the announcement date.

"You don't invest more than US$300 million for a 10 per cent stake in Air China without knowing the end-game," he said.

The Swire executive, who described the deal as being driven by Cathay's need to "find a way to become seriously integrated into the mainland aviation market", said he did not know the final shareholding structure between Swire, Cathay, China National Aviation Co (CNAC) - the biggest shareholder in Dragonair - and Air China.

The banker said a rough calculation based on the airlines' estimated market values would put Swire's stake in the enlarged Air China at 32 per cent; the parent of CNAC, the China National Aviation Holding's (CNAH) stake at 30 per cent; Citic Pacific's at 17 per cent and the rest a public float.

Despite the enlarged group's obvious potential to control some of the mainland's most lucrative routes, a government official said it would be unlikely to try to reduce its dominance as long as Dragonair and Cathay's principal place of business remained in Hong Kong.

"What [the Economic Services Bureau] can't do is take rights away," the official said. "They can't ask Dragonair and Cathay to give up some rights just because they are brought under one ownership.

"But what they can do is go out and acquire more rights for new carriers and then give priority in any future awards to enhancing competition."

The three airlines presently control 88 per cent of flights on the Hong Kong-Beijing route.

For Cathay, the Swire executive said, the challenge had always been to find a way to fully participate in the mainland aviation market, especially capturing domestic demand, the fastest-growing sector.

The carrier's earlier drawn-out and ultimately unsuccessful discussions with China Eastern Airlines about jointly creating such an opportunity stood as testament to that ambition.

When Cathay announced late last year that it would buy a 10 per cent stake in Air China, many in the industry were shocked because the Beijing-based carrier had been for some time courted by the main partners in Star Alliance - Lufthansa and United Airlines.

Indeed, Shanghai-based China Eastern had been thought of by most executives in the industry as the obvious long-term partner.

"Air China wasn't in the picture for us because it was not a strong player in the mainland domestic market - it was seen as a mainland carrier with international ambitions," the Swire executive said. "Plus, Shanghai had the allure of being a very complementary business hub for Hong Kong."

But he said Swire's thinking began to change when Beijing led the industry into consolidation in 2001. During the consolidation, Air China merged with China Southwest and CNAC. They were later joined by Shandong Airlines.

Meanwhile, China Eastern took China Northwest and Yunnan Airlines, two deeply indebted carriers.

"All of a sudden, Air China emerged as a very strong player in China aviation, both in its balance sheet and the size of its domestic network," the Swire executive said.

He said that along with Air China's rising allure, Swire found it now had "strong strategic cross-relations" with Citic and CNAH.

Citic owns 25 per cent of Air China's cargo spin-off - Air China Cargo - along with 25.74 per cent of Cathay and 28.5 per cent of Dragonair. It is thought that Air China's stake in Dragonair makes the deal possible without any further cash having to change hands.

"Air China wants a bigger stake in the combined entity," said the banker, "[not] more money."

From the Cathay side, the deal will give Hong Kong's No1 airline an exposure to the Beijing Olympics it would not otherwise enjoy.

"Dragonair ties us all together," the executive said. "But at the end of the day, Dragonair is not critical to Cathay or Air China, it is down the value chain. The critical aspect will be how the Cathay-Air China integration is done."

He said Cathay's desire to integrate into the China market and its successful management style would also help Air China become a bigger player globally.

"Over the past two years, the CAAC has opened up the mainland market for international airlines so quickly. Last year, it negotiated a deal with the United States that opens up 249 flights per week across the Pacific, and Europe is likely to push for the same."

But mainland carriers, which lack the professional image to compete in world-class commercial centres such as London and New York, struggle to fully utilise their reciprocal rights "because they just can't compete with the US and European airlines", the executive said.

Swire believes its management experience will help Air China.
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Old March 16th, 2005, 11:34 PM   #308
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16 March 2005
Cathay Pacific Corporate Press Release
Joint Clarificatory Announcement

The following statement has been released today:

The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited takes no responsibility for the contents of this announcement, makes no representation as to its accuracy or completeness and expressly disclaims any liability whatsoever for any loss howsoever arising from or in reliance upon the whole or any part of the contents of this announcement.


This clarificatory announcement is made at the request of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Swire Pacific and Cathay Pacific have noted press and other reports about possible changes in the ownership of Cathay Pacific, Air China and Dragonair. Cathay Pacific and Air China have made progress in exploring opportunities for further cooperation, including in relation to the Hong Kong-China aviation market, under the terms of the MOU dated 20 October, 2004. Such cooperation discussions necessarily involve Dragonair. However, there are currently no agreements between Air China and Cathay Pacific in relation to Dragonair. Swire Pacific remains committed to being the principal shareholder in Cathay Pacific for the long term and does not intend to do anything which would require a general offer to be made for the shares of Cathay Pacific under the Hong Kong Code on Takeovers and Mergers. In addition, Swire Pacific does not intend to become the principal shareholder of Air China. The board of Cathay Pacific has not received an approach from any person which might lead to a general offer being made for its shares.

This clarificatory announcement is made at the request of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Swire Pacific and Cathay Pacific have noted press and other reports about possible changes in the ownership of Cathay Pacific, Air China and Dragonair.

On 20 October, 2004, Cathay Pacific and Air China announced that they had entered into the MOU, which envisaged a strategic investment by Cathay Pacific in Air China and future cooperation between them. In December, 2004, Cathay Pacific acquired a 10% interest in the share capital of Air China when Air China’s shares were listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. This acquisition was the subject of announcements by Cathay Pacific dated 21 November, 2004 and 15 December, 2004 and a circular to its shareholders dated 30 December, 2004.

The MOU set out the framework for discussing, among other things, the objective of exploring the opportunities for developing a close partnership and cooperation between the aviation and related businesses of Cathay Pacific and Air China in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Cathay Pacific and Air China have made progress in exploring opportunities for further cooperation, including in relation to the Hong Kong-China aviation market, under the terms of the MOU. Such cooperation discussions necessarily involve Dragonair. However, there are currently no agreements between Air China and Cathay Pacific in relation to Dragonair. Swire Pacific, which holds 46.5% of the shares in Cathay Pacific, is committed to being the principal shareholder of Cathay Pacific for the long term and does not intend to do anything which would require a general offer to be made for the shares of Cathay Pacific under the Hong Kong Code on Takeovers and Mergers. In addition, Swire Pacific does not intend to become the principal shareholder of Air China. The board of Cathay Pacific has not received an approach from any person which might lead to a general offer being made for its shares.

Directors

As at the date of this announcement, the Directors of Swire Pacific are:
Executive Directors: David Turnbull, Martin Cubbon, Davy Ho and Keith Kerr;
Non-Executive Directors: Baroness Dunn, Peter Johansen, James Hughes-Hallett and Sir Adrian Swire; and
Independent Non-Executive Directors: David Eldon, Clement Kwok, Chien Lee, Marjorie Yang and Michael Sze.

As at the date of this announcement, the Directors of Cathay Pacific are:
Executive Directors: Robert Atkinson, Philip Chen, Derek Cridland and Tony Tyler; Non-Executive Directors: James Hughes-Hallett, Martin Cubbon, Henry Fan, Vernon Moore, Sir Adrian Swire, David Turnbull, Raymond Yuen, Carl Yung and Zhang Xianlin; and Independent Non-Executive Directors: Peter Lee, Raymond Or, Jack So and Tung Chee Chen.

Definitions

“Air China”Air China Limited, a company incorporated in the People’s Republic of China, the principal activity of which is the operation of scheduled airline services

“Cathay Pacific”Cathay Pacific Airways Limited, a company incorporated in Hong Kong, the principal activity of which is the operation of scheduled airline services

“Dragonair”Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Limited, a company incorporated in Hong Kong, the principal activity of which is the operation of scheduled airline services

“Hong Kong Stock Exchange”The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited

“MOU” non-binding Memorandum of Understanding between Cathay Pacific and Air China dated 20 October, 2004

“Swire Pacific”Swire Pacific Limited, a company incorporated in Hong Kong, the principal activity of which is investment holding

By Order of the Board
Swire Pacific Limited
Margaret Yu
Company Secretary
Hong Kong, 16 March 2005

By Order of the Board
Cathay Pacific Airways Limited
Margaret Yu
Company Secretary
Hong Kong, 16 March 2005
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Old March 17th, 2005, 05:04 AM   #309
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Air China says no plans to buy control of Cathay

HONG KONG, March 17 (Reuters) - Chinese carrier Air China Ltd. said on Thursday it has no intention of acquiring a controlling stake in Hong Kong's dominant airline, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. .

Air China said its parent company, China National Aviation Holding Co., intended to remain Air China's controlling shareholder.

"The Air China Group and Cathay Pacific continue to explore opportunities to develop closer cooperation in various business and operational areas, including in relation to enhancing cooperation in the Hong Kong-China aviation market," the carrier said in a statement.

It said the preliminary discussions involved Hong Kong's second airline, Dragonair.

Air China and Cathay had on Wednesday denied a report in the South China Morning Post that said they were in merger talks that would create a Chinese aviation powerhouse.

The prospect tantalised investors, sending shares in Air China, Cathay, Swire and Dragonair's main shareholder, China National Aviation Corp., higher.

The report said Swire Pacific Ltd. , the Hong Kong trading house that controls Cathay, was in advanced negotiations that would see Cathay take over smaller rival Dragonair before being subsumed itself into the Air China group.

Citing sources in the companies, the Hong Kong newspaper said Swire may accept Air China shares in return for its stake in Cathay, a move that would make Swire the single largest shareholder in the mainland carrier and place its executives at the core of the new group's operations.

But Swire and Cathay issued a joint statement late on Wednesday saying that the trading house intends to remain the main shareholder of Cathay "for the long term," and that it does not intend to become the principal shareholder of Air China.

"Swire Pacific ... does not intend to do anything which would require a general offer to be made for the shares of Cathay Pacific" under Hong Kong takeover rules, the two companies said in the statement.

They also said there are no agreements between Air China and Cathay in relation to Dragonair.
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Old March 17th, 2005, 03:47 PM   #310
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Cathay Pacific
16 March 2005
Financial Times (FT.Com)

The combination of Air China, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair has always been something of an unholy trinity. Cathay, Hong Kong's de facto flag carrier, owns 18 per cent of Dragonair, the regional airline which is its only local competitor. It also has a 10 per cent stake in Air China, the mainland's flag carrier - a complete reversal of the 1996 aviation deals designed to give China a bigger slice of the Hong Kong market.

The market has long anticipated rationalisation, and local reports suggest consolidation of Cathay and Dragonair may now be on the cards. This would be relatively straightforward, giving Cathay a bigger bite of the mainland market - which it has only recently been allowed to re-enter on a small scale. That boosts prospects for growth, now undermined by rising fuel bills. Competition fears in Hong Kong could be addressed by offering licences to new low-cost carriers.

An endgame, that would see Cathay itself subsumed by Air China, continues to look unlikely, however - and has been vigorously denied by all parties. Any deal would have to reward Swire Pacific, a colonial-era conglomerate that owns 46 per cent of Cathay and 8 per cent of Dragonair. A three-way merger would certainly create a stronger airline than Cathay on its own. But on current numbers, Swire's Cathay stake is worth nearly as much as all of recently-listed Air China. Negotiating air agreements would also be tricky for a cross-border airline. Beijing would surely wish to use Cathay's expertise to turn Air China into a fitting, international carrier by 2008. But that may remain just an Olympic dream.
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Old March 17th, 2005, 03:48 PM   #311
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Cathay Makes Progress in Talks To Expand Operations in China
By Bruce Stanley and Kate Linebaugh
17 March 2005
The Asian Wall Street Journal

HONG KONG -- Cathay Pacific Airways and its principal shareholder Swire Pacific Ltd. said they are making progress in talks aimed at cooperating more closely with Chinese flag carrier Air China and Hong Kong's Dragonair to expand business in China's fast-growing aviation market.

Shares of Cathay, one of Asia's biggest and most profitable airlines, jumped almost 5% yesterday on a local newspaper report that it was nearing a decision on a three-way merger with Air China and regional carrier Dragonair. Cathay and Swire denied that a deal on this scale was in the works, but they left open the possibility that all three airlines might take large equity stakes in one another in the future.

The companies already have some cross-shareholdings, and people familiar with their operations say a bigger equity swap has been discussed often in the past.

Founded in Hong Kong in 1946, Cathay was one of the first airlines to operate commercial flights into China -- but lost its rights years ago and lately has been frustrated by its inability to make serious inroads back into the booming mainland market. Dragonair has 56 flights a week from Hong Kong to Beijing, versus 14 a week for Cathay.

A deal with Air China and Dragonair would give it the greater access it covets, while at the same making it a mentor of sorts for Air China, which would benefit from Cathay's management experience. Cathay bought a 10% stake in Air China when the Beijing-based airline listed its shares in December, but former Cathay executives said they see ample scope for an increased stake or cross-holding of shares.

"Ten percent is a nice little relationship, but it doesn't make you blood brothers," said Kevin O'Connor, an analyst at investment bank CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets.

Cathay's stock jumped 4.9% to close at HK$15 (US$1.92) on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, while shares in Air China rose 3.5% to HK$2.92. Swire, a diversified group that owns 45.7% of Cathay, saw its shares climb 2.7% to HK$66.75, and shares in Chinese conglomerate Citic Pacific Ltd., which owns part of both Cathay and Dragonair, rose 2% to HK$23.40.

Investors' response to the possibility endorsed the view of many analysts that a combination of the three carriers would help each one.

"The benefits there are enormous. If you look at the network that Dragonair has out of Hong Kong and link that with Air China's domestic network and combine that with Cathay's international operations, then you've got an unbeatable combination," said Richard Stirland, a former director of corporate development at Cathay. He works now as an adviser to the company's chairman, David Turnbull.

Despite the denials from Swire and Cathay that a consolidation was under discussion, another former Cathay executive said he expects the three airlines to swap large equity stakes, possibly as soon as the end of the month. He said he believes the only remaining hurdle to a sweeping deal is a perception among some Chinese government officials that Cathay might still be too foreign to be acceptable as a major shareholder of Air China.

"It's actually very, very close to being done," he said.

After the airlines make the necessary changes in ownership, this former executive said Cathay would hold at least 20% in Air China, which would in turn have a stake of at least 30% in Cathay. He said Cathay would also completely take over Dragonair, in which it now has a share of 17.8%.

Swire, which controls Cathay, said it remains committed to being Cathay's principal shareholder "for the long term." It also said it doesn't intend to become the principal shareholder of Air China.

Swire is unlikely to give up control of Cathay, according to another person familiar with the talks between Cathay, Air China and Dragonair. This person said the talks haven't considered a change in control of either Air China or Cathay, but aim instead at deepening cooperation between them by transferring technology, aligning routes and forming closer strategic alliances.
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Old March 18th, 2005, 07:02 AM   #312
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Competition at risk if airline merger takes off
18 March 2005
South China Morning Post

If the criss-crossing shareholdings between Cathay Pacific, Dragon Airlines and Air China are complicated now, they are set to become more so when the next deal among the group is announced. Should current negotiations come to fruition, questions are sure to arise for regulators - including those in Hong Kong, where moves to raise the level of competition have only begun to have an impact.

And political hurdles cannot be ruled out, including objections on the mainland to substantial holdings in its airline being in the hands of Cathay and firms that trace their beginnings to the era of British control in Hong Kong.

But perhaps some minor hope can be expressed that when the dust finally settles, the result will be better airlines.

The exact arrangement may not yet be clear, but it seems likely that Cathay, Hong Kong's dominant airline, will take control of Dragonair, the city's number two carrier. This would give Cathay and parent company Swire Pacific exposure to the booming mainland market, which they have sought for years, but with only limited progress.

For Air China, a major Dragonair shareholder, compensation for giving up its Dragonair stake could come in the form of shares in Cathay, but more importantly, access to Cathay's management and marketing expertise.

This could be crucial to the airline at a time when regulators at home are moving to open up markets and consumers are demanding higher standards of service. It would also help in the project of bolstering Air China's profile overseas, where all mainland carriers still struggle to use the landing rights they have been granted.

Meanwhile, concerns about reversing recent progress towards more competition in Hong Kong are real and should be taken seriously. A combined entity would control the busiest routes into the mainland as well as a portion of all Hong Kong-mainland rights. As it is, remaining players are minnows by comparison; post-merger, things could look worse for them.

Regulatory moves in Hong Kong, including scrapping the practice of assigning only one airline to each route, are leading to the emergence of new carriers and budget airlines. The changes have also helped Hong Kong keep pace with reforms around the region, where the momentum for deregulation has picked up over the past two years. As a result, prices have been falling and customer options increasing.

The mainland routes would seem to be an area where vigilance is needed. An open-skies arrangement between Hong Kong and mainland airports, with no limits on the number of carriers allowed to land, would be ideal. Judging from recent negotiations, that could be years away.

Until that is achieved, fair distribution of rights and equal access for smaller airlines as a principle must be endorsed and promoted. Hong Kong's competitiveness as a travel and cargo hub - as well as consumer interests - would require at least that much.

Hong Kong stands to benefit should a strong and healthy combined airline emerge, but not by much if the airline's hold on access means new business chooses to base itself out of nearby airports such as Shenzhen, Macau or Guangzhou.

The first public sign that something was afoot appeared when Cathay took a 10 per cent stake in Air China's stock market debut in December. As the holder of a minority stake in Dragonair, Cathay has periodically had talks in the past about buying Air China's share. It has also unsuccessfully courted China Eastern Airlines. Last year's Air China purchase would mean little by itself. As a prelude to a more extensive tie-up, it makes much more sense.

An announcement may be made within weeks. What we are catching glimpses of now is the end-game. Both sides will naturally be looking to protect their own interests. Hong Kong's aviation officials should be prepared to defend their own - and that of the public.
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Old March 19th, 2005, 05:58 AM   #313
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HK-listed China Eastern fears passenger loss to Air China, Cathay - official
17 March 2005

HONG KONG (AFX) - The prospects of an expanded cooperation between Air China and Cathay Pacific may adversely affect China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines in terms of passenger loss, a China Eastern official told XFN-Asia.

'Even if they don't merge their operations, an expanded Air China-Cathay alliance may mean international travelers may make Air China their first choice (rather) than its rivals,' the official said.

'Air China customers will find it very convenient to continue their travel using Cathay, something which neither China Eastern nor China Southern cannot offer,' he added.

The official said Air China and Cathay Pacific may also offer a combined frequent flyer program, enabling their respective customers to accumulate frequent flyer points possibly applicable for use in either airline.

The official made the comment in reaction to a South China Morning Post report that Air China and Swire Pacific, Cathay's controlling shareholder, are in discussion for the possible takeover of Cathay by Air China.

Swire Pacific purportedly may accept Air China shares in return for its 45.73 pct stake in Cathay and a key role for its executives in the consolidated new entity.

However, Air China, together with its parent, and Swire Pacific, along with Cathay, issued separate statements denying the reported merger of the two airline companies.

'A stronger cooperation between Air China and Cathay certainly exerts pressure on us, and mostly probably on China Southern as well. Losing passengers to the Air China-Cathay alliance is possible, but we can't say yet at this stage how we will respond,' the China Eastern official said.

He said the company will actively search for a foreign strategic partner, most likely an airline company, after the first half of this year.

'We need to complete first the consolidation of assets that we purchased from our parent before activey proceeding to a search for a strategic investor,' he noted.

China Eastern has enlisted the help of some investment banks in its search for a strategic investor.

The company will take into account two major criteria in selecting a partner.

'Our prospective partner should have a culture similar to ours and its international routes should not have a lot of overlap with ours,' he said, adding that China Eastern has short-listed several potential candidates.

He declined to identify any one of them.

The official said current government regulations cap at 25 pct the interest that a foreign investor can hold in a Chinese airline.

'I think it is unlikely for our management to allow a strategic foreign investor to (even) hold up to 25 pct of China Eastern,' he said.
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Old March 19th, 2005, 07:05 PM   #314
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Cathay pass allows more to visit Asia
GREG COATES
19 March 2005
The Toronto Star

There may be no better time to discover Asia than now by taking advantage of Cathay Pacific Airways' new 2005 All Asia Pass, offering travellers the chance to discover up to 19 cities in Asia at one low fare.

Priced from $1,999 (plus taxes), the pass includes economy-class travel between Toronto or Vancouver and Hong Kong, plus 21 consecutive days of travel to any or all of 18 other Asian cities, including Bali, Bangkok, Cebu, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Osaka, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo.

The price drops to $1,799 for adults 55 years and older, full-time students 24 and younger and children under 12. Cathay Pacific CyberTravelers can purchase the All Asia Pass for $1,499 and take along up to three friends for the same price. To join the free CyberTraveler program, visit www.cathay.ca .

Travel must originate from Toronto or Vancouver before May 13 or between Aug. 17 and Dec. 1.

Greg Coates covers the travel industry for one of Canada's leading travel trade publications.
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Old March 19th, 2005, 11:18 PM   #315
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Airline consolidation puts start-up hopefuls on edge
Joseph Lo and Russell Barling
19 March 2005
South China Morning Post

Prospective Hong Kong airlines say any potential tie-up between Air China, Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair highlights the need for more transparent legislation to protect consumers.

But government and travel industry officials said they were satisfied that market forces would be deterrent enough against anti-competitive behaviour from the trio.

On Wednesday, in response to a report in the South China Morning Post, Cathay and parent Swire Pacific confirmed progress in wide-ranging talks with Air China, holding out the possibility of a cross-shareholding agreement and the sale of Dragonair.

An executive from one prospective local airline said that "while the statement was necessarily vague, it raises warning flags to me".

"The government says it will take a wait-and-see attitude and that it would move to protect airline start-ups," he said. "But CR Airways and Hong Kong Express have been locked in a licensing dispute, first with Dragonair and now between themselves, for nearly a year without a government decision.

"It worries me that the environment for start-up airlines will go from bad to worse. What we need is more clarity for the industry - ultimately it is the Hong Kong consumer that will benefit."

Another executive from a rival prospective carrier said he was "hopeful the government is telling the truth about being pro-competition in the airline sector [and] that they are truly on our side".

"A consolidation of Air China, Cathay and Dragonair - if it goes ahead as suggested - has major, major issues for the government to consider and digest," he said. "I doubt if the [Economic Development and Labour Bureau] is ready to say much more at this moment.

"But I am also hopeful that, given time, if you have a good case for wanting to fly a certain market that is dominated by an incumbent airline, government will support you. That seems to be the direction that government is heading in."

A government official said it was not felt there was an anti-competition issue in Hong Kong.

"At the policy level, [the economic development bureau] will encourage newcomers," the official said. "They are not concerned about how close Air China, Cathay and Dragonair are becoming. Even on the Beijing route, those three airlines are competing like hell. Cathay is under-cutting Dragonair and they are losing money."

According to the official, the government wants to "maintain an environment where newcomers, when they want to, are given favourable consideration {hellip} Whenever new routes come up on a sector with dominant players, they will give them to a new player".

Local travel agents offered a slightly different picture of the Hong Kong-Beijing market, however, where the three carriers account for 88 per cent of weekly flights.

Comparing the lowest current promotional two-way fares of the four airlines operating on the route - Air China, Cathay, Dragonair and China Southern Airlines - Dragonair is the most expensive at $2,803, exclusive of tax and airport charges, while Air China's fare was $2,612 and Cathay's $2,633.

China Southern offered the lowest fare at $2,241. It also gives customers more scheduling flexibility with a maximum 35-day stay, compared to maximum seven-day stays on rivals' lowest promotional fares.

Still, Joseph Tung Yao-chung, executive director of the Travel Industry Council, which represents tour operators and travel agencies, said the group did not see any risk of monopoly pricing.

"Even if Air China, Cathay and Dragonair join up, fares will still be regulated by destination competition," Mr Tung said, adding that while business travellers might have little choice on destinations, it was different for leisure travellers.

"For the leisure traveller, if fares are too high between Hong Kong and Beijing, he can choose to fly to Shanghai or another destination where the three have less power to raise fares."

He said operators also had scope to "tailor-make holiday packages".

Aside from booking customers on the airline with the cheapest fare for a desired route, operators could route customers "through other airports where better fares can be found, such as Shenzhen", he said. "So there's not too much worry there about a cartel happening."
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Old March 21st, 2005, 05:25 PM   #316
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21 March 2005
Corporate Press Release
Cathay Pacific cabin crew cooking competition wins world inflight catering award


Cabin crew Stephanie Ng in the ‘Simply The Best Chef’ competition final

Cathay Pacific Airways today announced that its unique "Simply the Best Chef" Cabin Crew Cooking Competition received a Gold medal in the prestigious International Inflight Food Service Association’s 2004 Mercury awards ceremony in Copenhagen.

The company-wide “Simply the Best Chef” competition set crew the challenge of creating special Chinese dishes that could be served inflight. The winning milk pudding with ginger juice was originally made to order in First Class and later served chilled as a snack to passengers in Economy Class. Other dishes from the competition also appeared on the airline’s menu.

Cathay Pacific received the Gold medal in the award’s Skills Development category. The airline was praised for being the world’s first airline to stage a competition “to promote the airline’s Chinese cuisine by encouraging cabin crew to create and develop dishes which can be featured in the menu and ultimately become the airline’s signature dishes”.

The Mercury awards were established 21 years ago and are managed jointly by the UK-based International Flight Catering Association and US-based International Inflight Food Service Association. It is the only such global award in the hospitality industry.
Almost 30 short-listed entries were judged on innovation, quality in application and internal/external customer satisfaction.

Cathay Pacific Director Service Delivery Quince Chong said: “Hong Kong is a food-lover’s paradise, and as Hong Kong’s airline we take great pride in the superb quality of our inflight catering, and in particular our Chinese cuisine. We created the ‘Simply The Best Chef’ competition to let our crew’s skills shine, and we are delighted that they caught the eye of the international judges. Our innovative and individual approach to service will continue to set us apart.”
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 05:10 PM   #317
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Cathay Pacific plans 7 more weekly HK-Beijing flights - report
22 March 2005

BEIJING (AFX) - Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd will launch seven additional weekly passenger flights between Hong Kong and Beijing during the April-May period, the China Business News reported, citing sources from the airline.

The total number of flights to Beijing will be increased to eight from one per week, the report said.

Four of the weekly flights will start from April 12. The three remaining flights will begin on May 1, according to the newspaper.

The seven additional weekly flights to Beijing follow on the heels of the recent launch of a daily freighter service from Hong Kong to Shanghai and a passenger service to Xiamen which runs three times a week.

Cathay Pacific Airways launched a passenger service in February between Hong Kong and the eastern Chinese city of Xiamen which also runs three times a week.
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Old March 25th, 2005, 05:50 PM   #318
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Macau plans to Wow the world
Zach Coleman
25 March 2005
Hong Kong Standard

After decades as a day-trip destination for Hong Kong's ferry-riding multitudes, Macau now welcomes busloads of mainlanders on excursion.

But former Cathay Pacific Airways executive Andrew Pyne intends to bring visitors by the planeful from Europe, the Middle East, North America and Africa.

"We're not viewing Macau as a transit point but as an exciting destination," said Pyne, the public face of the yet-secret band of investors from Macau, Hong Kong, Australia, Italy and the United States who are raising US$30 million (HK$234 million) to launch airline Wow Macau later this year. "This place is booming."

As a startup, Wow is keen to avoid head-to-head competition so the lack of long-distance flights from Macau appeals to Pyne's group more than Hong Kong's saturated marketplace. Macau officials have negotiated air services agreements with 41 countries, but only six are presently served by passenger flights, another reason for Wow to skip Hong Kong's long route licensing process.

Operating from Macau, however, requires the consent of Air Macau as the incumbent holds a 25-year legal monopoly on offering commercial flights there. Talks are advancing and Pyne expects the two airlines to work out an agreement to channel traffic betweenAir Macau's regional flights and Wow's planned long-haul routes. Air Macau's best customers are Taiwanese traveling to mainland China on business or pleasure, few of whom stop off in the territory for a look around. Officially, 5 percent of the 2.9 million people who visited Macau in the first two months of the year came by air, but that figure includes people transiting between flights here and nearby cities by road or sea. Pyne believes Wow can help raise the air share up to 15 percent. He anticipates carrying one million passengersannually within two years with an initial fleet of five leased Boeing 757 and 767 jets, which are both mid-sized and mid-range.

Generating those passenger numberswill require extending Wow's targetmarket to include some passengers traveling to and from Hong Kong and nearby mainland cities, Pyne admitted. Acknowledging that Wow will need to provide an incentive beyond price to fly via Macau, Pyne said the carrier will sell tickets through innovative channels that he declined to reveal and will offer a much broader range of food, entertainmentand seating choices than the conventionalclass options of economy, business or first.

Wow currently has a staff of 14, but Pyne sees that growing to 400 by launch. He expects the carrier will operate 10 planes within four years and he has his sights on introducing the new mid-sized, long-range Boeing 787 model by 2010. Pyne expects Wow to generate at least 20 percent of revenue from carrying cargo.
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Old March 27th, 2005, 12:36 AM   #319
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Radiation fears see Cathay limit crews' NY flights
Unions say passengers must be told of risks

Simon Parry
27 March 2005
South China Morning Post

Attendants on Cathay Pacific's direct flights to New York say they are being limited to around two trips a month on the route because of concerns about their exposure to cosmic radiation.

But no warnings are being given to frequent fliers on the transpolar route because the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) says passengers do not fly enough to be at risk.

Unions representing both pilots and flight attendants believe passengers should be given more information about cosmic radiation, which has been linked to marginal increases in the risk of developing cancer.

"The public ought to be aware that there are possible dangers," said John Findlay, general secretary of the Aircrew Officers Association.

Becky Kwan Siu-wa, head of the Flight Attendants Union, said frequent travellers should be warned.

Fliers are exposed to increased doses of cosmic radiation at altitudes above 8,000 metres over the north and south poles, where the atmosphere is thinner.

Concern over radiation exposure coincided with the launch of the daily Cathay Pacific transpolar direct flights to New York last July.

Cathay has introduced a stringent radiation monitoring programme, which allows pilots and flight attendants to know how much radiation they have been exposed to and to ensure it never exceeds safe limits.

Data on radiation levels on each flight is processed so pilots or flight attendants can check their exposure. Rosters are tailored to keep them within safe limits.

Ms Kwan said a formula had been worked out which effectively limited flight attendants to about two round trips a month on the polar route.

"If you do two and a half polar flights a month, you are in the danger zone," she said. "At first, when we heard about this, everybody was worried. But we have had regular meetings with the CAD and Cathay and guidance from an aviation doctor."

She said the airline has ensured no flight attendant registered radiation levels above what are regarded as safe limits.

But Ms Kwan said passengers should be given more information about the risks.

"I think the same message should be communicated to the travelling public," she said. "If you are a frequent traveller you shouldn't do more than so many trips on this route."

Mr Findlay said he believed Cathay Pacific had done as much as any other airline to keep staff informed about cosmic radiation and to monitor their exposure to it and he was happy with its response. But he said regulatory bodies such as CAD and the International Civil Aviation Organisation should be giving out more information on the issue.

Mr Findlay said he believed that in future, regular warnings about cosmic radiation might be given to airline crews and the public.

"It is early days yet [in terms of scientific research]," he said. "As time goes on, people will become more and more concerned."

A spokeswoman for Cathay Pacific said there was no quota on the number of New York flights cabin crew could serve on but she said rosters would be adjusted if cumulative radiation readings for staff approached the top end of safety limits.

Cathay has a passenger information section on its website that says the increased cancer risks brought on by exposure to cosmic radiation is minimal and one "most people would probably not consider unacceptable".

A person flying direct from Hong Kong to New York every two weeks for 20 years will increase their risk of death from cancer from 23 per cent to between 23.11 and 23.14 per cent, it says.

A CAD spokeswoman said a cosmic radiation monitoring programme for pilots and flight attendants had been introduced in August 2002 "in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation requirements and international practices".

She said the organisation does not require similar monitoring of passengers, as they are less exposed to cosmic radiation than crew members.
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Old March 27th, 2005, 09:15 AM   #320
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South China Morning Post
March 27, 2005
Flight attendants line up lawsuits after court ruling on pay rise
Simon Parry

Scores of Cathay Pacific flight attendants are lining up to file claims against the airline after a successful High Court challenge over the scrapping of automatic annual pay rises.

Three flight attendants will seek payouts ranging from $ 80,000 to $ 138,000 at Labour Tribunal hearings scheduled for April 13. Meanwhile, new cases are being prepared at a rate of six a day by the union representing cabin crew.

Following the airline's defeat in the High Court, up to 3,400 serving and retired flight attendants hired before 1998 may be entitled to claim the automatic annual increments Cathay abolished during the economic downturn.

Three litigants successfully argued in the Court of First Instance that Cathay was in breach of contract by abolishing the pay scales that existed when they were hired. The case was prepared and funded by the Flight Attendants Union.

The union said it had since sought talks with Cathay to find a way of settling the claims of other flight attendants affected by the ruling but the airline had not responded. "They have snubbed us. We have had no reply," said union leader Becky Kwan Siu-wa.

Ms Kwan said the union did not have enough staff to immediately process the claims of each flight attendant affected by the ruling.

"It is going to take forever so I hope the judge at the Labour Tribunal will do the first three cases and then ask Cathay to sort out the rest of the claims. If we have to take every case individually to the Labour Tribunal, it is going to be a waste of taxpayers' money."

In addition to the three cases scheduled for April 13, about a dozen more cases have been prepared to go before the Labour Tribunal, Ms Kwan said.

If the court decision stands, Cathay could be made to pay up to $ 350 million, according to union estimates, in back-pay to cabin crew hired under the old monthly contracts and denied annual increments.

However, a spokeswoman for Cathay Pacific said yesterday that its lawyers were still studying the court ruling delivered on March 4, and had not yet decided whether to challenge it in the Court of Appeal. An appeal could effectively put on hold any payouts to cabin crew claiming unpaid increments until the matter is settled.

Before the court case, Cathay offered each flight attendant a one-off "goodwill" payment of $ 6,000 to $ 11,000, according to rank, on top of pay rises totalling 7.5 per cent over the next three years.

The out-of-court offer - which would have cost the airline $ 24.3 million - was rejected by the union as "an insult".

Cathay claimed at the hearing that it had been forced to shelve the annual increments because of the economic downturn and increased competition.

It said it had looked after its staff throughout the downturn, paying bonuses and giving other benefits to flight attendants while refusing to cut jobs.
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