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Old December 21st, 2008, 03:33 PM   #1261
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 01:09 PM   #1262
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Cathay staff rush to take unpaid leave despite union fears
21 December 2008
South China Morning Post

Cathay Pacific has been inundated with more than 1,600 requests for unpaid leave from cabin crew and pilots after making a controversial offer of unsalaried time off to combat the economic downturn.

But the two main unions representing Cathay staff have urged members not to take unpaid leave, saying members have been denied regular time off, and have warned staff they will shoulder the burden for absent colleagues.

By yesterday, cabin crew had applied for a total of more than 50,000 days of unpaid leave in 2009 - almost a full week for every flight attendant - while pilots had applied for more than 5,000 days of unpaid leave, the airline said.

Applications for the cost-cutting scheme announced at the end of November have come from 1,062 flight attendants, some of whom have made more than one application, and 200 pilots.

A Cathay Pacific spokeswoman said the deluge of applications had come because many staff wanted to "take a break, enjoy a longer vacation, spend more time with the family or concentrate on studies".

However, the Flight Attendants Union said the rush for unpaid leave demonstrated how many flight attendants were unable to get the normal time off they wanted.

Chairwoman Becky Kwan Siu-wah said: "Our people have been working very hard because our flights are always full. With our job, you really don't have a life and you can't normally plan for time off or to do a course or study leave.

"Now it seems that in order to have your leave when you want it, you have to pay for it by taking unpaid leave."

Ms Kwan warned that the scheme would put extra strain on cabin crews. "If they say that flight attendants are not going to have to work harder when there have been 50,000 days of unpaid leave applied for, then either somebody is lying or somebody has terribly miscalculated the manpower situation."

The Aircrew Officers Association has sent out a circular to pilots telling them: "We would suggest members explore every avenue towards taking their contractual entitlement to leave prior to applying for unpaid leave."

The Cathay spokeswoman insisted the scheme was "entirely voluntary" and said flight attendants' regular leave had been allocated for 2009 before unpaid leave was offered.

"Capacity has been growing at an average of 6 per cent per annum in recent years but has been adjusted to just under 1 per cent for 2009 - effectively zero growth - as a result of reduced demand," she said.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 03:45 AM   #1263
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Cathay records sharp decline in business, first class ticket sales
23 December 2008
South China Morning Post

Sales at the front end of the cabin at Cathay Pacific Airways dropped more than 25 per cent in the second week of December, highlighting softening demand in the first class and business sections of the airline.

"The severe downturn in the world economy is hitting our passenger business much more than we expected," chief executive Tony Tyler was quoted as saying in an internal e-mail last Friday.

Cathay saw a double-digit drop in sales in its passenger division, which is falling short of the carrier's target by 18.5 per cent.

First class and business class were hard hit in the week ended December 13, with a 26 per cent fall in sales compared with the same period last year, Mr Tyler said.

The falloff in air cargo was even worse, at 33 per cent below the carrier's target, he said.

The front end of the cabin makes up about 40 per cent of Cathay's total sales.

Unlike economy class, demand for business and first class seats was more dependent on economic growth than ticket prices, leaving the premium class more vulnerable to the global recession, analyst said.

The decline in front-end sales was exacerbated by a reduction in the frequency of services to North America, which is the main source of premium traffic.

The carrier has eliminated 10 North American flights and added eight new flights to Australia since August.

The first sign of weakness in Cathay's front-end bookings started to show as early as the second half of September, when corporate clients began to shift down from first class to business class and also from business class to economy.

The airline is highly exposed to financial institutions in Hong Kong, with 16 of its top 20 corporate clients in the financial sector.

Corporate business accounts for a third of total Hong Kong seat sales, which in turn make up 25 per cent of the airline's overall revenue.

Worldwide premium traffic also showed a sharp decline in October, with a 6.9 per cent fall compared with the same month last year, said the International Air Traffic Association.

This followed an 8 per cent fall in September.

Surveys of business confidence in the United States, Europe and Asia all revealed a very severe deterioration in October that was set to worsen towards the end of the year, the report by IATA said.
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Old December 26th, 2008, 11:47 AM   #1264
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Old December 27th, 2008, 05:35 AM   #1265
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Pearl River Exodus to Open Sky Vietnam
1 January 2009
Air Cargo World

U.S. carriers have not exactly flocked to Vietnam in the aftermath of the open skies agreement concluded in early October, but forwarders and express operators are ramping up their presence in the market.

In response to gloomy market conditions, Cathay Pacific is parking two B747-400 freighters for a year and pruning down capacity to Australia, North America and Europe, but the airline still sees opportunities in Vietnam. In November it launched a weekly freighter flight from its home base to Hanoi.

Stephen Wong, Cathay's vice president for cargo in the Americas described the market as very encouraging. Ho Chi Minh City, the country's commercial center, remains highly attractive for passenger flights, but much of the manufacturing development in recent years has taken place near the capital, he added.

"Hanoi is getting more and more traffic. A lot of Chinese companies are moving production to Hanoi," remarked Giorgio Laccona, chief executive of forwarder IJS Global.

Integrators and forwarders are boosting their presence in the area too. In August TNT opened a 13,000 sq ft facility near Hanoi. Four times the size of its previous setup, it was designated to handle about 40 percent of the integrator's volume to and from Vietnam. Traffic is funneled from there to China or Singapore for intercontinental linehaul to TNT's European hub in Liege.

According to Onno Boots, the integrator's regional managing director for Southeast Asia, growth is expected to be in the high double-digit range for the next five years.

Yusen Air & Sea Service, the logistics arm of NYK Line, opened an office and a warehouse with 64,600 sq ft of space near Hanoi in November. Coming after the opening of an office in a technology park in the Hanoi area, this marked the company's tenth location in Vietnam.

Connecticut-based IJS Global entered the Vietnamese market at the beginning of November through a joint venture based in Ho Chi Minh City, with a branch in Hanoi. Laccona mentioned a number of sectors where his company sees good potential in Vietnam, from fashion and apparel traffic to electronics and chemicals.

"Seafood is a major export product, with tuna strong to the U.S. from December through April and seafood to Hong Kong more consistent throughout the year," added Kyle Betterton, vice president of cargo at United Airlines. The carrier recently automated its customs process to allow seafood shippers to tender their traffic before United's early morning departure from Ho Chi Minh City.

Due to the stage length, United serves Vietnam via Hong Kong. As part of its international expansion, Delta plans to launch a new flight to Japan with connecting service to Vietnam next spring. Both airlines' natural inclination is to sell as much capacity out of Vietnam for their intra-Asian legs, leaving the transpacific sector free for exports from southern China and Japan respectively to North America.

The weakening of Chinese and Japanese traffic to the U.S. may leave more space for shipments from Vietnam to North America for the time being, but this is not the carriers' preferred option.

Delta is the first U.S. airline to avail itself of the open skies agreement between the U.S. and Vietnam which grants carriers the right to carry cargo to and from third countries, in addition to unlimited flights between the two signatories. Elsewhere there is interest but no firm intention of launching new flights to Vietnam.

"Vietnam plays an important role in our growth in the Asia Pacific region and we continue to review our options in Vietnam as the market develops," commented a spokesman for United Parcel Service. UPS currently uses two commercial flights for inbound and outbound Vietnamese traffic.

FedEx looks unlikely to boost its Vietnam flights in the near future, having upped its capacity in the market in September. Starting with A310 freighters, it increased its lift in Vietnam fivefold to 30 tons a day.

Vietnam may have escaped the worst ravages of the market downturn, absorbing some of the exodus from the Pearl River Delta, but it is not immune to the global crisis. Moreover, the market, albeit growing rapidly, is still relatively small. A surge in capacity could easily wipe out yields.

Forwarders have had not problem obtaining lift out of Vietnam. "There is no capacity problem anywhere in the world right now," Laccona acknowledged.

Adding to the general availability Ha Hung Dung, a Vietnamese music composer and businessman, launched the country's first privately held carrier in late November. Indochina Airlines now operates scheduled services between Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang with two leased B737-800s.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 03:06 AM   #1266
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Who else besides George Lam sang the Cathay commercial song back in the late 1989? I remember that there were female and male vocal versions of the same song in both English and Cantonese.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 09:17 AM   #1267
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 07:05 PM   #1268
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Wonderful videos, I love Cathay Pacific, this logo is wonderful!!!

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Old January 6th, 2009, 02:24 PM   #1269
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Old January 7th, 2009, 04:13 PM   #1270
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Cathay Pacific Fuel Hedging Loss HK$7.6B At End-08
7 January 2009

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (CPCAY) said Wednesday its fuel hedging losses widened to HK$7.6 billion (US$980 million) at the end of 2008 from HK$2.8 billion at the end of October, because crude oil prices continued to decline substantially.

The marked-to-market losses exceed its 2007 net profit of HK$7.02 billion, but the Hong Kong-based carrier said the losses are unrealized, so the actual losses will depend on future movements in fuel prices.

It said the unrealized losses on the hedging contracts were accounted for in one financial year instead of being spread over the years in which the contracts mature.

Cathay Pacific keeps a portion of its fuel purchases over the next three years hedged at any one time.

Despite the sharp hedging losses, the airline said it nonetheless has benefited, and "will continue to benefit" from the reduction in oil prices. It said if oil prices stay around end-2008 levels for all of 2009, its fuel expenditure for the year will be HK$20.3 billion lower than in 2008.

The airline said oil prices fell 69.1% to US$45.59 a barrel on Dec. 31, from its peak of US$147.5 a barrel on July 11.

Cathay Pacific said it still expects "disappointing" 2008 results as a result of the fuel hedging losses and weaker revenue.

The airline already warned of a weak 2008 in November.

Cathay Pacific said its revenue has continued to weaken since then, partially because of lower first- and business-class traffic.

It said advance passenger bookings for the first quarter of 2009 are "markedly down" compared with the same period of last year.

For its air cargo operations, Cathay Pacific said its yield for the fourth quarter has declined significantly from the same period in 2007, with the percentage reduction in cargo revenue exceeding the decline in passenger revenue.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 03:23 AM   #1271
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No more details of the Cathay advertising campaign between the late 1980s and the early 1990s? Who are the four singers of the commercial theme song?
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Old January 9th, 2009, 06:17 PM   #1272
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Old January 13th, 2009, 08:37 AM   #1273
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Crew win holiday-pay case against Cathay
13 January 2009
Hong Kong Standard

Three Cathay Pacific flight attendants yesterday won a partial victory in their fight over holiday pay and allowances.

Cathay Pacific Airways was ordered to pay the trio arrears in holiday pay which could amount to tens of thousands of dollars.

In a written ruling, presiding officer Pang Ka- kwong said line duty and ground duty allowances for monthly and hourly paid crew, and commissions for selling duty-free products for hourly paid crew, should be included as part of their basic wages.

Outport allowances such as meals, taxi fares and laundry allowances, which the claimants argued should be calculated as well, did not fall within the definition of wages under the Employment Ordinance as it is meant to cover miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses while crew are overseas, Pang said.

The three claimants, who included Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union chairwoman Becky Kwan Siu-wa, said they derived some satisfaction from the verdict.

``At least the court ruled Cathay Pacific has the duty to include certain allowances as part of the wages when calculating the value of our annual leave,'' Kwan said.

``The verdict will affect many crew members as so far more than 4,000 of our union members have lodged similar claims.''

Kwan said the union will discuss with lawyers whether the three flight attendants should appeal since the ruling did not recognize outport allowances as part of their wages.

The union estimated that had, the three won all their arguments, Kwan and Vera Wu Yee- mei, who are paid on a monthly basis, would have received HK$100,000 each while Jenny Ho Kit-man, who is paid on an hourly basis, would get around HK$80,000.

Cathay Pacific is considering appealing against the tribunal's ruling.

``We believe that an appeal to a higher court may now become inevitable to enable us to fully resolve these outstanding issues for all relevant employees,'' a Cathay Pacific spokeswoman said.

``In the past few years, there have been several cases concerning the interpretation of the statutory provisions being examined in our case,'' she said.

``We are determined to achieve an element of clarity regarding this unsatisfactory legislation.''
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Old January 14th, 2009, 08:02 AM   #1274
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Cathay passenger, cargo figures drop again in December
13 January 2009
Agence France Presse

Cathay Pacific suffered a 0.3 percent year-on-year drop in passengers in December, company figures released Tuesday showed, as the global slowdown piled further pressure on the Hong Kong carrier.

Combined figures for Cathay and Dragonair fell to 2.11 million in the final month of 2008, following a 2.2 percent year-on-year drop in November.

Airlines have been particularly hit by a cut in business and first class travel during the ongoing slowdown.

The two airlines carried a total of 115,232 tonnes of cargo and mail in December, down 23.9 percent compared with December 2007.

For the year as a whole, passenger numbers increased 7.3 percent while cargo and mail fell 1.6 percent.

Cathay Pacific's revenue manager Tom Owen said the apparently reasonable performance in passenger numbers in December had followed aggressive measures to boost ticket sales.

"Chasing the available economy cabin demand however, coupled with the continued slump in premium traffic and weak Hong Kong route demand, led to lower yields per ticket -- and we expect a similar situation for Chinese New Year," he said in a statement.

"Meanwhile, the premium cabin performance continues to grind downwards."

Last week, Cathay said it would include a write-down of 7.6 billion Hong Kong dollars (974 million US) in its 2008 results due to potential losses on oil hedging contracts.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #1275
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Old January 15th, 2009, 10:44 AM   #1276
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Cathay Pacific responds to Labour Tribunal ruling
12 January 2009
Press Release

We are pleased that the Presiding Officer at the Labour Tribunal today agrees with our view that Outport Allowance is a sum to defray special expenses incurred by the cabin crew by the nature of their employment and therefore, they are not "wages". We are also pleased that there is no suggestion that our current practice of determining statutory benefits for crew is unlawful.

However, we are disappointed with other aspects of the ruling, as we remain of the view that the provisions under the Employment Ordinance (prior to Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2007) do not require Line Duty Allowance, Ground Duty Allowance and/or Duty Free Sales Commission to be included in the calculation of Statutory Holiday Pay and Annual Leave Pay. Moreover, we continue to believe that the claimants have been paid all their entitlements on their holidays, whether under Employment Ordinance or their contracts of employment. We are obviously disappointed that the Presiding Officer took a different view.

In the last few years there have been several cases concerning the interpretation of the statutory provisions being examined in our case. Despite the best efforts of numerous judges their impact on Hong Kong employers remain unclear. We are determined to achieve an element of clarity regarding this unsatisfactory legislation.

We understand that the decision of the Labour Tribunal is not legally binding on other claims in the Labour Tribunal or the higher Courts and cannot therefore provide sufficient legal certainty for a clear resolution for all relevant employees.

We will now consider the decision of the Presiding Officer carefully with our legal team. We believe that an appeal to a higher court may now become inevitable to enable us to fully resolve these outstanding issues for all relevant employees.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 05:37 PM   #1277
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Old January 20th, 2009, 01:28 PM   #1278
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Cathay Pacific won’t open new terminal until 2013

Seeking a two year postponement due to unfavourable economic conditions, Cathay Pacific’s new cargo terminal in Hong Kong is set to open now in 2013 instead of 2011.

Last week, Cathay had reported that despite dropping cargo capacity by some 14%, December 2008 figures were still abysmal, with traffic down to115,232 tonnes, a decrease of 23.9% when compared to 2007.

Already the airline has revised its predictions for European and North American cargo traffic downwards.

“The deferral is aimed at better matching supply and demand in the air freight business given the current market outlook,” said Cathay Pacific in a statement.

“It is also important for the company to maintain a strong balance sheet until the market strengthens.”

Cathay reiterates that it is still committed to developing the new cargo terminal, but wishes to wait for a better opportunity.

Cathay Pacific will also be compensating Hong Kong Airport for the deferral.
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Old January 21st, 2009, 03:26 PM   #1279
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 04:20 PM   #1280
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Cell phone check-ins aim to cut stress of airport queues
22 January 2009
Hong Kong Standard

The ubiquitous mobile phone has ended the scramble for many airline passengers to meet tight check-in deadlines.

And now Hongkongers flying with Cathay Pacific or Dragonair are able to check in through their mobile phones following a launch of the service last month.

Those with web-ready phones can check in for their flight anytime, anywhere, said Cathay e-business manager Lawrence Fong Yat-cheung.

The service will also allow travelers to select their preferred seats, with the airlines sending SMS or e-mailing a barcode for users to scan at self check- in kiosks to get their boarding pass.

``Passengers who use the mobile check-in service without needing to check-in luggage can shave their arrival times to about half an hour before departure,'' Fong said, adding that passengers checking luggage should arrive an hour before their flight.

He said the service would reduce check-in counter waiting times, while freeing up staff to help customers.

``It's clear our passengers want to be able to take more control over their journey. We've seen an exponential growth in our online and mobile services in recent months,'' Fong said.

He pointed out some 2.2 million passengers worldwide used online check-in during 2008.

Cell phone check-in was already in place with various international carriers, including Air Canada, British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM, and Air France.

Similar to Cathay Pacific's online check-in, passengers can do so via their mobile phones, from two days, up to 90 minutes before departure, on flights departing Hong Kong for destinations including Vancouver, San Francisco, New York, Kuala Lumpur, Rome, Paris and London.
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