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Old November 13th, 2007, 02:09 PM   #1001
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Press Release

Cathay Pacific releases combined traffic figures for October 2007

13 November 2007


Cathay Pacific Airways today released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for October 2007 that show a healthy growth in both passenger numbers and cargo tonnage for the month.

In October the two airlines carried a total of 2,038,077 passengers, a rise of 6.8% on the same month last year. The passenger load factor climbed by 2.3 percentage points to 80.8% while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), was up 4.4%. For the year to date, the 3.0% increase in passenger numbers is ahead of a capacity rise of 1.8%

On the cargo side, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair between them carried a total of 153,549 tonnes of freight last month, a rise of 6.6% year on year. October's capacity was up 8.3%, while the cargo and mail load factor dipped by 1.0 percentage points to 68.8%. So far this year cargo tonnage has risen by 3.0% against a capacity rise of 6.9%.

Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, Sales & Distribution Ian Shiu said: "It was another high load factor in October and our passenger numbers were boosted by additional flights to destinations such as Melbourne and San Francisco. Front-end business, especially on long-haul routes, remained strong, as it has throughout 2007. Capacity is set to climb further in the coming months, with more new aircraft and further flight enhancements, but we expect passenger demand to remain high."

Cathay Pacific Director & General Manager Cargo Ron Mathison said: "October saw another healthy tonnage growth, boosted once again by demand out of Mainland China and heavy traffic on routes such as Australia and India. As we moved into the seasonal peak there were indications that we could see a big pickup in demand, though Northeast Asia remains a concern with yields still under considerable pressure."

http://www.cathaypacific.com/cpa/en_...0011d21c39____
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Old November 13th, 2007, 04:06 PM   #1002
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國泰航空(0293)否認提供空中博彩服務
11月 13日 星期二 08:25AM

英國《星期日鏡報》報道指出,多家航空公司計劃明年推出「空中賭場」,讓乘客旅途期間登入網上賭場賭博,並稱國泰航空 、英國航空和新加坡 航空都已簽署有關計劃,預料將有更多航空公司相繼跟隨。有關「空中賭場」服務將會由全球最大網上博彩公司888﹒com提供。

不過,國泰航空公司發言人否認有關報道,指公司沒有與任何網站於飛機上推行網上賭博。《信報》
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Old November 13th, 2007, 04:58 PM   #1003
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國泰擬開「空中賭場」
11月 12日 星期一 05:30AM
星島日報報道

從明年起,想打發時間的長途飛機乘客又多了一個消閒選擇,就是賭博娛樂,據報國泰航空、英國航空、新加坡航空三家公司,已率先加入「空中賭場」計畫。不過,在民航客機上「開賭局」,惹來反賭博團體強烈批評。

所謂「空中賭場」是讓乘客登入網上賭場,以真金白銀玩撲克牌、廿一點及輪盤等賭博遊戲,至於錢銀交易則透過信用卡進行。為賭民提供輔導的英國慈善團體Gamcare對此計畫猛烈批評。

一名發言人對英國《星期日鏡報》說,「空中賭場」明顯是吸引在機上呆坐多時但對賭博不反感的乘客,對那些原本沒有興趣賭博的乘客來說,是真正的危險,因為他們會被「空中賭場」吸引。發言人又表示,法例愈來愈寬鬆,只會令染上賭癮的人數增加。

選擇網上賭場服務

「空中賭場」服務將會由全球最大網上博彩公司888.com提供,這家公司每年已從英國人手上賺取十二億鎊(約一百九十五億港元)。在設有「空中賭場」的客機上,乘客只要安坐於座位上,透過眼前的小型電視便可選擇網上賭場服務,畫面顯示888.com的網頁,再透過信用卡下注,非常方便。

《星期日鏡報》稱,英國航空、新加坡航空及國泰航空已率先加入「空中賭場」計畫,其他航空公司料會相繼跟隨。

888.com的里維稱,「空中賭場」開設後,每天可在更多地方吸引更多人上網博彩。Gamcare則敦促888.com在賭注及賭博時間設上限。

機上「開賭」 憂難監管

據了解,由於科技不斷發展,所有航空公司將從明年開始,為乘客提供上網服務。

賭風監察聯盟召集人胡志偉認為,航空公司應持有「社會良心」,於民航機上「開賭」不應被鼓勵。

他認為,相對「賭船」而言,於民航機上開賭禍害會更大,「賭船乘客很清楚自己是想賭,但一些原本沒有賭錢動機的民航機乘客,卻可能由於坐在長途客機中途時『冇№做』,而光顧賭博服務,即使『輸身價』也是走不了,所以危險性是很大。」但他相信,基於法例所限,於民航機「開賭」或會是難以被監管。
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Old November 13th, 2007, 07:15 PM   #1004
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Old November 14th, 2007, 04:23 AM   #1005
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Beware of green muggers: Cathay
14 November 2007
The Australian

Its chief says the aviation industry has been caught flat-footed in Europe

THE Asia-Pacific aviation industry must move to prevent a European-style mugging by the environmental lobby or it will find itself drowning in a sea of green taxes, Cathay Pacific chief executive Tony Tyler has warned.

Mr Tyler, who also revealed Cathay would increase services to Australia by 25 per cent over the summer, identified climate change and rising fuel prices as the top two political issues that could disrupt and damage the industry.

He said there was little he could say about the relentless rise of jet fuel prices except that it was a growing nightmare for all airlines and at some point it would pose a threat to the global economy.

But the industry had been caught flat-footed in Europe and mugged by a green lobby that had both sincere members and others who did not ``seem to be quite on the planet that they're trying to save''.

He said the fact that aviation contributed about 2 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions -- a fraction of that emitted by other forms of transport -- seemed to be lost in a welter of bizarre claims about the industry's impact on climate change.

``And we can't let this same kind of nonsense cloud the issue -- if you'll pardon the pun -- in our part of the world,'' he told the National Aviation Press Club in Sydney.

``If we don't get this right, we'llfind ourselves drowning in green taxes that will go to government funding of all sorts of things but everything other than reducing the amount of C02 in the atmosphere.''

Mr Tyler, who was appointed chief executive of Cathay in July, said it was up to the industry to face up to its responsibilities and introduce effective measures to address its contribution to what could be a global crisis.

But it had to do it in a way that helped focus the debate in a more sensible manner and not just rely on special pleading for the aviation industry.

``We need to introduce some perspective on the role aviation plays in shaping and bettering our world,'' he said.

``Planet Earth is becoming a much more affluent and connected place through globalisation, and aviation is the wheel that drives that process.

``More and more people want to travel, not just on business but for pleasure, and surely they deserve to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

``It's labour that's increasingly lifting living standards around the world -- the boat's being lifted on a rising tide of prosperity. Let's not sink it.''

Describing Cathay's operations to Australia as ``a bloody good story'', Mr Tyler said the Hong Kong carrier would increase its services to its six local destinations from 56 flights a week to 71 over summer.

It would also introduce improved cabins to two of its daily Sydney flights by the end of this year and would have them in place on Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide services by the end of next year and on all flights by the first half of 2009.

``I have to say the services to Australia at the moment are going extremely well,'' he said. ``We are enormously pleased with the Australia operations and with the country's growing economic trade and cultural connections with mainland China. We can only see it growing further.''

The new Cathay chief also backed up Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon's recent comments dismissing the competitive threat posed to premium airlines by fast-growing low-cost carriers.

He agreed that airlines offering premium services would continue to thrive as the global aviation market expanded.

``Don't get me wrong, we're very cognisant of the fact that there are start-ups and no-frills airlines out there who are eyeing our business. And why not -- it's a big pie. All I can say is that it's a tough business and we don't intend to give them an inch.''
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Old November 14th, 2007, 02:45 PM   #1006
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B-KPA 777-300ER by billmf from a Hong Kong transport forum :











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Old November 14th, 2007, 04:35 PM   #1007
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By kevinfong316 from HKADB :

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Old November 15th, 2007, 03:42 AM   #1008
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《外資精點》花旗調低國泰盈利預測,目標價微降至25﹒2元
13 November 2007
經濟通新聞

花旗集團發表報告指,調低 國泰航空(0293)2007至09年每股盈利預測,降幅分別為3%至6%,主要是由於燃油成本上升、利息開支增加,以及購入新型飛機所帶來資本開支影響,目標價由25﹒9元,微降至25﹒2元,維持「買入」投資評級。

不過,花旗亦看好國泰前景,料未來三年每股盈利複合年增長率達19%,主要是由於航運需求強勁。(cy)

*編者按:本文只供參考之用,並不構成要約、招攬或邀請、誘使、任何不論種類或形

式之申述或訂立任何建議及推薦,讀者務請運用個人獨立思考能力自行作出

投資決定,如因相關建議招致損失,概與《經濟通》、編者及作者無涉。
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Old November 15th, 2007, 12:25 PM   #1009
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By Keithlee0302 from a Hong Kong discussion forum :

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr
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Old November 15th, 2007, 03:17 PM   #1010
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By west98765 from a Hong Kong discussion forum :





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Old November 15th, 2007, 03:41 PM   #1011
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By marymelo from a Hong Kong discussion forum :











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Old November 16th, 2007, 05:29 AM   #1012
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Cathay Pacific marketing manager advocates positive thinking
8 November 2007
Thai News Service

This, service-mindedness and an ability to build relationships are regarded by Yongyut Lujintanon - Bangkok sales and marketing manager for Cathay Pacific - as three key pillars in the relentlessly tough airline industry, The Nation reports.

Positive thinking is one of the keys to success, according to Yongyut Lujintanon, sales and marketing manager in Bangkok for Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific.

"If you want to succeed in the airline business, you need at least three pillars. These are service-mindedness, positive thinking and an ability to build relationships. Of these, thinking on the good side is probably the most important," says Yongyut, whose responsibilities cover both Thailand and Burma.

There was a time, he says, when employment for an airline demanded only an ability to speak English and a good-looking or attractive appearance. This is no longer good enough because both the business and its operations have changed. Not only has aviation become an industry of tough competition, but airline customers have become very clever in choosing what they really want. Moreover, advanced technology has helped the new generation of airline passengers to make travel decisions at times and under conditions that suit them.

"There is one thing that people might not consider when thinking about airlines: this business is one of confidence," Yongyut says.

He points out that Asian airlines have received many top awards because of the service-mindedness of Asian workers, whose dedication to their work and overall philosophy is better than those of Western workers. This service-mindedness comes from their cultural background and not as a duty imposed upon them by their employment. Moreover, he finds that Asians make better entrepreneurs.

"As we all know, we don't follow the rules as well as Western people. Although this might not be so smart, we are happy with our ways," he says, and he suggests that these attributes of the Asian character may be lifting regional airline services above simple "good service". An organisation's culture is never forgotten, he says.

Yongyut says a network of business relationships can help achieve success.

"For me, building relations with all parties is a necessity of the job. I have been making working relationships with colleagues, friends and the public for many years. I learn from these people and they can give me help when I ask for it," he says.

However, he advises an appropriate balance between work and leisure time to get the best out of life.

In referring to his experiences with Cathay Pacific, he recalls the Sars pandemic in 2003 and says it was the worst thing he has ever faced. The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome began in southern China and struck down more than 1,700 people in Hong Kong as its spread around the world. Almost 300 people died of the disease in Hong Kong alone. It inflicted huge damage on Cathay Pacific. Seen through Yongyut's eyes, Thai people stopped travelling to Hong Kong and Hong Kong businessmen stayed at home.

"Our cabin factor between Hong Kong and Bangkok plunged sharply. The number of passengers on the route fell from 300 to 400 per day to between 20 and 45. They only went for urgent or emergency business," Yongyut recalls.

The working environment in Cathay Pacific's Bangkok office was bad. There were no bookings, no sales and no income.

There were soon discussions between the airline's executives and management in Thailand. The Hong Kong executives gave an assurance that the problem was a temporary one, and strategies were formulated for recovery

The airline introduced various marketing activities and promotions as well as educating people about the Sars pandemic. Within five months, business had returned to 70 per cent of its old level and it recovered completely in 10 months.

At that time, the airline launched a campaign called "Visit Hong Kong Now". It offered travel packages at discounts of up to 80 per cent, for as little as Bt3,000 per person.

"It was the cheapest price ever offered for travel to Hong Kong and happened only once," Yongyut says.

"We learned [from the Sars outbreak] that a crisis always offers an opportunity. We learned the importance of teamwork."

Yongyut began working for Cathay Pacific after graduating in political science from Thammasat University. His first position was as a traffic officer at Don Mueang Airport. He was made a supervisor six years later and was then transferred to the sales and marketing department in the city office.

After working for the airline for 10 years, Yongyut resigned to joint KLM, the Dutch airline, also in sales and marketing. "I though I should learn more about the airline business from a European airline," he recalls.

However, Cathay Pacific persuaded him to return as its sales and marketing manager. The department is one of six key units, along with personnel, accounting, engineering, airport services and cargo.

Throughout his 22 years at Cathay Pacific, Yongyut has worked with 12 country managers.

" Cathay Pacific gave me a chance and knowledge and success. I enjoy working here," he says.

Yongyut, who holds a master's degree in business administration from Thammasat, enjoys reading in his spare time, mainly about politics, history and news.

He is also an adviser to the Thai Travel Agents Association, helping to improve the business performance of travel agencies.

On weekends, Yongyut goes back to school, but not as a student. He is an invited lecturer in the aviation curriculum at Rattana Bundit (RBAC) University.

He also spends time at a quiet place, the Yarnvessakawan Temple at Buddhamonthon, on Bangkok's western outskirts, to make merit.
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Old November 16th, 2007, 10:22 AM   #1013
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Brain Drain Looming
5 November 2007
Cape Times

SOUTH AFRICA’S aviation industry is under serious threat as major international airline companies embark on a vigorous recruitment drive to lure some of the country’s most skilled and experienced pilots and aviation technicians, according to the Airline Pilots Association of SA.


Associations president Tony Laubser said this was a “big concern” for them as this would leave the country without adequately skilled aviation personnel.

Laubser said “at least” 60 to 70 pilots will have left SA by February. This number would increase and could reach 1 000 in a few years. This would affect the charter flight industry, and other South African airlines.

“The first batch of resignations are already going in,” said Laubser.

As part of its restructuring plan, SA Airways (SAA) is planning to lay off 711 of its 11 000 workers this year by renegotiating salaries. If the plan fails, the national carrier said it would have to fire as many as 2 232 employees.

On SAA’s restructuring and the retrenching of pilots, Laubser said everything that has been reported was “mere speculation”.

“There’s nothing concrete. Everything is still under negotiation. It was said that about 225 pilots would be retrenched if certain savings could not be achieved. But that’s speculation. But what is of great concern to us is the number of qualified pilots leaving from all areas (not just SAA). It’s a mass exodus,” said Laubser.

He said most pilots were being lured to major airlines such as Emirates, Cathay Pacific and Qantas.

“ Cathay Pacific just did a roadshow (in SA) and they’re trying to recruit our pilots. Qantas has also started looking. This is a major, major threat to SA aviation. And the fact is when they leave they’re never coming back,” said Laubser. He attributed the exodus to better working conditions overseas.

He said Emirates was beefing up its freight division and has also ordered the most Airbus A380’s – the worlds largest commercial passenger aircraft.

“SAA should be expanding its operations. Emirates needs about 450 pilots for next year to meet their route growth. They have ordered 47 A380’s and they are the largest customer of Airbus. South Africa has exactly the skills they need.They need people to fly those aircraft. Basically they (pilots who leave) will be flying the competition back into SA. Does that make sense?” asked Laubser.

He said Africa was experiencing an 8 to 10% growth in air traffic, and this was projected to grow by about 9.6% every year.

“Where are we going to get crews to manage that growth? Aviation accident rates in Africa are 12 times higher than the rest of the world. If accidents start to increase what then? What impact is this going to have on the country?” asked Laubser.

A total of nine pilots resigned from SAA in the last three months.
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Old November 16th, 2007, 06:03 PM   #1014
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Cathay Pacific boosts services to Toronto and Auckland
16 November 2007
Press Release

Cathay Pacific today announced further enhancements to its schedule with the introduction of a direct non-stop service and extra flights to Toronto, Canada, and additional flights to Auckland in New Zealand.

From 1 January 2008, Cathay Pacific's service from Hong Kong to Toronto, currently routed through Anchorage, will become a daily non-stop flight. The introduction of the non-stop service will trim 2 hours 25 minutes off the current flying time. The flight will initially be operated by an Airbus A340-600 but from February the airline will progressively introduce its new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on the route featuring Cathay Pacific's new three-class long-haul product.

At the same time as launching the direct non-stop service, the airline will keep three weekly flights with a stopover in Anchorage, departing every Monday, Thursday and Saturday. This will take the number of flights to Toronto to 10 each week.

In order to match demand over the winter peak, from 1 December 2007 to 29 March 2008, Cathay Pacific will be operating a twice-daily service to Auckland. For the summer schedule, effective 30 March to 25 October 2008, the airline will operate 10 scheduled flights a week to the New Zealand city, which means three more flights will be added each week compared to the summer schedule in 2007.

The additional flights will enable Cathay Pacific to leverage on the significant growth in Mainland China visitors to New Zealand, connecting with its sister carrier Dragonair's extensive Mainland network through the Hong Kong hub.

Cathay Pacific Director Corporate Development Augustus Tang said: "The enhancements of our services to Toronto and Auckland will be a real boon for our customers. In particular, passengers to and from Toronto will welcome the new non-stop service and the impending introduction of our 777-300ER aircraft and innovative new inflight product on the route. Cathay Pacific will continue to enhance its products and services as part of its commitment to further building Hong Kong's position as one of the leading international aviation hubs."

The Toronto and Auckland enhancements come on top of recently enhanced services to Vancouver, New York, San Francisco, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Tokyo. Cathay Pacific is continuing to grow its fleet with a total of 48 aircraft due for delivery by 2012. Five of 30 new 777-300ERs on order will have joined the fleet by the end of 2007, all fitted with the new three-class long-haul product. The product is also being retrofitted onto the airline's existing long-haul fleet.

See below for full details of the Toronto and Auckland flight enhancements.

http://www.cathaypacific.com/cpa/en_...0011d21c39____
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Old November 16th, 2007, 10:08 PM   #1015
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CX is going very aggressive in the long haul market this winter season.
Vancouver, New York, San Fran, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Toronto, and Aukland.
Eight new direct flights from HK to wherever in just a few months.
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Old November 16th, 2007, 10:11 PM   #1016
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Cathay Pacific boosts services to Toronto and Auckland
16 November 2007
Press Release

Cathay Pacific today announced further enhancements to its schedule with the introduction of a direct non-stop service and extra flights to Toronto, Canada, and additional flights to Auckland in New Zealand.

From 1 January 2008, Cathay Pacific's service from Hong Kong to Toronto, currently routed through Anchorage, will become a daily non-stop flight. The introduction of the non-stop service will trim 2 hours 25 minutes off the current flying time. The flight will initially be operated by an Airbus A340-600 but from February the airline will progressively introduce its new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on the route featuring Cathay Pacific's new three-class long-haul product.

At the same time as launching the direct non-stop service, the airline will keep three weekly flights with a stopover in Anchorage, departing every Monday, Thursday and Saturday. This will take the number of flights to Toronto to 10 each week.
http://www.cathaypacific.com/cpa/en_...0011d21c39____
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Old November 17th, 2007, 05:57 AM   #1017
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Yep, as expected with the delivery of new long-haul aircraft.
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Old November 17th, 2007, 04:50 PM   #1018
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Cathay ground crew in overtime boycott
Hong Kong Standard
Saturday, November 17, 2007

More than 100 Cathay Pacific ground crew have started a three-day boycott of overtime work to protest at being moved to a smaller common room without proper facilities.

One of the crew members told The Standard the workers might decide on a second round of boycotts during the Christmas peak season if the airline continues to ignore their grievances.

Some workers decided on Friday not to eat out but to have their meals in the new facility, which can seat only 48, to emphasize the lack of space.

The action was not union organized but was a spontaneous action.

According to the crew member, who has worked at Cathay for more than 10 years, the company relocated the common room to a place of around 1,000 square feet at the beginning of the month. This was only about one-quarter the size of the original, which was situated at the other end of the airport, the lease of which had run out.

The airline did not seek their views beforehand. "There is no TV or sofa, only some tables and chairs with a basic pantry, a microwave and refrigerator," the worker said.

"It is not a common room for rest at all, simply a place to have meals like a canteen.

"The company is making a profit but is still short-changing the staff.

" It should provide workers with a better work environment like a cozy place for a break when we work overtime.

"What it has done has severely undermined staff morale," the worker said.

There was such a shortage of ground staff that some had to work double shifts or more than 100 extra hours a month, with a normal shift being about nine hours.

Cathay admitted it had received an anonymous fax complaining about the new common room but a spokeswoman said she believes it represents the views of a small group of workers.

She said flight operations are proceeding without a hitch.

The company said it is not aware of an increase in the number of ground crew refusing to work overtime on Friday.

"Every day there will be some workers who do not want to work overtime for personal reasons," she said.

Cathay said the original common room was a place for management to brief frontline staff and also for workers to rest.

Since the company now separates the briefings from the common room, the workers may have got the wrong impression they were being given less space, the spokeswoman said.

"There is a proper sofa, seats and tables. For the TVs, we are awaiting the approval of the landlord to arrange the antenna and the wiring."

About 1,000 of the 11,000 Cathay workers in Hong Kong are ground crew.

Ground staff are also considering taking industrial action to protest against a change in the medical policy that will require them to pay HK$50 to HK$100 per consultation from next year. Consultations are now free.

The spokeswoman said the new policy would better cover staff as the limits on claims will be higher.

Also the company will have to spend 10 percent more for staff medical expenses under the new arrangement.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 02:34 PM   #1019
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Cathay Pacific: Will Consider Any Plans By Air China For M&A
21 November 2007

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)-- Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (0293.HK) Chief Executive Tony Tyler said Wednesday the airline will favorably consider any proposal by Air China Ltd. (0753.HK) to acquire stakes in other Chinese carriers if it is asked to support such plans.

'We will have a good look at (the proposals) if suggested,' Tyler said at an aerospace industry luncheon. 'But absent of those requests, we are perfectly satisfied with the current setup.'

The airline's existing China strategy is to partner with 17.5%-owned Air China in further developing the Hong Kong and Beijing hubs, while wholly-owned unit Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Ltd. reaches over 20 Chinese cities.

Tyler declined to say whether the airline has been approached by Air China or its parent regarding further attempts to block Singapore Airlines Ltd. (C6L.SG) from buying a stake in China Eastern Airlines Corp. (CEA), before the Shanghai-based carrier's shareholders vote in December or January to ratify the agreement.

Cathay Pacific and China National Aviation Holding Co., aborted an attempt in September to acquire a stake in China Eastern. A person familiar with the situation said at the time Chinese regulators had blocked the plan from proceeding.

The person said the deal had been driven by China National Aviation Holding Co., and that Cathay Pacific would have played a very small part in the venture.

Had it gone through, the deal would have blocked Singapore Airlines Ltd.'s (C6L.SG) own agreement for a stake in the Chinese carrier.

Separately, Tyler said the rising fuel surcharges levied to passengers as a result of booming oil prices haven't damped demand.

'In the market like this, airlines have price power. That's how we can keep our heads up despite the very high fuel costs,' he said.

Tyler said earlier the airline was paying about US$110 a gallon for aviation fuel in the beginning of this month, up nearly 60% from US$70 a gallon at the start of this year.

Though the airline has hedged about 40% of its planned fuel use for this year, fuel surcharges are only able to offset about half of the increased costs, he said.
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 10:17 AM   #1020
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Cathay Looking At Westjet As Partner; 'Interline Deal'
22 November 2007
National Post

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. says the only thing stopping a strategic partnership with WestJet Airlines Ltd. is the limitations of the Calgary-based carriers current reservation system.

"There's no secret of the fact that we're interested in WestJet," said Philippe Lacamp, Cathay Pacific vice-president of Canada, at a luncheon in downtown Toronto yesterday. "Just as Air France are. Just as British Airways are. Really anyone in this market that you can think of will be."

The Hong Kong carrier is exploring the possibility of a so-called "interline deal" with WestJet, he said. Under such an agreement, WestJet would leverage its vast domestic network to fill Cathay's flights to Asia by bringing in passengers from smaller Canadian markets. In return, WestJet would get a boost from those coming into Canada and moving on to other North American cities.

Mr. Lacamp said Cathay knows the boost a strong domestic carrier can bring after it acquired the Chinese regional carrier Dragonair in June. That deal expanded its network in mainland China from two destinations -- Shanghai and Beijing -- to more than 35.

Mr. Lecamp said he hoped a strong Canadian partner could do the same here.

Cathay flew more than 500,000 passengers between Canada and Hong Kong last year. It estimates 25% of Asia-bound traffic from Toronto is carried out over U.S. hubs because of a lack of capacity here.

"This is an extremely important market and it's under-served," he said.

While Air Canada may be a better partner for Cathay's "full service, full frill" service, its partnership in the Star Alliance -- a rival airline group to Cathay's one world alliance -- would work against both their interests. "Clearly West-Jet is the only game in town," he said.

However, the limitations of WestJet's current Open Skies reservation system in providing seamless service for Cathay customers is holding back any such deal, Mr. Lacamp said. "[It] needs to be nothing short of full interline."

While the low-cost carrier is able to move a passenger's bag from its point of origin to its destination through a connecting hub without interruption, WestJet's current reservation system requires passengers themselves to check in and get another boarding pass at the connecting airport.

WestJet says its upgraded Open Skies system, which is expected to be completed in early 2008, will allow for the level of service Cathay is looking for, after which it will be in a position to forge some deals, including possibly signing up Cathay.

"When WestJet is ready for that, fantastic," Mr. Lacamp said.
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