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Old December 14th, 2009, 06:15 AM   #1641
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Cathay Pacific announces salary increment for 2010 and ex-gratia payment for eligible staff
8 December 2009
Press Release

Cathay Pacific Airways today announced that the majority of its eligible Hong Kong-based staff will receive an average salary increase of 1.8 per cent in 2010.

The difficulties the airline has faced during the recent global economic downturn mean it is once again unable to pay the usual one month’s salary as a discretionary year-end bonus to eligible Hong Kong-based employees. However, it will make an ex-gratia payment to all such employees of an amount equal to half a month’s salary or HK$8,000, whichever is the greater.

The announcement comes after Cathay Pacific – along with the rest of the aviation industry – has suffered one of its worst years in recent history. The deep and sustained downturn that began in the latter part of 2008 had a significant impact on the airline’s revenues from both its passenger and cargo businesses. /

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler said: “We have been through a lot in the past year and we are still in a vulnerable position. While we have seen a noticeable, and very welcome, pick-up in business over the past couple of months, it cannot compensate for the massive slide in business seen in the first nine months – and we still don’t know whether the current upturn will continue into next year.

“For that reason we are again unable to pay the usual one month’s salary as a discretionary year-end bonus for our Hong Kong-based employees. However, I am pleased to be able to announce that we will give a salary increment for 2010 along with the ex-gratia payment for eligible staff. We recognise the great effort our staff have made and the support they have given the airline during what has been a very challenging period.”

As a commercial airline with no government financial support or subsidies, Cathay Pacific had to work to manage its resources in a responsible and prudent manner in the interests of shareholders and staff. The airline took a number of measures in reaction to the business downturn including reducing capacity, cutting back frequencies, parking a number of aircraft, deferring major capital expenditure and introducing cost-saving measures that included inviting all staff to take part in a no-paid leave scheme. The so-called “Special Leave Scheme” received overwhelming support from colleagues around the world.

Mr Tyler said that while it appears the worst is now over, there is still uncertainty over whether the airline’s business will recover to levels seen previously. “For that reason we will continue to manage our finances prudently and keep a very close eye on costs in order to preserve the financial health and well-being of the airline,” Mr Tyler said.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 05:56 PM   #1642
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Old December 18th, 2009, 03:31 AM   #1643
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Cathay fails to block payout to '49ers'
16 December 2009
South China Morning Post

Cathay Pacific has failed to stop a judgment ordering it to pay more than HK$61 million to eighteen of the "49ers" - the pilots sacked en masse during an industrial dispute in 2001 - despite the airline having an appeal under way.

The 18 won the compensation and damages last month for unfair dismissal and defamation. The other 49ers had already accepted settlement offers from the airline.

Yesterday Mr Justice Anselmo Reyes, of the Court of First Instance, declined a request from the airline for a stay of execution of the judgment he gave on November 11.

Launching the application on behalf of the airline, barrister Robin McLeish indicated to the court that the airline had filed an appeal against Reyes' judgment. Refusing the request, Reyes said: "I don't see that there is very strong ground for success. There is absolutely no reason for me to grant a stay."

He also made an order to release money put into court before trial as security by the airline and by pilots residing outside Hong Kong. A total of HK$6.47 million had been deposited by the airline, and seven pilots had together put in about HK$2 million.

In his judgment, Reyes held that the airline had contravened the Employment Ordinance by dismissing the 18 pilots without a valid reason.

The pilots were sacked between July 9 and 11, 2001 during a dispute over pay and rosters. Their contracts were terminated with three months' pay. They had allegedly taken part in union actions including "work-to-rule" schemes that had slowed down the daily operation of the airline.

Reyes held that the dismissal of the pilots was based on their support for the union and their alleged involvement in the union's activities, although he found that there was no evidence showing the pilots had actually participated.

He also found that the airline failed to invoke prescribed disciplinary procedures in the pilots' contracts, though it claimed that the underlying reason for the dismissals was "gross misconduct".

After his judgment, the pilots also succeeded in claiming for defamation, for remarks made after the sacking by two Cathay executives - Philip Chen Nan-lok, in 2001 the director and chief operating officer, and Tony Tyler, now the chief executive.

Chan had publicly accused the pilots of having shown a lack of "total professionalism", and disrupting the airline's operation and the reputation of Hong Kong.

Tyler had accused them of holding Hong Kong to ransom and failing to act in the company's interests.

Reyes had ordered the airline to compensate the pilots, except Gregory England, who died in January 2001, HK$3.3 million each for the defamation.

He also awarded HK$150,000 to each pilot - except one, who had won his claim in a London employment tribunal - for the unfair dismissal.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 05:04 AM   #1644
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An Airfare Hike For Lap Babies
20 December 2009
The New York Times

Flying with an infant is rarely fun. Now it's getting more expensive.

Airlines typically charge parents about 10 percent of a ticket price to keep a baby under 2 on their laps on international flights. So when Cathay Pacific, the Hong Kong-based airline, quietly raised the charge to 25 percent last month, it created a stir among traveling parents.

One user on Flyertalk.com identified as justforfun said the price increase was ''huge'' and ''excessive,'' and that it cost Cathay ''essentially nothing to transport an infant without a seat.''

''What's next?'' said Kim Orlando, who started a Web site called TravelingMom. ''A fee for oxygen masks?''

While babies generally fly free domestically, the standard for international flights is 10 percent, according to Mike Federico of FareCompare.com. Could this be the next way that airlines are looking to make an extra buck?

''Like every company that sells products, we periodically review and adjust pricing,'' said Gus Whitcomb, a spokesman for Cathay Pacific. ''This fare change resulted from a recent review.''
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 10:09 AM   #1645
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Selecting sky-high wines for a living
18 December 2009
China Daily - Hong Kong Edition

HONG KONG: Skillfully rocking a glass of wine until the swirl was just right, Clara Yip, who selects in-flight wines for Cathay Pacific Airways, took a short, hard smell, and a gentle sip. After the wine sweetly coated her palate, she spit it out.

"Well, it has a hint of berries and mocha coffee. Intense fruit flavors, good length," said Yip, assistant manager of beverage and catering supplies in Cathay Pacific Airways.

An experienced wine taster, Yip has worked with alcohol like this for 14 years. As part of her job and of her in-flight wine selection, taste-testing fine wine from all over the world is just a pleasant feature of her daily work.

Surprisingly, selecting wines for flights is not the same as on the ground. "Wines, too, can have airsickness," Yip said. Shock on the plane could reduce the quality of wines. The right in-flight wines for passengers are those that are least susceptible, she explained.

On top of that, people's taste can be influenced by the air pressure and the dry air in the aircraft. "Wines with intense fruit flavors are more suitable," she said.

The passengers of Cathay Pacific Airways consumed 1.5 million bottles of wine in 2008. Each kind of wine was carefully selected from a selection of about 100 by Yip and other testers.

The approximately 100 wines are categorized into groups by the grape varieties, year and districts. The wines are served blind to testers, including Yip, so that they are not influenced by the label or bottle shape.

Testing like this is held at least 15 times each year. That means Yip tries at least over 1,500 wines every year.

"France, Italy, Germany, the United States, Spain ..." she can't even name all the wines' countries .

To prevent alcohol-induced impairment of judgment, wine tasters generally spit the wine out after they have assessed its quality. "Except for the best, I would spit the wine out," she said, with a hint of humor.

"I have no idea of my drinking capacity, but I never get drunk working this way," she added.

A job like Yip's enviable posting in the Hong Kong market is not easily obtained. The work requires very acute taste and smell. Yip believes both can be cultivated, if they are not innate.

To qualify for the job, she obtained a professional qualification, certification with the WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits, after she studied Hotel and Catering in Switzerland.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 08:20 PM   #1646
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Old December 29th, 2009, 11:43 AM   #1647
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I guess this is out of range for the vast majority of us :

Dragonair Introduces Steamed Rice in Hot Pot Casserole on Flights
18 December 2009
Press Release







(HONG KONG) Dragonair is offering First Class passengers a new inflight dining treat, with "Steamed Rice in Hot Pot Casserole" being added as part of its latest seasonal menu. The new promotion follows on from the well-received crab roe seasonal menu that featured on the airline’s flights in November.

The Hot Pot dishes are now being served to premium travellers on flights between Hong Kong and Beijing and Shanghai, in both directions, until the end of February next year.

"Steamed Rice in Hot Pot Casserole" is a favourite dish of many during the winter season. Through its new menu, Dragonair hopes to bring passengers a new inflight experience by enabling them to enjoy the authentic taste of local-style seasonal dishes.

The new menu features a number of popular dishes including:

On flights from Hong Kong to Shanghai or Beijing

Chicken & Goose Liver with Mixed Mushroom
Chicken & Preserved Sausage with Abalone
Pork Ribs with Dried Shrimp
Beef Cake with Abalone
Prawn Crab Roe Cake with Scallop
Pork & Cuttlefish with Preserved Olive and Dried Scallop


On flights from Shanghai to Hong Kong

Assorted Seafood (Mandarin Fish, Prawn and Scallop)
Pork Cake with Water Chestnut and Dried Scallop
Chicken with Marinated Senoki, Fungus and Preserved Sausage
Pork Ribs with Pumpkin in Black Bean Sauce
Beef Cake with Baby Abalone


On flights from Beijing to Hong Kong

Pork Cake with Water Chestnut and Dried Squid
Chicken and Preserved Sausage with Fresh Ginseng and Chinese Wolfberry
Cod Fish & Prawn with Aged Peel and Chinese Wolfberry
Sliced Pork with Dried Scallop and Dried Shrimp
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Old January 1st, 2010, 06:06 AM   #1648
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By concorde from HKADB :

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Old January 5th, 2010, 11:03 PM   #1649
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'Scruffy' CX pilots ordered to smarten up

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/s...marten-up.html


Hong Kong - Pilots at Hong Kong's biggest airline were Sunday under orders to smarten up after being given a dressing down for being poorly turned-out in public.

A memo sent to the airline's 2,000 pilots by Cathay Pacific general manager for flying Captain Henry Craig said cockpit crew had been spotted looking untidy and unkempt going to andf rom work. He suggested they make it their new year's resolution for 2010 to smarten up and stop taking off their ties, wearing jeans with uniform jackets, or sporting "unkempt hairstyles." "There have been recent occurrences when some crew members have appeared in uniform that is not befitting," the December 31 memo said. Craig reminded pilots of company guidelines that say pilots should be "similarly attired" when walking together to or from a flight.

The memo met with mixed reaction from pilots. One who requested anonymity said that, in a period of terrorism threats, management should have "more important things" to write about. However, on an online forum for Cathay Pacific pilots, others agree with the instruction. "Just wear the uniform and stop bleating," one pilot wrote.

The alleged offending photos?

source: thedarkside
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Old January 6th, 2010, 09:07 AM   #1650
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It's a matter of professionalism as well. I would not put much faith in a doctor who cannot even dress properly to operate on me.
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Old January 6th, 2010, 09:12 AM   #1651
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Not the first time with CX. I recalled the last time some rich kid asked FA to go in rest cabin bed and take some pictures. Not sure what he wanted to achieve with that. It was on A.net ....
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Old January 10th, 2010, 07:51 AM   #1652
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Freighter back into action at Cathay
5 January 2010
SCMP

After storing it in the Californian desert for a year, Cathay Pacific Airways is returning one of its five parked 747-400 freighters to service as it banks on growth in world cargo demand.

A Cathay official said the freighter was undergoing maintenance and could be ready for operation later this month, a sign that airlines are looking at a pick-up in freight activity.

The freighter was flown from the United States to Xiamen last month for an overhaul before entering service, Cathay official Carolyn Leung said in an e-mail. "This aircraft is not adding to our existing cargo capacity but will be used if there is a need for special charters."

The aircraft would be put in a rotation service alongside the carrier's other 19 freighters, allowing Cathay to free up present capacity, said Kelvin Lau, a transport analyst at Daiwa Securities SMBC. "For example, an aircraft which used to fly 15 hours a day can now fly 12 hours a day, creating a buffer for ad hoc cargo demand."

The effective capacity of Cathay's freight fleet will therefore remain unchanged but the flexibility of the airline to cater for increased freight carriage demand has increased. It will also be able to avoid overcapacity if demand does not rebound as much as expected.

Freight rates from Hong Kong to the United States and Europe surged beyond HK$40 per kilogram in November and last month, from as low as HK$10 in the first quarter of last year. The moves that airlines were taking to increase spare cargo capacity hinted at a recovery for demand this year, Lau said.

"The outlook for freight rates will be much more stable than last year as the process for contract negotiations is smoother this year," said Ronald Cheng, Korean Airlines' cargo manager in Hong Kong. He said Korean Air would increase frequency for cargo flights to the mainland this year.

Korean Air, the biggest airline freighter operator in the world, owns 25 freighters and expects to take delivery of one freighter this year.

"Other airlines such as Singapore Airlines and Emirates will follow suit and increase their cargo capacity," said Victor Lau, the head of gateway, procurement air and capacity management for the Pearl River Delta at Panalpina, an international freight forwarder.

"However, a big uncertainty still looms for the global economy in light of the potential interest rate rise in the US. The capacity increase for carriers will not be aggressive."

Singapore Air also has one freighter parked in a storage facility in the California desert. Deserts such as those in the southwestern US are favoured spots for aircraft storage because the dry conditions reduce corrosion.

Airlines across the globe have slashed freighter capacity by about 20 per cent because of the meltdown in cargo demand from the end of 2008.

That has meant insufficient space to handle a jump in cargo demand that began in the fourth quarter of last year, leading to a big leap in freight rates since last October.

Freight forwarders, which were not able to secure enough cargo space from scheduled airline services, have been forced to rent charter freighters at a cost of US$500,000 per flight, or watch their time-sensitive cargo sit in warehouses for several days waiting for space to come available on flights.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 01:44 PM   #1653
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Old January 18th, 2010, 05:30 PM   #1654
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Buoyant Cathay outlines plans to increase fleet
13 January 2010
South China Morning Post

Cathay Pacific yesterday said that with increasing air traffic demand in sight, it is increasing its fleet this year.

The carrier said it would take delivery of five airliners this year, including four Boeing 777-300ERs and an Airbus 330-300 - the same number of new planes as last year, one of the peak years for aircraft delivery.

The carrier also deferred the mothballing of one of two Boeing 747-400s that it had been planning to retire.

"Most people believe that 2010 will be a better year than 2009, and I agree," Cathay chief executive Tony Tyler was quoted as saying in the internal CX World magazine. "However, it's not going to be an easy ride."

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) predicts the global aviation industry would see large losses for the year, but the deficit would shrink to US$5.6 billion compared with the US$11 billion last year.

"Despite the signs of returning travel and freight demand, airlines have continued to be extremely cautious about capacity," Iata said in a report released yesterday.

Since early 2008, passenger capacity has been cut by 7 per cent on international markets and freight capacity by 10 per cent.

Restoring rates and fares to their previous levels is the top priority of airline executives. Average air fares started to rise during the second half of last year but were still 10 to 15 per cent below the 2008 average, the airline trade body said.

Cathay finished 2009 with the highest passenger and cargo yield in December. It carried 5 per cent more passengers last month compared with the same period in 2008, paring the drop for last year to 1.6 per cent.

The Hong Kong division of Cathay attained the best performance in 16 months in December, as holiday travellers filled up 84 per cent of the flights to popular getaway destinations during the 15-day Christmas and New Year period.

Forward bookings for January and February were "promising", the company said.

Because of the robust demand for air cargo, tonnage at Cathay surged 25 per cent year on year to 144,000 tonnes in December against a 3.3 per cent drop in capacity a year earlier.

The four new B777s will be used on flights to Toronto and Los Angeles after the summer schedule begins on March 28. The carrier will increase the number of weekly flights to Toronto to 10 from seven and add three more weekly flights to Los Angeles, making it 17 times a week.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 10:28 AM   #1655
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Cathay Pacific: 2010 To Be Better Year But Still Face Challenges
12 January 2010

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (0293.HK), which will take delivery of five aircraft this year, expects 2010 to be a better year but the airline still faces challenges, Chief Executive Tony Tyler said Tuesday.

'Most people believe that 2010 will be a better year than 2009, and I agree,' Tyler said in a newsletter to staff seen by Dow Jones Newswires. 'So, overall I believe this year will be better than last, but this doesn't mean we are going to have it easy.'

The International Air Transport Association said it expects demand for passenger and freight services to rise this year, but that might be mitigated by rising fuel costs and low yields, which may never be fully recovered.

Tyler wrote 'IATA may be correct' because the airline has never recovered the drop in yields it suffered during the Asian financial crisis in 1998.

The airline will take delivery of four Boeing 777-300ERs and one Airbus A330-300 this year, and is deferring the retirement of one of two Boeing 747-400s, according to the newsletter.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 03:25 AM   #1656
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Old January 21st, 2010, 08:05 PM   #1657
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Momentum lies with Cathay and Dragonair
The Standard
Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cathay Pacific Airways (0293) expects healthy traffic during the Lunar New Year after ending 2009 with a bang.

Cargoes at Cathay and its wholly owned subsidiary Dragonair last month surged 25 percent year on year, while passenger volumes jumped 5 percent.

"The year ended well, with stronger passenger demand leading to an improved load factor and yields at the highest level of the year," said Tom Owen, general manager for revenue management. Improved yields from economy class and a gradual improvement in the number of premium passengers were the main drivers, Owen said. But for the whole of the year, the airlines carried 1.6 percent fewer passengers while cargo tonnage fell 7.1 percent.

Flight numbers last year were cut by 5.6 percent from 2008 to 56,442. Cathay expects another challenging year ahead, following the International Air Transport Association's forecast the industry may lose US$5.6 billion (HK$43.68 billion) this year.

"If IATA's forecasts are correct it's not going to be an easy ride," said Cathay chief executive Tony Tyler.

"Our business last year fell far and fast, and recovery is likely to be slow and gentle at best," he said.

Cathay will step up capacity and frequencies on US and and European routes. Cathay shares edged up 0.58 percent to HK$13.86 yesterday.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 08:08 PM   #1658
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By lawrence0654 from HKADB :

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Old January 24th, 2010, 07:12 AM   #1659
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Flying high again
22 January 2010
China Daily - Hong Kong Edition

The global financial crisis not only wrought serious havoc on the financial and banking sectors but also on the airline industry. In speaking to Joseph Li, Cathay Pacific Airways corporate affairs director Quince Chong thinks the worst is over and feels cautiously optimistic about economic recovery, but uncertainties remain.

The financial and banking industries were immediately hit by the financial tsunami that broke out in September 2008. The airline industry, in particular Cathay Pacific was impacted, said Chong, because a very large proportion of its customers were first and business classes passengers coming from those sectors.

Affected by deteriorating economy and trade, most companies and bosses of small and medium enterprises reduced business travel to cut operating costs, while both leisure travel and cargo freights also suffered a very big dip.

In fact, fuel price fluctuations during most parts of 2008 had imposed a very heavy financial burden on the aviation industry, as fuel accounts for 30 percent of an airline's operating expenditure. The price per barrel escalated from some U$60 to US$140 during peak times, until it stabilized at US$80.

Then the H1N1 swine flu broke out in May 2009, dealing a further blow to the tourism and airline industries.

"The range of incidents revealed the structural problems of the airline industry and generated very big shocks," she told China Daily in an exclusive interview, adding, "To tackle the difficult times, we resorted to cost-saving measures, because we did not know when economy would revive."

Among other things, Cathay reduced its traffic capacity by 10 percent by eliminating certain routes and retiring some aging aircraft.

To save fuel consumption, some routes were revised and shortened, while fewer newspapers and magazines were stored and lighter meal trolleys were used on board to reduce weight.

"Increasing fuel prices and fluctuations make it very hard for us to apply effective cost control," she said.

Owing to reduced traffic capacity, Cathay had a manpower surplus and asked its 20,000-plus staff worldwide to take no pay leave to reduce manpower expenditure.

"We were pleased that 99 percent of our colleagues were willing to endure the difficult times with the company," she said. Since April 2009, Cathay has ceased staff recruitment for one year until further review.

Also, the company has taken the step of deferring construction of the new air cargo terminal by two years from 2011 to 2013, having assessed that the market would not recover in the near future, as well as asking the Airport Authority to lower various airport charges to reduce the operating cost.

"In 2009, we offered many concessions and low-priced tickets in cooperation with travel agencies to attract more customers. The ticket prices were record lows in Hong Kong," she recalled.

The 4th quarter saw mild recovery, especially in the cargo segment, she noted. However, the majority were last-minute cargoes to meet Christmas orders.

After Christmas, both the passenger and cargo throughput had rebounded by about 30 percent, but it was meaningless to make a comparison with the last two quarters of 2008, which were at very low ebb.

"We are cautiously optimistic about economic recovery in 2010," she stated, adding, "But we need to wait and see the performance of the first quarter, which covers the traditional Chinese New Year holiday, to tell whether this is a sustainable recovery."

The US economy remains a big uncertainty. "The US is our biggest market, but it has not fully recovered from the economic doldrums, as the jobless rate there is very high. It is also feared that credit card bubbles will surface," she said, adding that Chief Executive Donald Tsang has recently warned of a W-shaped recovery.

She also noted the Chinese New Year outbound package tours are selling very well.

Accordingly, Cathay will increase flights to Hokkaido, Bangkok and Phuket, which are Hong Kong people's popular travel destinations.

Looking back over the years, Chong said the airline industry has encountered several serious problems and big drops in passengers, since airlines are to a very large extent subject to economic downturn and external factors.

The consumer pattern greatly hinges upon people's confidence in the economic prospects, she said. People will not travel because they have no confidence, not because they have no money.

After the September 11 terrorist attack in 2001, people were afraid to travel to the US for flight safety reasons, she said. When Hong Kong was swept by SARS virus in 2003, foreigners were unwilling to visit Hong Kong, but they returned once the World Health Organization lifted the travel alert.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 01:21 PM   #1660
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