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Old February 14th, 2006, 04:22 PM   #621
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Cathay Pacific 2006 earnings seen up 27 pct - Merrill Lynch
14 February 2006

HONG KONG (AFX) - Merrill Lynch, which has kept its 'buy' call on Cathay Pacific Airways, said the airline is expected to report strong earnings growth this year, following weak 2005 results, on steady jet fuel prices and improved operating performance.

The investment house said it sees Cathay's 2006 net profit rising 27 pct to about 4.39 bln hkd from its 2005 net profit estimate of 3.46 bln.

The 2005 net profit estimate represents a 23 pct decline in the year-earlier earnings, it said.

Merrill Lynch, which has set a price target of 16.20 hkd for the stock, expects jet fuel prices to remain within the 60-80 usd per barrel range this year.

Its bullish forecast was supported by Cathay's strong January traffic data.

Cathay Pacific Airways reported yesterday it carried 1.39 mln passengers in January, 15 pct more than a year earlier due to the Lunar New Year holidays.

Its passenger load factor in January was 80.4 pct, an increase of 0.8 percentage points from a year earlier. The airline also carried 91,366 tons of cargo in January, a 21.9 pct rise over the same month in 2005. The cargo load factor was 61.9 pct.

'With demand remaining robust and fuel prices stabilizing we remain optimistic for a rebound in earnings in 2006,' Merrill Lynch said.

At today's close, Cathay Pacific was up 0.15 hkd or 1.08 pct at 14.10.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 04:46 PM   #622
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Cathay Pacific upgrades in-flight entertainment
15-02-2006
By Surin Murugiah

Cathay Pacific Airways has upgraded the in-flight entertainment for its premium passengers with up to 50 movies and more than 100 television shows available on demand.

The upgrade that features various additions and enhancements, including a new movie category “CX Choice” that showcases award-winning movies was introduced by the airline in February.

The expansion of its in-flight entertainment follows the launch of the StudioCX user interface in November last year.

Chinese-language subtitles have also been added to more of the popular programmes to appeal to a wider range of passengers.

Among the highlights for February is a category of movies under the theme of "Almost Oscars" and popular television series such as "The Apprentice", "24" and "Lost".

Its country manager for Malaysia and Brunei, Angela Liew said on Feb 15 that part of the airline’s exclusive offering of in-flight entertainment involves an expansion of choice by almost 50%.

“With a greatly enhanced viewing choice and some smart new features in our latest improvements, this is something that Cathay Pacific’s customers in Malaysia can expect from the airline of the year,” she said.
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Old February 17th, 2006, 04:57 PM   #623
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Cathay Pacific plans additional flights to Bali
17 February 2006
The Jakarta Post

Cathay Pacific may add four more flights to Bali between July and October this year, despite a drop in tourist arrivals to the island following the terrorist bombings last October.

The airline's country manager for Indonesia, Richard Reed, said despite the decreased number of tourists visiting Bali over the past few months, Cathay was optimistic passenger numbers to the island would increase in the coming months.

Cathay, which operates 95 aircraft globally, currently has seven flights a week to the island. Last year, the airline served 98,886 passengers to Bali.

"Although the increase in frequency is still a plan, our sales teams from Japan and Korea assure us that so far things are looking positive," he said, adding that Cathay would soon decide whether or not to go ahead with the additional flights.

Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik said earlier this week that before the bombings in October, the average number of foreign tourist arrivals in Bali was 5,000 a day.

Wacik said that between October last year through the end of January foreign tourist arrivals had fallen to about 3,000 per day, increasing slightly to about 3,600 a day in the first week of February.

Reed said Cathay was shooting for the title "Airline of the Year" in 2006 from Air Transport World (ATW) magazine. ATW , a U.S.-based publication, is one of the leading monthly magazines covering the global airline industry.

"Last month, we were 14 to 15 percent above our revenue target in Indonesia," he said, adding that Cathay also had 14 flights to Jakarta and four flights to Surabaya each week.

"We are currently the third-most profitable airline in the world despite being ranked 32nd in terms of most passengers carried," Reed said. The company earned a profit of US$566.2 million in 2004.

Cathay's major shareholders are Swire Pacific Limited and CITIC Pacific Limited, which are based in Hong Kong.
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Old February 17th, 2006, 06:11 PM   #624
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Cathay offices raided in price-fixing probes across globe
Air-cargo industry rocked as US and European authorities investigate surcharges for fuel and security
16 February 2006
South China Morning Post

Competition watchdog authorities raided the offices of Cathay Pacific Airways in Frankfurt, Los Angeles and San Francisco yesterday as the carrier was caught up in global probes into price fixing in the air-cargo industry.

The raids - part of a co-ordinated series of sweeps on leading airline offices in Asia, Europe and the United States - are understood to involve allegations of price fixing for various surcharges for fuel and security.

The European Commission, which with the US Department of Justice, is conducting the investigation, said in a statement: "The commission has reason to believe that the companies concerned may have violated [a European Union] treaty, which prohibits practices such as price fixing."

The commission declined to name the targets.

Asian carriers caught up in the investigation include Cathay, Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Japan Airlines.

European carriers include Air France-KLM, Lufthansa, British Airways and Luxembourg's Cargolux.

At least three US airlines are also being investigated or have been asked to assist the authorities.

"Cathay Pacific Airways is in co-operation with the European Commission and US Department of Justice in respect of their investigation into air-cargo operations," a spokesman said yesterday.

"Cathay is in strict compliance with the applicable legislation in all of its operating markets."

Employees in some of the offices targeted around the world were ordered not to touch their computers and to wait outside as security officials combed the premises for evidence.

One focus of attention is thought to be the fuel surcharge formula created by German carrier Lufthansa and widely used around the world.

The formula revisits aviation fuel prices every two weeks and adjusts the surcharges accordingly and is openly available on the carrier's website.

Many airlines adopted the formula at the request of their customers, who wanted a level of predictability when budgeting transport costs for moving goods to market each season.

Tacked on to freight rates, surcharges for items such as security and fuel typically add 25 per cent to the cost of moving between Asia and Europe and it is thought the probes may have been triggered by complaints from powerful retailers.

Senior executives convening in Shanghai yesterday for the International Air Transport Association's annual cargo conference were surprised by the quasi-military nature of some of the raids.

"Given that we all use Lufthansa's transparent [formula], why did they feel the need to co-ordinate raids with uniformed officers?" asked an executive from one of the carriers being probed.

"If they had suspicions about the formula, why didn't they just hand the matter over to the competition authorities to investigate?"

There was no confirmation last night that the investigation is focused solely on the surcharges levied by the industry, but one executive could see no alternative.

"We're not all colluding on price, I'll tell you that," said Stan Wraight, a vice-president at AirBridge Cargo, which is not under investigation. "It's so competitive right now, there is no price left to fix."
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Old February 18th, 2006, 01:43 AM   #625
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nazrey
Cathay Pacific upgrades in-flight entertainment
15-02-2006
By Surin Murugiah

Cathay Pacific Airways has upgraded the in-flight entertainment for its premium passengers with up to 50 movies and more than 100 television shows available on demand.
Screenshots from CX Website





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Old February 20th, 2006, 04:41 PM   #626
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Cathay incentive scheme prompts ethical questions
20 February 2006
South China Morning Post

It has often been a puzzle as to why, nine times out of 10, unless a specific airline is requested, I walk out of a local travel agent clasping a Cathay Pacific ticket. All airlines have incentive schemes for travel agents of course but these vary. In a nutshell, if Agent A sells enough tickets on one airline they get a "bonus" from the carrier.

But it seems Cathay operates a rather singular system in its home market. In dealing with travel agents, our flagship carrier has three priority routes - Sydney, London and Los Angeles. If an agent doesn't meet the target set by Cathay on these routes, it will be penalised across the board, a leading travel company explained.

For example, the agent could excel in selling 20 other destinations in the Cathay network but they would still get a penalty deduction from their entire incentive payment if they don't meet their target for even one of those three destinations. The incentive/penalty is split into First/Business and Economy class for each route which means six potential penalties.

The targets are very aggressive, so many agents can meet them only by selling as many Cathay tickets as possible. This practice raises key issues, not least that in Europe and elsewhere this would be regarded as blatant abuse of a national carrier's dominant position. Since Hong Kong effectively has no anti-competition laws, it is not illegal here. But is it ethical?

British Airways states that in line with industry standard, it pays local travel agents 7 per cent commission. "Clearly, our key route from Hong Kong is to London, so agents are incentivised on sales they make for us on this route," the airline said. BA would not comment on other airlines.

So two questions were emailed to Cathay. Firstly, though not illegal here, was their incentive scheme ethical? And secondly, did the company think its practices would be regarded internationally as appropriate business conduct for a national carrier?

In response, Cathay seemed reluctant to address either issue. A spokeswoman merely replied that: "Market competition among travel agents is very keen, so it is in their interests to offer customers the best deal." Passengers have other sales channels, she added, including online portals.

"We would like to believe that passengers choose to fly with Cathay Pacific because of our award-winning product and services, convenient flight frequencies and extensive connectivity worldwide."

No doubt, but that wasn't the question. A second email was dispatched, again asking for a comment on agent commissions. Back came the reply: "My previous e-mail is the answer to your questions." Indeed.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 12:46 AM   #627
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By ABC from a Hong Kong transport forum :

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Old February 22nd, 2006, 06:16 AM   #628
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Cathay cargo spreads its wings
Carrier plans new routes to boost yields as growing trade imbalances hit profits

22 February 2006
South China Morning Post

Cathay Pacific Airways has mapped out an aggressive growth plan for its freight business, adding destinations in Europe, the United States and India.

The airline, which may soon build cargo-handling facilities in Hong Kong and the US, will add five newly converted freighters to its fleet in the next two years, kick-starting a longer-term goal to be "the leading air cargo carrier between Asia and the world", according to director Ron Mathison.

"Given our proximity [to China] and the shift in manufacturing from the US and the European Union to lower-cost countries in Asia, including China, we have a tremendous opportunity for growth," Mr Mathison said. "We will not be chasing the No1 spot just for the sake of it. But given the size of that market, there is no reason why we should not be much bigger than we are."

Cathay, the world's sixth-biggest scheduled freight carrier, generated $11.4 billion in sales from its cargo division in 2004. It will report last year's earnings on March 8.

It is currently caught up in a global investigation into alleged price-fixing by most of the world's top cargo airlines.

Mr Mathison would not comment on the investigation, but speculation yesterday continued to focus on an EU-based fuel surcharge formula unilaterally applied by airlines contesting a share of the $400 billion industry.

According to British media reports, investigators are also looking for evidence that airlines have exploited the US-driven "war on terror" to artificially inflate the price of transporting goods by air through a series of war-risk surcharges.

While Cathay expects to expand its freight capacity by almost 9 per cent this year, Mr Mathison said it would be a "year of consolidation" as the new freighters replace less fuel-efficient leased planes.

Next year, cargo capacity is expected to grow 12.4 per cent after three more freighters join Cathay's fleet from its associate engineering facility in Xiamen, and in 2008 the carrier's expansion plans will turn in part to Europe.

"Geographically, we will be looking for one more point in each of southern, eastern and northern Europe to capitalise on growth in some of those secondary markets," he said. "We also have India in our sights."

Cathay believes flying direct to selected secondary markets will help it defy growing trade imbalances. Exports at the airport's biggest terminal last year outstripped imports 2.03 to 1, and the disparity continues to widen. The growing imbalance is eroding yields, the average revenue for flying a tonne of cargo one kilometre.

By developing secondary destinations in the EU and the US, Cathay will become more competitive in its key markets, boosting volumes flown on the leg back to Asia.

Airlines can also boost profitability by cutting costs. But more than a year into the highest fuel prices in history, most are hard-pressed to find more fat to trim.

The narrowing search saw Mr Mathison late last year revisit Cathay's long-held policy of outsourcing global cargo handling, the biggest freight cost after fuel.

In many respects, Cathay, which moved 1.12 million tonnes of cargo last year, became a victim of its own success. Very few handlers at any airport have the capacity to handle the kind of volume Cathay generates, making it very difficult for it to negotiate cheaper rates.

"That issue is raising its head in many places and as a result we are reviewing our whole approach to self-handling," Mr Mathison said. "We are probably more outsourced in that regard than any other major cargo airline."

Whatever challenges lie ahead for Cathay and the rest of the industry, Mr Mathison does not expect an erosion of Hong Kong's status as South China's premier cargo hub any time soon, as some bearish prognosticators are warning.

He turned more than a few heads in Shanghai last week at the biennial Airfreight Asia conference when he said Hong Kong would remain ahead of Guangzhou and Shenzhen in volume terms until well past 2020.

"I am not in the camp that thinks Hong Kong will lose a lot of cargo to Guangzhou," he told the Post. "That is not to say we are complacent, we're not. It is not to say we shouldn't be investing, or introducing new services and improving what we offer - we should.

"It's just that I believe that Hong Kong's advantage in terms of the network, the quality of services - the controls on cargo damage and pilferage, the terminals' shorter turnaround and dwell times, the productivity, the work ethic, the business-friendly customs environment - all that combined makes us extra competitive."
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 11:39 AM   #629
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"In many respects, Cathay, which moved 1.12 million tonnes of cargo last year, became a victim of its own success. Very few handlers at any airport have the capacity to handle the kind of volume Cathay generates, making it very difficult for it to negotiate cheaper rates."

When an airline is the biggest client of a certain cargo handling facilities, wouldn't the airline get a cheaper price than other carriers??
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 05:50 PM   #630
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent
"In many respects, Cathay, which moved 1.12 million tonnes of cargo last year, became a victim of its own success. Very few handlers at any airport have the capacity to handle the kind of volume Cathay generates, making it very difficult for it to negotiate cheaper rates."

When an airline is the biggest client of a certain cargo handling facilities, wouldn't the airline get a cheaper price than other carriers??
I guess the rationale could be since nobody else at the airport can handle Cathay's volumes, they have no choice but to pay a higher price if the cargo handler insists since there is no competition. It's some sort of a reverse monopoly on the supplier side.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 07:26 AM   #631
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22 February 2006
Corporate Press Release
Cathay Pacific welcomes budget speech principles given by Financial Secretary

Cathay Pacific Airways today welcomed and strongly supports the financial policy principles expressed by Henry Tang, Financial Secretary of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, in his Budget Speech "Market Leads, Government Facilitates".

The airline welcomes the Government's business facilitation measures to cut red tape and streamline procedures, therefore reducing the cost of doing business in Hong Kong and enhancing our competitive edge.

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen agrees with the Financial Secretary that the best foundation for business is to maintain an orderly market, a level playing field, and a favorable business environment that will enable Hong Kong companies to compete efficiently in global markets.

On growth opportunities, Cathay Pacific concurs with Mr. Tang that the Mainland has become the economic engine of the Asia-Pacific region, and that Hong Kong should identify those of its own strengths which can complement the motherland's development.

Mr. Chen said: "We fully agree with the Financial Secretary that this will be the key to the future of Hong Kong and the airline will fully support the Government's efforts to facilitate the use of Hong Kong as a gateway to the international market by Mainland enterprises."
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Old March 1st, 2006, 06:27 PM   #632
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Cathay's All Asia Pass adds 3 more cities
The New York Times
28 February 2006

Cathay Pacific has introduced a new All Asia Pass that allows travelers to visit up to 18 Asian cities, including three new ones. The price for the passes starts at $1,499, an increase of $200 from last year, but now the pass includes Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The pass includes a round trip economy ticket to Hong Kong from either New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles and is valid for 21 consecutive days of travel.

Bookings must be made 30 days in advance. Travelers who register online as a Cathay Pacific CyberTraveler before booking can get a $200 discount. More information can be found at the airline's Web site: www.cathaypacific.com .
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Old March 4th, 2006, 06:14 AM   #633
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Cathay Pacific promotes HK business ties with Europe

HONG KONG, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Cathay Pacific Airways is further promoting trade and business connections between Hong Kong and Europe by honoring three leading British companies for their achievements and dynamism in developing Hong Kong and Chinese mainland trade in the first British Cathay Pacific Awards.

According to a press release from the company, Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen made presentations to Rolls-Royce, Scientific Generics/SGAI Tech and Arup at a ceremony attended by leading British business figures on Thursday in London.

"Cathay Pacific has for more than 25 years forged connections between Hong Kong and Europe to strengthen Hong Kong's position as the gateway to the Chinese mainland and build linkages to the Pearl River Delta," Chen said.

Chen added "Cathay Pacific is committed to enhancing these connections through building strong air bridges between Europe and the Chinese mainland via our home base.

The Cathay Pacific Awards in Britain, honoring three British businesses for their achievements and dynamism in Hong Kong and Chinese mainland trade, further underline our commitment to continue to serve, promote and grow with Hong Kong."

Cathay Pacific operated its first flight between Hong Kong and London on July 16, 1980 and now offers more flights between Hong Kong and Europe than any other carriers, including 39 weekly passenger and freighter services to Britain. The airline has recently been named "Airline of the Year 2006" by Air Transport World magazine.
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Old March 6th, 2006, 05:12 AM   #634
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I created this in graphics class in school, we were suppose to make a mug design for a company with logo and sologan..
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Old March 6th, 2006, 05:52 PM   #635
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HK Cathay, Swire May Report Fall In 2005 Core Net Profit
6 March 2006

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (0293.HK) is expected to report an 18% fall in 2005 net profit due to surging fuel prices, despite strong growth in both passenger and cargo demand throughout its network, analysts said.

The airline's parent, conglomerate Swire Pacific Ltd. (0019.HK), will also likely post a slight decline in its core net profit - excluding one-off gains - as a result of the lower contributions from Cathay.

The average estimate of 13 analysts polled by Thomson Financial put Cathay's 2005 net profit at HK$3.61 billion, down from HK$4.42 billion in the previous year. The profit forecasts range between HK$3.07 billion and HK$4.11 billion.

Swire, which has a 46% stake in Hong Kong's biggest airline, could post a net profit of HK$9.53 billion, up 46% from HK$6.54 billion the previous year, based on the average estimate of 11 analysts polled by Thomson Financial. But that figure was likely lifted by one-off gains from a port disposal and revaluation of investment properties.

Cathay Pacific is scheduled to report its earnings Wednesday, while Swire is expected to release its full year results Thursday.

A decline in Cathay's net profit wouldn't come as a surprise.

The carrier recorded a 6% fall in first half net profit to HK$1.67 billion, from HK$1.77 billion in the year-earlier period.

And Cathay warned that the second half of 2005 could be worse than the first, given that fuel costs remained high.

The average price of Cathay's jet fuel rose to US$65 a barrel during the six months, up from US$46. For the full year, the average fuel price amounted to US$67.9 a barrel, up from US$47.5, according to research data from Deutsche Bank.

'The surging price of fuel will cause a decline in Cathay's earnings last year, despite good growth in both passenger and cargo traffic,' said Samson Man, an analyst at Core Pacific-Yamaichi International. 'Fuel now accounts for about a third of the company's total costs.'

For all of 2005, Cathay's total passenger traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometers, rose 14% to 65.11 billion RPKs. RPK is a measure of passenger sales volume obtained by multiplying the number of revenue-paying passengers carried on a flight by the distance traveled by each passenger.

The rise was attributable to an increase in capacity as Cathay added nine jets to its fleet of 96 aircraft and expanded its flight network, with a boost in the airline's frequencies to major gateways such as London, Sydney and Los Angeles.

Similarly, cargo traffic also surged on increased frequencies and new destinations. Cathay's revenue cargo ton kilometers rose 10.2% to 6.62 billion RCTKs.

For this year, analysts expect a turnaround in Cathay's earnings as fuel prices stabilize. They also expect Cathay to launch passenger services on the lucrative Hong Kong-Shanghai route, although that would be subject to a new aviation deal between Hong Kong and mainland China.

'Although fuel prices will remain high this year at around US$60 a barrel, the level is expected to remain steady, unlike last year's,' said Core Pacific's Man.

He forecasts a net profit of HK$4.20 billion in 2006, up 20% from this year's estimate of HK$3.50 billion.

Deutsche Bank said it expects Cathay will start flying passengers to Shanghai and increase its services to Beijing and Xiamen.

Those new opportunities in China 'should provide Cathay with the much needed new growth driver and network synergies,' Deutsche Bank said, adding that it expects the airline to post a net profit of HK$3.83 billion this year.

Swire's Profits Boosted By Port Sale, Ppty Revaluation

Swire Pacific's net profit in 2005 will be helped by a HK$2.3 billion one-off gain from the sale of Swire's 17.6% stake in Hong Kong container terminal operator Modern Terminals Ltd. last August.

The conglomerate, which owns some of the city's most prominent shopping centers and office complexes, recorded a further boost in its earnings after booking property revaluation gains of HK$4.58 billion in the first half as a result of new accounting standards.

Analysts said positive surprises could come from more property revaluation gains in the second half.

Stripping out one-off items, analysts expect core profit for the blue-chip company to fall 2%, mainly whittled by lower contributions from Cathay. Swire is expected to post an underlying net profit of HK$6.39 billion, down from HK$6.54 billion, based on the average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.

Mark Simpson, an analyst at Macquarie Research, expects Swire to earn an underlying net profit of HK$6.8 billion, at the high end of the range of forecasts.

'We're more bullish than the market in terms of rental income,' Simpson said.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 05:22 PM   #636
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Cathay Pacific Annual Net Profit Falls
8 March 2006

HONG KONG (AP) - Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Hong Kong's leading carrier, said Wednesday its 2005 net profit fell 25 percent from a year earlier as surging jet fuel prices offset strong growth in passenger demand.

Net profit for the year totaled 3.3 billion Hong Kong dollars ($425 million), down from 4.42 billion Hong Kong dollars in 2004. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Financial had put the company's 2005 net profit at 3.61 billion Hong Kong dollars ($465 million).

Revenue rose to 50.91 billion Hong Kong dollars ($6.56 billion) from $42.76 billion Hong Kong dollars on strong passenger demand. Cathay's total passenger traffic rose 14 percent to 65.11 billion revenue passenger kilometers -- a measure of passenger sales volume.

But earnings were hit by soaring fuel costs. The carrier said during the year its fuel costs rose 67 percent to 15.59 billion Hong Kong dollars ($2.01 billion), accounting for 33 percent of its operating expenses, which totaled 46.77 billion Hong Kong dollars.

Cathay said fuel prices now account for about a third of its total costs, surpassing the amount it pays in staff wages. It said passenger and cargo fuel surcharges only partially offset this additional cost.

During the year, the airline added nine jets to its fleet of 96 aircraft and expanded its flight network, boosting its frequencies to major gateways such as London, Sydney and Los Angeles.

The airline recommended a final dividend of 28 Hong Kong cents, down from 45 Hong Kong cents the previous year.

Cathay hopes to begin passenger flights on the lucrative Hong Kong-Shanghai route later this year. It expects strong passenger demand to underpin growth for 2006.

But Cathay warned that fuel prices will continue to put pressure on its earnings.

"Demand was strong in 2005 and we remain optimistic about our future even though our 2006 results are likely to remain heavily dependent on fuel prices," said Chairman Christopher Pratt.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 06:12 AM   #637
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Cathay wants own cargo hub
New chairman confirms plan to build terminal as surge in operating costs erodes carrier's earnings by 25.3pc to $3.2b

9 March 2006
South China Morning Post

Cathay Pacific Airways has applied to build and operate its own air cargo terminal at the Hong Kong airport, according to newly appointed chairman Christopher Pratt.

Mr Pratt confirmed speculation that a facility dedicated to its freight business was being planned as the airline redoubles efforts to cut costs across the business.

"Yes, we want [a dedicated cargo facility]. We believe Hong Kong needs one and we have made those views known to the Airport Authority," Mr Pratt said at his inaugural results briefing yesterday. "We need to get our costs down."

A steep increase in operating costs saw Cathay's earnings fall a comparative 25.3 per cent last year to $3.29 billion, well below analysts' forecasts despite a 19 per cent rise in sales.

An average of 10 analysts polled this week forecast net profit to drop 17.1 per cent to $3.66 billion. Cathay spent $6.26 billion more on fuel as prices soared during a year when it had pre-bought just 15 per cent of its expected jet fuel needs.

"The results are disappointing," said Peter Negline, the head of regional transport research at JP Morgan. "While high oil prices hit the airline hard, this should not distract us from the adverse impact competition is having on the business, not to mention a sharp drop in contributions from Dragonair and higher tax charges. Unfortunately, we see the future containing more of the same."

Cathay offered a final dividend of 28 cents per share, against 45 cents a year earlier. The full-year payout dropped to 48 cents from 65 cents in 2004.

Overall, demand for business and leisure travel as well as cargo transport remained strong, with passenger sales rising 14.6 per cent to $30.27 billion and cargo sales up 12.7 per cent to $12.85 billion.

Mr Pratt, who remained positive about the results, blamed fuel for Cathay's disappointing performance from a profit perspective.

"In the circumstances, it is a credible result. Our business is in very good shape. Fuel was a severe tax last year. At these levels, the degree of volatility will continue to be a challenge this year," he said.

The results are destined for unflattering comparisons with regional rival Singapore Airlines which last month posted a 15 per cent drop in third-quarter profit.

"It is worth highlighting that in the second half, Cathay's [earnings before interest and tax] fell 33 per cent while SIA's only declined 4 per cent," Mr Negline said.

Financial controller Robert Atkinson said Cathay this year had "a little more than doubled" last year's fuel hedge position. But while the hedge's quantity had grown, its quality might weaken by a shift from buying straight fuel options to "derivate structures", he said. "The pay-off may not be as great but the downside risk of prices falling is not as great either," he said.

Cathay's performance cancelled its staff profit-sharing scheme this year - margins fell below the 7.5 per cent trigger level - a development that added $800 million to the bottom line. But that was countered by a $1.26 billion jump in maintenance, aircraft depreciation and leasing costs.

Overall, operating costs grew $9.25 billion last year, despite a 1.9 per cent fall in non-fuel costs.

People close to the talks said Cathay, which moved 1.1 million tonnes of freight last year, had initially proposed building a cargo facility at the airport capable of handling two million tonnes a year, built in phases and operational by 2009.
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Old March 11th, 2006, 01:49 AM   #638
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Hong Kong Cathay Pacific says has no immediate plans to change Dragonair stake
8 March 2006

HONG KONG (AFX) - Cathay Pacific Airways said it has no urgent need to change its stake in Hong Kong DragonAir, company chairman Christoper Pratt said.

'We have no immediate plans to change our stake in DragonAir,' he said, in response to a question on whether Cathay plans to increase its stake in DragonAir.

Cathay holds a 17.79 pct stake in DragonAir, while its controlling shareholder Swire Pacific Ltd owns 7.71 pct.

'We are always in talks with airlines in China including DragonAir on further improving services,' he added.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 02:25 AM   #639
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Good looks won't always get you a high-flying job, but they sure help
14 March 2006
South China Morning Post

Robert Chan Pok-yung, 76, was one of Cathay Pacific's first male cabin attendants and he believes his good looks helped him get the job.

He was having tea at the Peninsula Hotel in 1956 when he was spotted by the airline's recruiters.

The chance encounter led to a 29-year career with the airline and yesterday he was one of three generations of attendants who recalled their experiences to mark Cathay's 60th anniversary.

From 3,000 passengers in the first year to more than 15.4 million last year, Cathay has carried more than 200 million passengers, almost 30 times Hong Kong's population, since its inception.

Mr Chan's first day on the job almost ended in tears.

"My English was limited and I hadn't had any professional training," he said. "I kept on praying, hoping to get courage from God during my first cabin service."

Despite his efforts, he couldn't get passengers to watch the life-jacket demonstration and was in tears when a senior staff member gave him a hug and words of encouragement.

After that he spoke up, won the passengers' respect and from then on his confidence increased gradually.

"At that time, one plane usually accommodated 28 passengers, who were either government officials or businessmen from rich families and I built a very good relationship with them," the retiree said.

Henry Chen Hon-lun's father was the first male cabin attendant and worked for Cathay for 33 years.

"I said to myself that I would break my dad's record, and I did," said Mr Chen, who started as an attendant 36 years ago in 1970 and is now training manager. Unlike Mr Chan, he had five weeks' training - almost as much as present recruits, who receive six.

In the 1970s, the airline had about 300 flight attendants - compared with the present 7,000, 11 per cent of whom are men.

Deborah Leung Pik-fan, the "baby" of the three with 23 years' service, said that although flying was now commonplace compared to the earlier years, "it doesn't mean passengers have lowered their requirements".

Ms Leung, an in-flight services manager, said that with the company's expansion into the mainland, Mandarin lessons had become a key point in training.
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Old March 15th, 2006, 01:44 AM   #640
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13 March 2006
Corporate Press Release
Cathay Pacific releases February 2006 Traffic Figures

Cathay Pacific today released traffic figures for February 2006 that show passenger numbers increased over the same month last year, while cargo got off to a slow start following the Chinese New Year holiday.

The airline carried a total 1,263,435 passengers, a 9.1 percent rise over the same month last year. Demand to Europe and North America was strong, building on the extra capacity now in place to key destinations such as Los Angeles and London. The passenger load factor for the month was 77.1 percent, down 0.3 percentage points on the same month in 2005.

As with January, the shifting date of the Chinese New Year holiday makes a direct year-on-year comparison difficult. February’s passenger growth dipped marginally behind the increase in capacity, measured in terms of available seat kilometres, or ASKs, which was up by 9.6 percent. Yet over the first two months of the year the passenger growth of 12.1 percent was comfortably ahead of capacity growth of 10.5 percent.

The airline carried 86,705 tonnes of cargo in February, up 18.1 percent on the same month last year, ahead of a corresponding 5.4 percent increase in capacity, measured in terms of available cargo/mail tonne kilometres. February’s cargo load factor was 68 percent, reflecting continued directional imbalances as far more goods were shipped from Southern China through Hong Kong than were imported from markets such as the United States, Europe and Australia.

More passenger flights are planned. From April the airline will operate three non-stop flights each week to Penang. Three more weekly flights will operate to Paris and Frankfurt, taking both to 10 services a week. Four more weekly services will operate to Denpasar and two more to Cebu during the peak season, and another two weekly services will operate to Adelaide from June.

Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, Sales & Distribution Ian Shiu said: “Business in February was quite solid. Front-end traffic remained robust, though strong competition and aggressive pricing is depressing yield for sales in the back end of the aircraft. Currency movements resulting from the strong US dollar are also working against us.”

Cathay Pacific Director & General Manager Cargo Ron Mathison said: “The market saw a very slow recovery after Chinese New Year with orders for new stock coming in later than usual. A lingering uncertainty and nervousness regarding the trade imbalance is putting pressure on yields. While demand for exports out of China appears to be strong there is over-capacity on the return lanes from the US and Europe, resulting in further yield erosion.”
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