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Old March 4th, 2008, 05:30 AM   #1081
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Pilot hailed, then flailed, for fly-by Cathay director praised low-fly stunt, before probe and sacking
2 March 2008
South China Morning Post

Pilot Ian Wilkinson flew Cathay Pacific's newest US$200 million Boeing airliner just a few metres off the ground at 515km/h literally under the nose of the company's chairman - but it would take days for the champagne to go flat on his ill-judged act.

When the flight touched down in Hong Kong, there were no signs that the stunt, performed shortly after takeoff from Seattle on January 31 with Cathay chairman Christopher Pratt on the flight deck, would earn Mr Wilkinson anything other than the praise of executives and the admiration of his fellow fliers.

Director of flight operations Nick Rhodes paid tribute to Mr Wilkinson in his weekly newsletter on February 1 and the respected chief pilot of Cathay's 777 fleet was pictured in the airline's in-house magazine, CX World, toasting the latest addition to the airline's fleet.

According to a chronology released to the Sunday Morning Post by the airline, it was only on February 4, four days after the incident, that photographs of the fly-by began to circulate in Cathay's head office in Hong Kong and some executives became uneasy.

"Cathay's corporate safety department raised concerns about the photographs to flight operations management and it was agreed they should conduct a fact-finding investigation," the airline said.

The department - which reports to Cathay chief executive Tony Tyler - began what was described as a detailed investigation, including analysis of flight data which enabled investigators to piece together a computerised simulation of the events of January 31 and to establish the precise dynamics of the unauthorised manoeuvre.

"During this period, the crew were also interviewed as part of the investigation and were removed from flying duties," the airline said.

The appearance of video and pictures of the fly-by on the internet is said to have added to the alarm among Cathay executives as the investigation progressed. "It made the airline look like cowboys," one management source said.

On February 18 the department's report was presented to flight operations officials.

"The pilots involved were immediately suspended from all duties and asked to attend a [disciplinary] hearing on February 19," the airline said.

The results - dismissal for Mr Wilkinson and a six-month suspension from training duties for co-pilot Ray Middleton - were communicated to the pilots two days later. Both have the right to appeal.

Cathay denies that the investigation was in any way triggered by the appearance of video and pictures of the fly-by on websites including YouTube, saying its own internal investigation was by then well under way.

Sources close to the investigation said Mr Pratt was unaware that the flight had not been authorised and did not complain about it. Nor did the man sitting next to him, Cathay's director of engineering, Christopher Gibbs, who is far more involved in the flying side than his chairman.

The same source said that when the pictures began circulating and the company realised it had a problem, many in flight operations insisted they had done nothing wrong.

"But they were overruled because, despite anything else, not acting would be damaging to the reputation of the company," the source said.

Some pilots writing on Fragrant Harbour, a gossip website for aviators, have accused Cathay of hypocrisy for firing Mr Wilkinson when Mr Pratt and other executives were present on the flight and aware of the manoeuvre.

But another senior Hong Kong-based pilot said: "These fly-bys used to be done for a wheeze but they are dangerous because however good the pilot thinks he is, he isn't trained for it and the planes aren't designed for it. Wilkinson was showing off."

Mr Wilkinson did not respond to calls for comment yesterday.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 07:46 AM   #1082
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Cathay Pacific's 2008 All Asia Pass Offers One Low Fare and New Features for Travel Throughout Exotic Asia
Roundtrip Airfares from San Francisco, Los Angeles or New York to Hong Kong with Connections to 23 Major Asian Destinations Starting from $1,099

SAN FRANCISCO, March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- From Bali to Bangkok, Tokyo, Hong Kong and beyond, travel to Asia is now even more easy and affordable with Cathay Pacific Airways' latest All Asia Pass offer. The leading international passenger and cargo airline launched the details of its popular annual promotion, providing travelers with a chance to visit Hong Kong and up to four additional destinations over 21 days starting at a roundtrip fare of $1,099. Additionally, Cathay Pacific launched the Eye Spy Asia Sweepstakes, which gives participants the chance to win an All Asia Pass.

With a reduced fare and added destinations that appeal to all tastes, the 2008 All Asia Pass means travelers from the U.S. can experience the rich culture and magnificence of Asia's cities like never before. From magnificent Hong Kong, tropical Bali, exotic Bangkok to legendary Tokyo, discover first- hand why Asia continues to be the most sought after region for travel. And this year, travelers can also enjoy a new level of comfort on the way there with Cathay Pacific's newly redesigned cabins featuring new seat designs and enhanced in-flight entertainment systems.

Cathay Pacific's All Asia Pass offers passengers roundtrip Economy Class travel between San Francisco, Los Angeles or New York to Hong Kong with up to 21 consecutive days of travel to your choice of up to four cities chosen from 23 Asian destinations. Destinations include Bangkok, Busan, Cebu, Denpasar, Fukuoka, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Jakarta, Kaohsiung, Karachi, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Nagoya, Osaka, Penang, Phuket, Phnom Penh, Sapporo, Seoul, Singapore, Surabaya, Taipei and Tokyo. The All Asia Pass airfare starts at $1,099 for travel to Hong Kong plus two cities, $1,399 for travel to Hong Kong plus three cities and $1,699 for travel to Hong Kong plus four cities.

Departure dates are February 25 through May 15 and August 28 through December 1. Summer travel and extension options up to 90 days are available for an additional fee. All Asia Pass travelers can also select from other U.S. gateways cities -- San Diego, Las Vegas, Denver, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh Durham, St. Louis, Tampa and Washington DC/Baltimore.

For those who crave additional destinations, Cathay Pacific's All Asia Pass now offers add-on destinations to make exploring China and other countries easier. Available cities include Beijing, Dehli, Dhaka, Shanghai, Mumbai and more.

With so many exciting locations to choose from, Cathay Pacific has partnered with the experts at Lonely Planet to bring All Asia Pass travelers useful travel information on selected destinations. Travelers can visit the All Asia Pass Insider pages at http://www.cathayusa.com/insider to plan itineraries, learn helpful tips, read traveler blogs and find out what not to miss at each destination.

From now until March 31, travelers can also go online for a chance to win two All Asia Passes in Cathay Pacific's Eye Spy Asia Sweepstakes. The sweepstakes, which includes an interactive online game related to the 24 destinations of the 2008 All Asia Pass, gives consumers an engaging way to explore some of Asia's top destinations even before boarding the plane there. More information and sweepstakes details can be found at http://www.cathayusa.com/eyespy .

All Asia Passes must be booked through a travel agent. Some restrictions apply and all travel must be completed by December 8, 2008. This offer is only valid for U.S. residents and travel must originate in the U.S. All prices are exclusive of applicable taxes.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 02:53 PM   #1083
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Cathay Pacific Press Release:
Cathay Pacific Announces 2007 Annual Results
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Old March 6th, 2008, 04:10 AM   #1084
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...will CX open MXP in the near future?
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Old March 8th, 2008, 09:29 PM   #1085
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Cathay Pacific profits jump 72%

Cathay 747-400 plane

Cathay Pacific warned that 2008 would be a tougher year

Cathay Pacific Airways has reported a 72% rise in profits for 2007, but says conditions will be harder in 2008.

Cathay reported a net profit of $901.9m (£454m) for 2007, higher than expected and helped by the weak dollar and sales at Air China, in which it owns 18%.

Including its Dragonair subsidiary, Cathay Pacific carried 23.35m passengers last year, a rise of 28.5%.

But the company said 2008 would be more difficult, because of high fuel prices and a slowdown in the global economy.

"Any substantial slowdown in world economic activity would pose risks to anticipated passenger and cargo volumes and revenue," chairman Christopher Pratt said.

Dragonair, which focuses on mainland China, was taken over by Cathay in September 2006. Last year was its first contribution to annual profits.

source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7278658.stm
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Old March 9th, 2008, 06:15 AM   #1086
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Hong Kong pilots under investigation for rough landing in Britain
08.03.08 07:27

( dpa ) - A pilot and co-pilot with Hong Kong airline Dragonair have been removed from flying duties after a Boeing 747-400 freighter plane damaged three of its four engines landing in Britain during high winds, the airline said Saturday.

The plane burst a tyre and its engines were badly damaged as it touched down at 1:27 am last Saturday on what was understood to have been a second attempt following one fly-around because of severe gusts.

An investigation has been launched into the accident which took place on a day of severe windstorms across Europe. In another near- accident incident, a Lufthansa passaenger plane scraped a runway in Hamburg before another fly-around.

Neither the captain nor the first officer on board the Dragonair jet was injured in the incident. The cowlings, or covers, of three of the Boeing's four engines were damaged.

The runway at Manchester airport was closed for almost an hour as debris from the accident was cleared away. The damage to the Boeing is expected to take weeks to repair.

A Dragonair spokeswoman stressed that the two pilots, understood to include a female captain, had not been formally suspended. She said it was "normal practice" for crew to be removed from duty after an accident to assist he investigation.

"Also, sometimes crew involved might experience stress from the incident and are in need of professional counselling prior to returning to flying duties," she said.

"Time is required to make a proper assessment. Depending on the situation, it may take up to two or even four weeks to complete the process."

The accident involved a flight from Dubai to Manchester operating on a Cathay Pacific freighter route wet-leased to Dragonair - meaning Cathay Pacific hired the plane and cockpit crew from Dragonair. Only the captain and co-pilot were on board the flight.The Dragonair spokeswoman said the airline was cooperating with British civil aviation officials as they investigated the accident. "As an investigation is under way, it would be premature to speculate over the cause," she said.

She added that Dragonair expected the aircraft, which is undergoing repairs in Manchester, to be back in service by the third week of March.

A senior pilot with Hong Kong's other main airline Cathay Pacific was sacked for swooping over a runway of a Boeing plant in Seattle on the maiden flight of a new Boeing 777 on January 31st.

The airline's chairman Christopher Pratt was sitting in a jump seat on the flight deck at the time of the incident, but did not realise the manoeuvre was unauthorized, the airline said.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 07:01 PM   #1087
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Cathay Pacific to expand freighter network with new services to Hanoi and Dhaka
Press Release
10 March 2008

Cathay Pacific Airways today announced that it will add the cities of Hanoi in Vietnam and Dhaka in Bangladesh to its freighter network with effect from 11 March.

The new flights will be operated by a B747-200F flying on a Hong Kong – Hanoi – Dhaka – Hong Kong routing every Tuesday and Thursday. The service will give its customers access to the burgeoning markets of these two fast-developing countries, at the same time helping to boost Hong Kong’s position as one of the premier international airfreight hubs.

Cathay Pacific Director & General Manager Cargo Ron Mathison said: “We are pleased to be able to expand our freighter services to Hanoi and Dhaka, giving our customers the opportunity to connect from these two increasingly important markets to and from our worldwide network. This latest enhancement of our freighter services helps to highlight our commitment to further developing the Hong Kong hub.”

Cathay Pacific will continue to build its freighter network and strengthen existing services in 2008. The airline recently increased its freighter services to Dallas and Atlanta in the United States and Mumbai and Delhi in India. More new destinations are in the pipeline for later in the year.

With the addition of Hanoi and Dhaka, Cathay Pacific and its sister carrier Dragonair will together carry cargo to a total of 80 destinations in Asia, the Middle East, Australasia, Europe and North America. The airlines’ freighters will serve 34 destinations.

Cathay Pacific will continue to grow its wide-body freighter fleet and from May this year will take delivery of the first of six new Boeing 747-400ERF “Extended Range Freighters”. It also has 10 of the advanced, fuel-efficient Boeing 747-8F freighters on firm order with delivery commencing in 2009. At the same time Cathay Pacific and Dragonair will begin a phased withdrawal of their older Boeing 747-200F/300F “Classic” freighters starting from the end of March.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 06:20 AM   #1088
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Cathay Pacific to move to new Terminal 3 in Beijing
12 March 2008
Press Release

Cathay Pacific Airways announced today it will move its operations in Beijing to the new Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital International Airport at the end of the month, providing improved facilities for passengers on its flights to and from Hong Kong.

The airline will switch to the new terminal commencing 26 March, with passengers on its daily flight checking in at aisle C. The airline will have access to a greater number of check-in counters to provide a smoother and hassle free travel experience for passengers flying to Hong Kong.

Another benefit will be the opening of a new lounge - the Dragonair and Cathay Pacific Lounge - for First and Business Class passengers of both airlines and Silver members or above of the Marco Polo Club frequent flyer programme. The lounge will adopt the best features of the two airlines’ lounges in terms of design and layout.

Cathay Pacific Director Service Delivery Quince Chong said: “The new Terminal 3 in Beijing is a state-of-the-art facility on a par with the best terminals in the world. We are excited about being able to operate from the new terminal and is in the process to further improve the service we offer to our passengers. The move will also bring us closer to our sister airline Dragonair and the other carriers in the <b>one</b>world alliance that fly into Beijing.”

As it will take longer for passengers to go from check-in to boarding gate due to the sheer size of the terminal, Cathay Pacific’s check-in counters will close 60 minutes before departure, instead of the usual 40 minutes.

The move to the new terminal takes place in two stages. A number of airlines, including some oneworld carriers, relocated on 29 February while the rest, including Dragonair and Cathay Pacific, will move operations with effect from 26 March.


*********


Dragonair Moves to Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital International Airport
Press Release
12 March 2008

Dragonair is advising passengers that it will move its operation to the new Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital International Airport on Wednesday, March 26, 2008. From that date, all the airline’s flights between Hong Kong and Beijing will arrive and depart from Terminal 3.

“We are delighted to move our operation to the new terminal at Beijing Capital International Airport,” said Dragonair Chief Executive Officer Kenny Tang. “The opening of Terminal 3 will result in a better travel experience for our passengers and help to accommodate the surge in traffic to and from China’s capital city.”

Mr Tang said that facilities in the new terminal will be much improved and will enable Dragonair to offer an even higher quality of service. In particular there will be more check-in counters – located in aisle C at the terminal - available to Dragonair passengers to improve the flow and help avoid bottlenecks during peak periods.

Passengers travelling in First or Business Class on Dragonair or sister airline Cathay Pacific will have access to a brand new lounge, the Dragonair and Cathay Pacific Lounge, that will feature two food and drink venues, a wide selection of Western and Chinese cuisines that will be changed on a regular basis, wireless Internet access, workstations, large flat-screen TVs featuring news and sports coverage, and specially trained lounge staff. Silver-status or above members of the Marco Polo Club can also enjoy the lounge facilities.

Due to the sheer size of the new Beijing terminal, passengers are advised that check-in counters will close 60 minutes before departure, rather than 40 minutes as previously, to allow sufficient time for everyone to get to their respective boarding gates.

The move to the new terminal is taking place in two stages. A number of airlines, including some oneworld carriers, relocated on February 29 while the rest, including Dragonair and Cathay Pacific, will move operations with effect from March 26. Passengers should note that if any flights due to depart or land before 00:00 on the moving dates are delayed, their operation will continue at Terminal 2 unless otherwise advised by the individual airline.

For the convenience of the travelling public and to assist the smooth operation of airlines, passengers are reminded to arrive at the airport early during the transition period, allowing plenty of time to familiarise themselves with facilities in the new Terminal 3.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 05:55 AM   #1089
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Pilot finds that flight stunts aren't so funny in new era
6 March 2008
International Herald Tribune

HONG KONG -- Poor judgment as a flyer, maybe. Poor judgment of the mood of his bosses, definitely.

The Cathay Pacific pilot Ian Wilkinson, 55, is taking some time off in an undisclosed location and refuses to talk to the media after he was dismissed for making a low-level airfield flyby in January that the airline says was unauthorized.

On Jan. 30, Wilkinson, the captain and the airline's chief pilot, was dispatched to Seattle to collect one of the airline's new flagship planes and bring it to Hong Kong, with dozens of crew members and special guests to celebrate the voyage.

But once he cleared the runway in the new long-range Boeing 777-300 ER, he banked after takeoff, made a return approach to the airstrip, came in very low and climbed away again.

A video of the stunt has managed to find its way onto YouTube and has created chatter on the Web and made front-page headlines in Hong Kong.

The flyby, although not frequently performed, has been something of an aviation tradition - a kind of salute to the manufacturers and those on the ground.

Cathay has in the past authorized such moves only at air shows. Wilkinson has been fired.

It was later reported that seated behind Wilkinson was the chairman of the airline, Christopher Pratt.

At the announcement of Cathay's annual financial results Wednesday, Pratt was guarded about his own reactions to the stunt and the appropriateness of Wilkinson's firing.

''It was an interesting experience,'' he said. ''It was a regrettable and unfortunate incident. We have disciplinary procedures for it and they have happened.'' But did he enjoy it? ''It was interesting,'' Pratt said with a wide grin.

On the day, Pratt was said to have, indeed, enjoyed the maneuver. There were about 69 crew members and special invited guests on the plane, most of whom did not even notice it had happened, said a Cathay executive on board, who requested anonymity because an investigation was continuing.

''I thought, 'This is pretty cool,' '' said the executive, who was on the plane, adding: ''It was evident we were pretty close to the ground.'' There is no suggestion that Pratt had agreed to the flyby or knew it had not been authorized, the Cathay executive said.

''On an aircraft, the pilot is in absolute control and the idea of telling a pilot what to do, whether you are the chairman or not, is a complete no-no. It's bizarre,'' he said. ''He would have complete confidence in the pilot.''

How dangerous the act was has been up for debate on airline pilot blogs and in the media for the past two weeks.

Cathay has not reached a firm conclusion on the issue because it is still investigating and has not released the flight data. There have been reports that the aircraft was 8.5 meters, or 28 feet, from the ground at its lowest altitude. A Cathay spokeswoman, Carolyn Leung, said she could not confirm flight data.

The dismissal of Wilkinson is not over the flyby itself - that is still under investigation - but over the fact that he had not gotten authorization from the general manager of operations, a stipulation of the flight manual, a Cathay official said. He had performed one other unauthorized flyby in 2001, although that went unnoticed by Cathay officials at the time, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing.

Wilkinson has two levels of appeal he can pursue to get reinstated, but John Findlay, secretary general of the Hong Kong Air Crew Officer's Association, said Wilkinson had not indicated whether he would appeal. Findlay, whose association represents Cathay pilots, agreed with the procedures for flybys, but refused to comment further.

Cathay has worked hard to build a reputation as one of Asia's best airlines. The 777-300 ER is going to be the mainstay of its long-haul fleet. It has ordered 30 of the $200 million jets and it does not want to take chances with such an investment. Leung, the Cathay spokeswoman, said the flyby in Seattle ''with staff and guests on board the delivery flight would never have been approved.''

But passengers do not have to worry that a Cathay flight to the United States will repeat the panache of a Boeing test pilot, Tex Johnson, who did a barrel role, upside down, in a prototype Boeing 707 many years back for an audience of airline executives. Afterward, Johnson got called by the boss.

''I said I was selling airplanes and explained it is a 'one G' maneuver and it's absolutely nonhazardous, but its very impressive,'' Johnson says in a video on an aviation Web site at www.aviationexplorer.com/707_roll_video . The boss replied: ''You know that and we know that, but let's not do it any more.''

Times have changed in the aviation business.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 01:27 PM   #1090
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Gov't Press Releases:
License Granted for Cathay Pacific to open routes from HK to Guiyang

License Granted for Cathay Pacific to open routes from HK to Cities in Vietnam, India and Europe
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 04:01 PM   #1091
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Cathay Pacific wins new cargo terminal franchise at HKIA
www.chinaview.cn 2008-03-18 20:40:32

HONG KONG, March 18 (Xinhua) -- The Board of Airport Authority Hong Kong awarded a franchise to building a new cargo terminal at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) to a subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways Limited here Tuesday.

According to the contract, Cathay Pacific Services Limited, a subsidiary of the parent airways, will design, construct and operate the 10-hectare new cargo terminal during the non-exclusive,20-year franchise.

The new terminal and recently completed enhancements to the cargo apron, taxiways and aircraft stands will equip HKIA to meet future demand for cargo services and to maintain its position as the region's premier air cargo hub.

"The new cargo terminal will reinforce the competitiveness of HKIA as a regional and international air cargo hub." Airport Authority Chief Executive Officer Stanley Hui said, adding "it will provide additional choices for airlines, shippers and freight forwarders.

"I believe it will bring substantial economic benefits, in the form of new jobs and business opportunities, to Hong Kong," he said.

Scheduled to open in the second half of 2011, the new terminal will have an annual capacity of about 2.6 million tons and increase the airport's total general and express cargo handling capacity to 7.4 million tons per annum.

According to Cathay Pacific Services, construction of the new terminal will create over 400 jobs. When it starts operation, the facility will employ more than 1,700 people.

The decision to build a new cargo terminal was made after the Airport Authority held extensive consultations with Hong Kong's air cargo and logistics industry.

In December 2006, the Airport Authority called for pre- qualification proposals, which was followed by invitation for submission of business plans. The Airport Authority assessed the business plans and decided to award the franchise to Cathay Pacific Services as a result of an open and competitive tender process.

The Airport Authority also invited the Independent Commission Against Corruption as an independent advisor to oversee the process.

Driven by the rapid expansion of the Chinese mainland's economy and robust global trade, cargo throughput at HKIA rose 4.5 percent in 2007, to 3.74 million tons. The air cargo industry handled over1.9 trillion HK dollars (243.6 billion US dollars) worth of goods in 2007, accounting 35 percent of Hong Kong's total external trade.

HKIA has remained the world's busiest international cargo airport for the 11th consecutive year.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 01:36 PM   #1092
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Gov't Press Release:
License Application for Cathay Pacific to operate between HK to North American cities via Tokyo
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Old April 6th, 2008, 06:38 PM   #1093
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Engine shutdown forces return of Cathay Pacific jet
5 April 2008
South China Morning Post

A Cathay Pacific jumbo jet bound for Los Angeles with 369 passengers on board was forced to return to Hong Kong after one of its engines was shut down over Taiwan.

Passengers on Flight CX880, which left Hong Kong at 11.40pm on Wednesday, reported seeing flames shooting out of an engine and the aircraft then turning around and dumping fuel before returning to Hong Kong early on Thursday.

The incident came just four days after an Airbus A330 operated by subsidiary Dragonair caught fire on a flight from Beijing to Hong Kong and was forced to return to the capital.

Cathay Pacific Airways confirmed that the captain of the Boeing 747-400 shut down the No3 engine and turned the aircraft around near Taiwan before dumping 60 tonnes of fuel to meet airport weight requirements. The plane then made a priority landing at Hong Kong at about 2.40am.

Fire services at Chek Lap Kok were on standby for the landing.

One woman said her husband, who was flying to Dallas via Los Angeles on the late-night flight, had sent her two e-mails from Hong Kong in the middle of the night before he departed again on another aircraft and later telephoned her from the US.

"He said that the engine flamed out and had to be shut down - and that was over Taiwan - and they had to return to Hong Kong to land," she said. "They shut down the engine and they were in the air for over an hour dumping fuel because they could not land at Hong Kong with so much fuel.

"I think the airport authorities or Cathay should be reporting this. Why should it be up to passengers to let people know about this?"

A spokeswoman for Cathay Pacific said it was investigating the cause of the engine problems. There were signs of oil leakage and it was suspected this had been caused by "a failure of the high-pressure compressor shaft support bearing" resulting in low oil pressure.

"When the engine is shut down, it can occasionally surge, causing flames to exit the front and rear of the engine," she said.

"Engine surge is usually short in duration but most often accompanied by noise and vibration. All modern aircraft are already designed with this situation in mind, and at no time is aircraft safety in question.

"Engine shutdowns are rare but when they do happen, Cathay Pacific always puts safety first, which may mean a flight return."

A spokeswoman for the Civil Aviation Department said it would look into the incident and follow up with Cathay Pacific.
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Old April 14th, 2008, 03:14 PM   #1094
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Cathay celebrates milestone
Airline offers help to those stranded by shutdown of rival Oasis

Joanne Lee-Young
Vancouver Sun

Monday, April 14, 2008
The date for the party had long been set. But last Friday, when Tony Tyler, chief executive of Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways, arrived to celebrate 25 years of service to Vancouver, there couldn't have been a more poetic backdrop for the company's festivities.

Cathay's upstart rival, Oasis Hong Kong Airways, had shut down abruptly just a few days earlier.

Consumers were fuming and travel agents were shaking their heads. Estimates are that the Oasis failure has left some 60,000 bookings on the hook. Even the Vancouver Board of Trade had to deal with some 35 seats it had booked with Oasis for a conference in May.

And so, at the behest of the Hong Kong government, Cathay stepped up with a special deal for passengers stranded by Oasis.

"So far, we have rescued 2,000 passengers out of Hong Kong," said Tyler in an interview, adding that that included service to London, Oasis' other destination.

Tyler said: "To be honest, [Oasis] has never been a big thorn in our side. We never expected it to last. We know the business quite well. Their business plan didn't make sense, though I think high fuel prices accelerated their demise."

That may be the case, but for the brief 10 months that Oasis flew to Vancouver, it did ignite buzz about travel to Hong Kong, with people who had never been there before packing their bags and others heading back and forth just to shop and eat.

Tyler disputes claims by airports in Hong Kong and Vancouver that Oasis boosted traffic on the route to between 30 and 50 per cent, but admits that "if you price well below cost, you are going to price some people into the market."

Now, as jet fuel costs have skyrocketed and credit markets have shrunk, a handful of airlines have bitten the dust in the past few weeks and more are likely to follow.

Tyler, however, thinks that the low-cost model has particular challenges in Asia.

"Getting traffic rights to fly between third countries is difficult in Asia. The distances in Asia are a lot longer, so it's hard to get high utilization . . . . There are not a lot of cheap airports in Asia as there are in the U.S. or Europe. But the main reason is that carriers in Asia are already serving low-fare markets by selling the back-end of their wide-body, twin aisle jets. For $130, you can fly Cathay to anywhere in Asia; it's for a limited period, and it's not every seat, but those fares are out there, so it's hard for others to sustainably undercut you and grow fast doing so."

That being the case, "I believe it wouldn't be in Cathay Pacific's interest to start another so-called low-cost carrier in parallel with itself," said Tyler.

Talk then turns away from other airlines and models and their problems.

After all, it is Cathay's party and it's hard not to gloat. In 2007, the airline saw both record profits of $976 million and record numbers of passengers, at 17.8 million.

On Vancouver, Tyler said: "We started 25 years ago with two flights a week and now we have three flights a day. That's quite something."

Tyler himself was dispatched from Hong Kong in 1983 to start up the Vancouver operation, Cathay's first in North America. He remembers living for a year- and-a-half in a Vancouver bungalow on Minto Crescent off Granville Street (which he saw, on a quick drive from the airport on his way downtown, is still there).

"In 1983, I remember being picked up at the airport, driving into town and looking around and thinking, 'Where is everybody?' My God, how are we going to fill our flights to Hong Kong? There's nobody here.

"Vancouver was a sleepy little place then and it was in the grips of one of the worse recessions. The B.C. economy was in a terrible state. But, on the day, all these Chinese people emerged and descended on Vancouver airport and I thought, 'We are going to be all right.' "

In 1997, the airline established a cabin crew base here that today employs 205 people. By comparison, similar offices were not established in Toronto, San Francisco and Los Angeles until 2006-07.

"I have watched Vancouver over a 25-year period," said Tyler, who makes almost an annual trip to Whistler. "I have seen it growing and developing and the traffic building up."

In talking about Cathay's years in Vancouver and how they have mirrored the city's relationship with Hong Kong, Tyler said: "Lots of Hong Kong people have come to live here. Most have gone back. And now, we have Hong Kong and little Hong Kong in Vancouver and there is an enormous amount of traffic between the two. Kids have come here for school, university. Some have family here, there. Businesses have been set up, developed and grown . . . and perhaps not everyman on the street, but the business elite of Hong Kong do see Vancouver as part of their patch."

Tyler is aware that the next wave of migration to Vancouver is definitely a lot more focused on traffic to and from mainland China, but believes that "we will be part of that story too."

"We make our living out of connecting people over Hong Kong. Even though there will be more direct services, we will still capture a share of that traffic."

[email protected]

© The Vancouver Sun 2008
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Old April 21st, 2008, 01:51 PM   #1095
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Cathay pilot sacked for unsanctioned fly-by loses appeal
17 April 2008
South China Morning Post

The senior Cathay Pacific pilot sacked for swooping over a runway at just 8.5 metres in a new Boeing 777 while the airline's chairman sat on the flight deck has lost an appeal against his dismissal.

Ian Wilkinson was sacked in February, days after performing the 515km/h fly-by on the plane's maiden flight out of Seattle as Cathay chairman Chris Pratt sat in a jump seat on the flight deck.

Cathay Pacific's engineering director, Christopher Gibbs, was also in a jump seat behind the captain while two first officers were standing unharnessed on the flight deck at the time of the January 31 incident.

With the Boeing 777-300ER's landing gear raised, the pilot circled after takeoff then swooped just 8.5 metres over the runway at Boeing's Seattle airport.

But the 777 fleet captain was sacked after an inquiry was launched into the stunt and a video clip taken by Seattle ground staff of the manoeuvre in the U$200 million plane was circulated on the internet.

Neither Mr Pratt nor Mr Gibbs complained about the manoeuvre, which was only called into question when Hong Kong-based airline officials saw pictures of the stunt circulating five days later.

Mr Wilkinson's dismissal was criticised by many of his colleagues, who said fly-bys were an old-school tradition for maiden flights, and that the presence of Mr Pratt and Mr Gibbs appeared to endorse the manoeuvre.

However, Cathay insisted that any manoeuvre had to be authorised by the airline, and the two executives would have had no way of knowing that the fly-by was unauthorised.

In two previous unauthorised fly-bys in Seattle that came to light after the January incident, Mr Wilkinson had been the pilot in one and in the other had given "permission" for one of his fleet pilots to perform the stunt.

Mr Wilkinson appealed against his dismissal and attended a hearing chaired by Cathay's director of flight operations, Nick Rhodes, on April 10, an airline spokeswoman said. He was informed on Tuesday that his appeal had failed, she said.

"The {hellip} hearing concluded that the decision of the acting general manager (flying) was appropriate and the pilot concerned remains dismissed from the company.

"There is one further level of appeal open to him which will be heard by either the chief executive or the chief operating officer. The timing of [this hearing] will have to be agreed by both parties."

Supporters of Mr Wilkinson said they were disappointed at the outcome and had hoped he would be reinstated to a non-flying, managerial position because of his long and distinguished record.

"Everyone knows that what he did was daft, but it was a rush of blood to the head and no one was hurt," said one colleague. "It seems a shame that he should have to pay such a heavy price for it."

However, other pilots believe Mr Wilkinson has only himself to blame. "He thought he was fireproof and he was showing off, and that kind of behaviour is inexcusable in our line of work," one said.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 03:06 PM   #1096
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Press Release Details

Further boost for Hong Kong hub as Cathay Pacific launches two more freighter destinations
21 April 2008


Cathay Pacific Airways today announced it will further expand its network in September with the launch of freighter services to two new destinations in the United States: Houston, Texas, and Miami, Florida.

On 2 September the airline will, subject to final government approval, begin a thrice-weekly service, departing Hong Kong every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, that will fly to Miami, via Anchorage, and then on to Houston. The flight will then head back to Hong Kong, again routed through Anchorage. A Boeing 747-400F freighter will be used for the new service.

With the addition of Miami and Houston, Cathay Pacific will serve a total of eight major cargo hubs in the United States. Dallas and Atlanta were added to the network in November 2005 and the number of flights to those cities has quickly grown from three per week to daily due to a strong response from the market.

Cathay Pacific Director & General Manager Cargo Ron Mathison said: “Miami is the leading gateway to South and Central America while Houston is an important centre for the oil business. Both cities will boost our network and provide better access and connectivity for our customers between Asia and North America via our home hub in Hong Kong.”

Cathay Pacific is committed to developing Hong Kong’s position as a leading airfreight hub and the airline announced last month that its wholly owned subsidiary, Cathay Pacific Services Ltd, had won the franchise to design, construct and operate a new cargo terminal at Hong Kong International Airport. The common-use terminal, designed to handle 2.6 million tons of freight a year, will be ready for operation in mid-2011.

The airline is also expanding its freighter fleet, and next month will receive the first of six Boeing 747-400ERF “Extended Range Freighters” on firm order. In 2009 it will begin to take delivery of a new fleet of 10 new-generation Boeing 747-8F freighters.

At the same time, Cathay Pacific’s fleet of seven older, less fuel-efficient Boeing 747-200F “Classic” freighters is being phased out. The first to go was B-HVY, which had served the airline for 26 years flying an average of 12 hours a day. Four more will be retired next year and the last two will leave the fleet in 2012.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 02:41 PM   #1097
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Miami to get China cargo flights
Cathay Pacific plans to add cargo service to Miami from Hong Kong through Anchorage and Houston.

Posted on Tue, Apr. 22, 2008

By INA PAIVA CORDLE
[email protected]

Cathay Pacific Airways plans to launch cargo flights to Miami International Airport late this summer, marking the airport's first service to Hong Kong and linking trade between Asia and Latin America.

The Hong Kong-based carrier said it will expand its service to Miami and Houston, with flights three times a week, beginning on Sept. 2.

''Miami is the largest gateway to Central and South America,'' said Stephen Wong, Cathay Pacific's vice president of cargo for North America, who is based in Vancouver. ``So we want to expand our market coverage to Central and South America.''

Subject to final government approval, the airline will depart Hong Kong, fly to Miami via Anchorage, and then on to Houston. The flight will then head back to Hong Kong, through Anchorage. Cathay Pacific will operate the flights with Boeing 747-400F freighters, the largest cargo planes currently available, Wong said.

Miami International has targeted Asia for years, and last July the airport expanded its incentive program to include all-cargo service.

Any carrier offering year-round cargo freighter service from Asia, Africa or Europe, on a cargo route not served by an all-cargo carrier to MIA, now qualifies for a 50 percent abatement of landing fees for a year. The airport charges airlines landing fees of $1.94 per 1,000 pounds, said Miguel Southwell, Miami-Dade Aviation's assistant director of business retention and development.

''This is further evidence that we are having a degree of success of effecting service links between Miami and Asia,'' Southwell said. ``And we hope as the success of all-cargo service grows between Miami and Asia, that we will see in the near future, evolving into a combination of passengers as well as freight.''

Historically, Asian carriers have started carrying cargo and then expanded into passenger service, he said.

With the addition of Miami and Houston, Cathay Pacific said it will serve a total of eight cargo hubs in the United States. The airline added Dallas and Atlanta in November 2005 -- first with three weekly flights, which were increased to daily. The carrier also flies to Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Chicago.

The new Miami service is geared to promote trade between South Florida and Asia, connecting to other cargo carriers flying to Latin America from Miami, Wong said. In the Americas, the airline only flies to the United States and Canada.

''This is a market we haven't touched that much, so now we are launching an operation to Miami to develop the market in Central and South America in addition to Florida,'' he said.

INBOUND CARGO

Inbound flights will likely carry apparel from Hong Kong and other parts of Asia, while outbound flights will carry raw materials and perishables from Latin America, Wong said.

China is already the top import country at Port of Miami, with 21.3 percent of the trade volume, and Hong Kong ranks second, at 8.8 percent.

Cathay Pacific is one of the largest airlines in Asia, and was ranked as the seventh-largest carrier in the world in terms of freight-ton kilometers, according to Air Transport World's July 2007 World Airline Report.

In 2007, the airline carried a total of 1.6 million tons of freight.

Cathay Pacific is also expanding its freighter fleet, and next month will receive the first of six Boeing 747-400ERF ''Extended Range Freighters'' on order. In 2009 it will begin to take delivery of a new fleet of 10 new-generation Boeing 747-8F freighters. The airline is phasing out, through 2012, its fleet of seven older, less fuel-efficient Boeing 747-200F ''Classic'' freighters.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 10:45 AM   #1098
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Flying high with Cathay
23 April 2008
The Cairns Post

CAIRNS may not be a big target on the Cathay Pacific Airways radar, but it is certainly one of its most highly regarded.

In terms of overall performance and catering, Cairns is actually at the top of the Cathay Pacific screen.

Last Friday, airline executives flew to Cairns to present local Cathay Pacific manager Amanda Jessop-Shaw and her staff with the company's award for the best airport performance of 2007, beating airports of the likes of Melbourne, Toronto and Vancouver.

The award is based on passenger ratings in a wide range of criteria in-flight service, check-in, boarding, staff attitude, grooming, on-time performance and customer feedback.

Ms Jessop-Shaw said the award was a positive reflection on the operation and Cairns.

We are a little regional city and we have shown we can compete with these massive airports and all their infrastructure, Ms Jessop-Shaw said.

In another honour for Cairns, Q Catering Cairns was named Cathay Pacific's best inflight caterer, winning the airlines Diamond Award.

The Cairns catering centre, previously known as Caterair Cairns, out-performed 43 other caterers from around the world to earn the highest grading in the five major assessment criteria of safety, innovation, quality, satisfaction, assurance of supply and cost.

Q Catering Cairns manager John Ryan said the award was recognition for the business, which employs 193 people.

The new brand, like the Diamond Award, reinforces the premium elements of the centres business and people and clearly demonstrates the high quality service we deliver to our customers, Mr Ryan said.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 07:54 AM   #1099
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Cathay flags fare increase
Hong Kong Standard
Thursday, May 08, 2008

Cathay Pacific Airways (0293) says air fares may increase because of soaring fuel prices.

"Fuel takes up a high percentage in the total cost of the airline. If the fuel price goes up, the cost of service will be going up as well," said John Slosar, chief operating officer. "We must match cost and revenue by selling higher- priced tickets."

Cathay expects fuel hedging of 30 percent in the second half.

"Not only Cathay but other aviation industries are undergoing pressure from soaring fuel prices," CLSA Asia Pacific analyst Adrian Lowe said. "Around 30 to 45 percent of the company's cost is related to fuel prices so it will definitely affect ticket prices.

"Cathay has a strong balance sheet, it has lots of money. It should survive."

Cathay chief Tony Tyler said: "The cargo service has seen a general slowdown, but it is not drastic yet. We plan to focus more on Greater China by strengthening cooperation with Air China and Dragon Airline."

Tyler said Cathay has bought more fuel-efficient jets, including the 777-300ER that consumes 20 percent less fuel than a 747-400.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 04:17 AM   #1100
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