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Old December 4th, 2007, 06:22 AM   #2301
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Airport Authority urges closer ties between PRD airports
4 December 2007
South China Morning Post

Airport Authority chairman Victor Fung Kwok-king expects closer "formal" ties among the five airports in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) as the proximity of infrastructure means they "cannot afford" to compete.

A firm believer in co-operation between airports in Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai, Mr Fung said yesterday that formal ties such as management contracts and equity ownership were likely, while some could join forces to improve connectivity.

Co-operation could also provide an alternative to the proposed third runway at Chek Lap Kok, with completion of the first stage of a feasibility study due later this month, he said.

Maximising the capacity among PRD airports and increasing ferry, rail and road connections would benefit both Hong Kong and the mainland, Mr Fung said.

Asked whether the authority was negotiating an investment in Macau's airport, and there was "no concrete plan" on an equity linkage at present, but different forms of co-operation were being discussed, he said.

"Macau is a very big potential contributor to air capacity. If we manage efficiently and co-ordinate air capacity in the PRD, it will mean everybody has more capacity. It does not make sense not to co-operate," Mr Fung said.

Industry sources said the government had reservations about the new runway, partly for fear of over-burdening the airport's financial position. Environmental groups are also opposed to the plan to reclaim land and destroy marine habitats.

Christine Loh Kung-wai, chief executive of public policy think-tank Civic Exchange, said options must be explored before building new supply.

"If more can be done to improve capacity efficiency at the airport, and utilise existing capacity in the neighbourhood, then we all save money and time, and it may create better services all round," she said.

To fend off competition from the mainland and link its air network closer to that of the Yangtze River Delta and north-eastern areas of the country, Chek Lap Kok took a two-pronged approach, adopting both management and investment roles.

"If we [Hong Kong] are able to become an integral part of China, we will bring the entire mainland network to the international arena," Mr Fung said. "It will enhance Hong Kong's overall competitiveness."

He pointed out that the Airport Authority, which advises on Beijing Capital airport's terminal 3 project, plans to expand co-operation with 15 affiliated airports.

He added that Hong Kong's airport had benefited from the Airport Authority's management contract with Zhuhai airport, which is on the verge of breaking even after the authority started managing it a year ago. The authority also holds 35 per cent of Hangzhou airport.

Mr Fung shed no light on the rumoured listing of Chek Lap Kok airport, saying it was a matter of "the Hong Kong government's desire" to realise the value of taxpayers' money.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 07:47 AM   #2302
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'World's best airport' ready to hire again
1 December 2007
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is entering its fourth cycle of recruitment for its management trainee programme.

Already employing 1,000 staff, the HKIA is now ready to expand its team of 29 existing management trainees.

"The aviation industry is so specialised that we do not have anyone else developing our people for us. We see the need to train our own people," said Lilian Ho Heung-ying, senior manager of training and development at HKIA.

The programme accepts undergraduates and master's graduates from most disciplines. People with a few years' working experience are also welcome. "We look for innovative, self-motivated, fast-learning team players who can think critically. With increased business with China, proficiency in Putonghua is an asset," Ms Ho said.

She added that the two-year programme involved a very stringent recruitment process. The aim is for trainees to eventually become a pool of management staff, capable of handling general management positions. Upon completion, they become executives, junior managers and eventually senior managers, which they hopefully can achieve within 10 years.

The programme consists of two segments: knowledge-based and competency-based training. The former includes classroom and job rotation in HKIA's core services and businesses.

Knowledge-based training can be done through familiarisation, orientation, briefing, some sessions with senior managers, where they acquire knowledge and technical know-how, and an airport management competency course. These are mixed with communication and presentation to fulfil competency-based training.

"We are the world's best airport. [Management trainees] have the opportunity to grow for the next few decades in a very diverse business. With our guidance, it's a wonderful start to their career," Ms Ho said.

Three management trainees shared this sentiment. "You don't just choose your job, you choose the industry in which you start your career, so I chose HKIA as the industry is very promising," said Monica Yang-Lin, a management trainee from Zhejiang University.

In addition to bright future prospects and job security, thanks to the growth of the aviation industry, the love of being at an airport is also a factor. "I thrive on seeing the 'meet and greet feeling' of travellers and being able to help passengers in need," trainee Linus Yu Wai-ho said.

"I love the airport and the feeling that I belong to this family of staff who truly care about us. They personally tend to us and, from what I have heard from other more seasoned trainees, I am excited and have great expectations," another trainee, Sandy Kwan Yee-mei, said.

Being exposed to different experiences within two years means that trainees must absorb knowledge rapidly. "This is my 13th month and I have already been through five rotations which were highly varied in nature. It is challenging to be highly adaptable and very quick at learning," Ms Yang said.

"As I have a civil engineering background, I had some good choices of programmes, such as with airlines and aero-engine servicing companies, but HKIA stood out as the range of exposure is unmatched," Mr Yu said.

Mr Yu added: "When I go home, I still read magazines on aircraft and join forums on aviation topics. Saying that you like aviation isn't enough, your daily actions must prove how passionate you truly are."

Likewise, Ms Kwan did her research on the latest local and global aviation news before the interview.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 08:44 AM   #2303
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Cross-Pacific shoppers leave retailers reeling
Flights in the $200 range have consumers jetting off to Asia

3 December 2007
Vancouver Sun

Vancouver-area agents that specialize in travel to Asia report that flight bookings to Hong Kong this fall have spiked as much as 50 per cent compared to last year, spurred on by cheap air fares and the strength of the Canadian dollar.

In fact, some Lower Mainland retailers and restaurants say that they are actually feeling a pinch because there is a mini-exodus of consumers, who usually stick around town and spend, but are now flying more often to Asia, sometimes for weeks at a time.

Battling the appeal of cross-border shopping is one thing, but these businesses also blame a slump in sales on the lure of cross-Pacific shopping.

For example, at Prima Taste Restaurant on Robson Street, owner Kiam Ang serves authentic Singaporean dishes to a clientele that consists of one-third regulars. Lately, however, many of these usual faces haven't been showing up.

"These are customers who usually come in once or twice a week," said Ang. "Then, [suddenly] we don't see them for a few weeks. And when they come back, they tell us that they have been away and might be off again soon.

"The airfares are so cheap right now. They are going and coming back and going again."

Shanghai River Restaurant, on Westminster Highway in Richmond is an elegant and popular 5,000-square-foot-plus establishment. November is usually a slower time of year, said manager Yu Yick Man, but "this year, it is definitely down from even the usual lows, by some 20 to 30 per cent."

When asked how he knows that this dip is necessarily due to more of his regular clients travelling to Hong Kong, Yu echoed other observers: "I just know that everybody is away. My friends have gone. My family is away. Even my wife has gone back.

"You think about it, it's just $200 to get on a plane."

Cathay Pacific Airways and Air Canada have both offered lower fares to Hong Kong this year, but it is new entrant Oasis Airlines and its slew of bargains that seems to have stirred this activity and piqued people to travel.

The budget airline has thrown out various one-way to Hong Kong fares around the $200 mark: There was $299. Then, there was $239. This week, there's yet another at $229.


It has also enticed bookings by tacking on free side trips with a Hong Kong-based partner, flinging travellers on to Singapore, Vietnam and destinations in southern China.

Paulus Ng, who heads Silkway Travel, an agency with Hong Kong roots that now has eight Lower Mainland locations, said that consumers have lapped up Oasis's marketing.

"The conventional way is to list round-trip ticket fares, but [Oasis] is breaking fares into one-way prices as a gimmick. It's so that it looks really cheap."


And once thoughts of such a good bargain are sparked, "they'll still go back [to Hong Kong] even though, very often, they can't [actually get] the cheapest airfares as advertised," said Audrea Chan, a Chinese-language newspaper reporter.

Whatever the case, Ng said that "more people who hadn't planned on going to Hong Kong are saying: 'With these cheap fares, let's go. It's not a big deal.'

"These aren't 'astronauts' [the trans-Pacific commuters who work in Hong Kong and frequently fly to see their families in Vancouver]. They live full time in Vancouver. Often, they aren't working, but are going to shop, have fun and see friends."

Take Donna-Rica Cheung, a Vancouver resident who hadn't been back to her native Hong Kong in eight years. When her sister Desiree, also a long-time Vancouver resident, returned from Hong Kong in July only to head back there again in October, Cheung herself decided to take a look at the cheaper fares.

"They are really reasonable," she said in a phone interview from Hong Kong, where she and her sister will spend a few more weeks before returning to Vancouver in time for Christmas. "We have been buying clothes and shoes and stuff like that. It's very cheap. And we are eating a lot, out every day."

Ng, the travel agent, thinks there is actually a modest shift happening in buying patterns. "In the past, they may have used that money to buy clothing or other things here, but now that disposable income is going toward travelling and shopping elsewhere," he said, adding that most Asian currencies are pegged to a falling U.S. dollar.

Tony Gugliotta, senior vice-president of marketing and commercial development at Vancouver International Airport (YVR), confirmed some of this anecdotal evidence in an email reply: "Indeed, YVR has experienced more than a 50-per-cent growth in Hong Kong origin and destination traffic in the three full months after Oasis Airlines commenced service ending September [based on latest available data], accompanied by approximately a 34-per-cent decline in Canadian dollar terms of the average fare."

More than 50-per-cent growth in overall Hong Kong traffic is significant, but behind this there is another trend: When Vancouver-area travel agents are asked how many more bookings they have each been making, there is a very wide range of answers.

For example, Ng at Silkway thinks that Silkway's bookings to Hong Kong are up about 25 per cent. But, at Richmond-based M's Travel Ltd., travel agent Connie Chan said that she was up 50 per cent.

At Oasis Airlines, Vancouver-based general manager David Solloway was hearing many different numbers too, which made him dig harder to explain the discrepancies:

"The Vancouver agents who traditionally serve Hong Kong Chinese business are up about eight to 14 or 15 per cent," said Solloway.

"But the agents who cater to customers with mainland Chinese roots are up substantially more."

That's because the population of immigrants from mainland China in Vancouver is much bigger and still expanding.

"These customers are booking more trips to Hong Kong, but going on from there into southern China. From these agents, I am hearing of a 35- to 45-per-cent or more increase in bookings," said Solloway.

This bit of insight on passengers funnelling through Hong Kong to and from southern China is interesting considering that late last week, Premier Gordon Campbell, who is on a 10-day trade mission to China and India, was flanked by top YVR airport executives in announcing an agreement for China Southern Airlines to fly direct from Guangzhou, in the the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, to Vancouver.

YVR's Gugliotta said in an e-mail: "Currently, citizens of Guangdong must travel either to Shanghai or Beijing to take advantage of air services to Vancouver, or alternatively transit through Hong Kong.

"Direct air service will allow greater ease and comfort for the many travellers moving between our two provinces. This new direct service will increase trade, travel and tourism between Guangzhou and YVR."

All sorts of snafus could derail a current target for this to happen in July 2009, but the agreement is a sign of the pressure to add more options for consumers travelling to and from this Hong Kong/southern China region.

At Cathay Pacific Airways, vice-president Canada Philippe Lacamp emphasized that there is room for a variety of "products" to serve the Vancouver/Hong Kong/southern China market.

In November, Cathay, which is based in Hong Kong and linked to more than 20 mainland Chinese cities, added three more flights to its weekly Vancouver to Hong Kong schedule even as Oasis basked in an impressive Vancouver debut.

While all these airlines try to grab market share, in the long term it is likely that demand will outstrip supply, leaving room for each of them.

"As long as the pie is growing, it's great," said Lacamp. "You have to consider the sheer size of the population in that area around Hong Kong and southern China and the potential of bringing that to Vancouver."

And that takes us back to those Vancouver retailers and restaurants. At least one of them is keeping his chin up. At Aberdeen Centre, a mall in Richmond with well-known Asian chains, there has been a drop in local shoppers who have been going to Hong Kong because of low airfares and the strong dollar, said Thomas Fung, who developed and oversees the property.

However, Fung is hopeful that those same cheap flights will balance the loss by bringing more new shoppers from Hong Kong and southern China to his mall more often.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 06:59 PM   #2304
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Old December 5th, 2007, 01:47 AM   #2305
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
'World's best airport' ready to hire again
Already employing 1,000 staff, the HKIA is now ready to expand its team of 29 existing management trainees.
The "staff" part does not include baggage handlers, security guards, etc. right?
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Old December 5th, 2007, 05:22 AM   #2306
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herenthere View Post
The "staff" part does not include baggage handlers, security guards, etc. right?
No, not the actual baggage handlers, security guards, etc. but i guess these trainees will probably be involved in the management level of all those duty, not necessary the one actually doing the job.
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Old December 6th, 2007, 05:50 PM   #2307
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Local airlines see business in Beijing Olympics
6 December 2007
Business Standard

Indian domestic carriers such as Jet Airways, Kingfisher and SpiceJet, are suddenly waking up to the lure of a new growing market - Hong Kong and Shanghai - with the Olympics slated in China next year.

"We are definitely looking at Hong Kong as one of the key destinations in Asia. Subject to getting the government's approval, we would like to start daily flights from Delhi and Mumbai, beginning with the summer schedule next year," said Wolfgang Prock Schauer, CEO, Jet Airways.

Currently, only two carriers operate between India and Hong Kong. Air India has 12 flights a week and Cathay Pacific operates 8 flights.


"There is an immediate capacity increment to at least 21 flights in a week, with a possible increase in the future," said Kapil Kaul, CEO Indian Subcontinent, Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

Kingfisher is another carrier which is evaluating Hong Kong as a viable destination. "We are looking at daily flights to Hong Kong from Mumbai. It would definitely be put to good use as a hub for several North Asian destinations," said Hitesh Patel, executive vice president, Kingfisher Airlines.

Apart from being a shoppers paradise and a tourist destination, Hong Kong also has an immense potential as a hub for other North Asian destinations such as Beijing, Macau and Shanghai.

Airlines such as Jet Airways and Spice Jet are also looking at starting direct flights to these destinations. One of the key drivers of traffic growth will be the Beijing Olympics scheduled next year.

"The Beijing Olympics will definitely be a huge market for the carriers. We expect the sales to go up around that time. And for people who are going for the Olympics, Shanghai will serve as a good tourist attraction," said Prock Schauer. Jet Airways is planning to start daily direct flights to Shanghai during the summer schedule next year. Spice Jet is also actively looking at starting flights to destinations such as Macau next year, provided it gets the approval for international operations.

The demand for increased traffic during the Olympics has already been tapped by international airlines and the yields have begun to show. Recently, Malaysia Airlines started four weekly flights from Kuala Lumpur to Macau. Singapore Airlines, which operates more than 100 weekly flights to that region from Singapore, has started advanced bookings for people headed for the Olympics.
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Old December 7th, 2007, 11:37 AM   #2308
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Finnair opens new gateway for China
6 December 2007
South China Morning Post

Finnair's introduction of direct flights to Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou this year is positioning Helsinki as China's new gateway to Europe. With a flight time of less than 10 hours, the Finnish capital is the shortest, fastest and most eco-efficient route between Asia and Europe.

Frequent connections through Helsinki-Vantaa Airport also enable fastest-possible links to many European destinations - including Italy, Spain and southern Europe.

The national carrier is now flying non-stop daily between Hong Kong and Finland in summer, with three flights a week in winter. Complementing the fastest route to Europe were "excellent connections" to more than 50 destinations, said Ville Ahokas, country manager for Hong Kong, southern China and Macau.

This year's service upgrade improves on a previous schedule of three times a week via Bangkok.


Finnair now operates 25 flights a week to China. It has resulted in a 31 per cent increase in Chinese travellers staying overnight in Finland, surpassing 100,000 for the first time. The number of Finnish visitors to Hong Kong has also increased dramatically, from 11,604 in 2004 to 15,645 in 2005 and 18,616 last year. Finnair's traffic to Asia is expected to grow by 30 per cent this year.

"Already over half of our revenue comes from Asian traffic," said Finnish Civil Aviation Administration spokeswoman Irmeli Paavola. "Thanks to its geographical locations, Helsinki-Vantaa Airport is a natural place to change flights when travelling between Asia and Europe. In the future 'via Helsinki' will become a concept in travel between these two continents."

Finnair has focused on increasing its Asian traffic since 2000, with its inaugural flight to Hong Kong in 2002. Finnair now operates 59 weekly flights to Asian destinations - compared to 13 weekly flights to four Asian destinations in 2001.

Apart from China, it also flies non-stop to Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangkok, with Seoul introduced next summer.

The Finnish carrier is also the only airline operating direct cargo flights to Scandinavia, aboard its Finnair Cargo fleet. Finnair is renewing its long-haul fleet with environmentally friendly Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft by 2010.
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Old December 10th, 2007, 08:01 AM   #2309
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Old December 10th, 2007, 08:05 AM   #2310
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Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Nov throughput up 2.4 pct on yr
7 December 2007

HONG KONG (XFN-ASIA) - Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd(Hactl) said its cargo throughput in November rose 2.4 pct year-on-year to 250,743 tons, the highest monthly volume ever.

For the first 11 months to November, cumulative throughput was 2,393,610 tonnes, up 2.7 pct year-on-year.

Export volume was 149,600 tonnes for November and 1,348,905 tonnes for the first 11 months, up 3.3 pct and 2.9 pct year-on-year, respectively.

Import volume for November was 60,942 tonnes, up 0.6 pct; while the cumulative import volume for the first 11 months was 625,489 tonnes, down 0.9 pct.

Trans-shipment volume was 40,201 tonnes for November and 419,216 tonnes for the first 11 months, up 2.0 pct and 8.2 pct year-on-year, respectively.

(1 usd = 7.8 hkd)
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Old December 11th, 2007, 04:05 AM   #2311
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Training top of agenda at hi-tech cargo terminals
8 December 2007
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong International Airport's air cargo terminals at Chek Lap Kok are colossal facilities and are at the forefront of logistics and robotic technology. But even though they were built using a minimum-human-input concept, there are many job opportunities.

The airport, as a major link between the east and west corridors in world cargo trade and passenger traffic, is a 24-hour operation. With all systems go at all times, there is a multitude of essential tasks that need to be carried out, continuously and proactively.

"We are always needing staff," said Nelson Lee, Asia Airfreight Terminal general manager for planning and services. "The main reason is the expansion of the company because of the increased through tonnage."

There are two air cargo terminals that offer job opportunities in the complex of airport operations - SuperTerminal One, operated by Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd (Hactl), a facility that is the envy of other airports in all its dimensions, and a second full-swing air cargo terminal, operated by Asia Airfreight Terminal.

SuperTerminal One is a mammoth undertaking and functions by providing an integrated automated cargo handling system which is spread over six storeys. It is billed as the largest air cargo terminal in the world and is certainly remarkable in its scale and introduction of logistics technology.

Hactl general manager of personnel, Cecilia Cheung, said, "As Hactl's operation is unique, it is not easy to recruit candidates with the required experience. The majority of people joining the company do not have cargo terminal experience. Therefore training is very important to us."

Asia Airfreight Terminal marketing manager Ang Ngah Bee said, "AAT is quite prepared to invest in the training of non-skilled personnel to prepare them to be effective in their work in logistics and transport."

"For junior warehouse jobs, training and job attachment may vary from one week to a couple of months," Ms Cheung added. "For supervisors, normal recruitment is the annual intake of fresh graduates who undergo a one-year training programme to become fully-fledged supervisors. The training programme also provides these young people with a solid foundation to move up the organisational ladder to more senior positions."

Aside from handling typical shipments, SuperTerminal One also facilitates special cargo types such as Unit Load Devices, containers that hold bundled cargo used for specific-bodied aircraft, which need constant monitoring.

SuperTerminal One is further powered by specialised systems such as the automated Container Storage System (CSS), which allows cargo units and pallets to move swiftly between the system and the tarmac; and the Box Storage System (BSS) which automates the movement of bulk cargo in the terminal building without the need for human intervention.

The BSS provides 10,000 storage positions for bulk cargo, a direct link with the Customs Hall and a fully automated system connecting directly with cargo release and acceptance points.

Connecting the CSS and the BSS is a network of conveyor loops, computer-controlled cranes and cargo hoists all working to ferry cargo between floors and processing workstations, and ensuring that cargo is processed with the necessary reliability, security and efficiency.

With such an unusual interface, recruitment tends to be specific, internal or reserved for the experienced.

Mr Lee said: "Usually, we promote from within the company to fill positions. People usually start with us from junior levels. I am not saying that there is no chance to come in at the mid or more senior level and indeed in the past we have filled vacancies by bringing in people from the outside. It depends on their qualifications and the relevant work experience."

"Hiring preferences in this line are for personnel who have worked in the IT industry and who know the needs of end-users," said Ms Ang.

Hactl has a dedicated staff in the IT Security Office.

"For us, most IT work is performed in-house," said Ms Cheung. "We look for all levels when it comes to the IT workforce, from programmers to managers. Typical qualifications are relevant degrees in tertiary institutions, plus relevant experience.

"With the growing importance of the role of information security in the industry, we might consider growing our headcount in this area. The total staff strength in our Information Services Department is around 120, while the total staff strength in Hactl altogether is around 2,700," said Ms Cheung.
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Old December 11th, 2007, 04:39 AM   #2312
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Old December 13th, 2007, 04:47 AM   #2313
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Super 24-hour cargo surveillance keeps intruders at bay
8 December 2007
South China Morning Post

The security side of the terminals also offers employment opportunities, physical security is not the only concern. Information technology that deals with the networked computers, data storage systems and those that support the logistical supply lines also need protection.

Cargo security is a high priority at the airport and at SuperTerminal One. All shipments are policed 24 hours a day by a 250-strong security force as the first line of defence. The human vigilance is further backed up by a network of electronic sensors, an intruder detection system and an access control system with 120 control points and more than 700 closed-circuit TV cameras monitor access to the restricted areas. Hactl's security control office has round-the-clock surveillance, but security jobs don't end there. "We also offer work opportunities in computer security - on the IT side - and in monitoring activities. Asia Airfreight Terminal outsources some IT work, but network and storage systems are maintained by our own staff," said marketing manager Ang Ngah Bee.
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Old December 13th, 2007, 05:21 AM   #2314
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港深機場軌道 或對接廣深港線
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【本報珠三角新聞中心記者岳仿嶙深圳11日電】在今日舉行的深圳市新聞發佈會上,深圳市軌道辦有關負責人表示,根據目前規劃,港深機場軌道,將與建設中的廣深港客運專線對接,形成更大的客流量。

該人士透露,深圳有關方面已完成「深港機場連接軌道」的前期規劃研究—軌道全程30多公里,將在深圳境內,與在建的廣深港客運專線交接。在與該線路接駁後,港深機場軌道,將不僅僅輻射深圳,更可輻射廣州、東莞兩地,可為香港機場提供更多的客源。

對於港深機場軌道,張思平表示,目前該項目已經進入規劃期,但距離真正施工仍有一段時間。他表示,在深圳地鐵高峰建設期結束前,即2010年前,該條軌道投入建設的可能性不大。同時,他亦表示,在明年,廣深港客運專線的建設速度將加快。在明年上半年,該專線的福田地下車站將正式動工。
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Old December 13th, 2007, 05:46 AM   #2315
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OPINION : Selfish businessmen do not need noisy helipad on Wan Chai waterfront
2 December 2007
South China Morning Post

Selfish businessmen do not need noisy helipad on Wan Chai waterfront

The Hong Kong Regional Heliport Working Group led by Robbie Brothers and the Kadoorie family, seem determined to bring misery to thousands of Hong Kong residents by their dogged determination to continue fighting for a large commercial heliport in Wan Chai. ("Businessmen look to delta helicopter taxis", November 26).

The fact that helicopters are the noisiest, statistically dangerous, and most inefficient powered passenger carrying machines known to mankind seems to count for nothing to these helicopter fanatics. Have you gentlemen not heard about the seriousness of global warming and the need to reduce unnecessary consumption of fossil fuels? Are you yourselves so deaf or oblivious to the deafening noise nuisance inflicted on those who lie near your heliports or under your flight paths? Why do you persist in advocating the most selfish form of transport ever invented?

Already investors and residents in a new and popular skyscraper residential complex on the waterfront at Kennedy Town are belatedly discovering how they or their tenants are constantly disturbed by the aggravating noise of helicopters buzzing past their balconies every few minutes to and from the Macau ferry heliport. And if this were not enough, you now wish to inflict this menace upon the residents of Wan Chai and the many thousands of tourists who visit Golden Bauhinia Square every day? Why so much selfishness?

And to businessman Paul Chung Hu, who complains of it taking four hours to drive from Admiralty to Dongguan , what is wrong with using the railways Mr Chu? You can leave Admiralty and be guaranteed to arrive in Dongguan within about two hours without even worrying about traffic conditions if you take the train.

There is absolutely no justification for introducing more helicopter flights for a few businessmen. No business person is so important as to warrant the imposition of constant noise and pollution misery on many thousands of residents just to save an hour or two in travelling time in respect of a journey that can be made adequately by railway, bus or if absolutely necessary, private car.

P. A. Crush, Sha Tin
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Businessmen look to delta helicopter taxis
26 November 2007
South China Morning Post

Businessmen with factories in the Pearl River Delta want to cut travelling time to and from Hong Kong, and are setting their sights on helicopter taxis.

In 2004, there were five ground-level helipads in Central that accommodated single-engine helicopters, widely referred to as helicopter taxis. But they were all closed to make way for the Central reclamation project.

The Hong Kong Regional Heliport Working Group, of which the Kadoorie family is a prominent member, has proposed a four-pad ground-level heliport in the northeastern corner of Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai.

The group's proposal is an expansion of a Planning Department blueprint that features two helipads in Wan Chai North, for Government Flying Service use.

Paul Chung Hu, managing director of a Taiwanese investment company who makes frequent trips from Hong Kong to the mainland, said it took at least half of a day for a road journey.

"It takes me at least three to four hours travelling from Admiralty to Dongguan , not counting the time wasted on traffic jams and joining the long queue crossing the border," he said, adding that taking a ferry could take even longer. He believed it would be much more convenient to develop air transport, saying that helicopter taxis would be a good choice for businessmen.

Chen Ke-tian, deputy director of the Shenzhen government's Taiwan Affairs Office, said there were about 4,000 Taiwanese doing business in Shenzhen, and helicopter taxis would help to connect all cities in the Pearl River Delta, which would help to boost economic activity in the region. There are no helicopter taxi services connecting Shenzhen with other cities in the delta.

Working group chairman Robbie Brothers said earlier this year the government's proposal for two helipads in Wan Chai North was inadequate, adding that all other world-class cities had heliports in their central business districts. He said an extra two pads added to the government's proposal would not require reclamation work.
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Old December 13th, 2007, 05:58 PM   #2316
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Source : http://www.fotop.net/ka808

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Old December 13th, 2007, 07:08 PM   #2317
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Old December 16th, 2007, 05:36 AM   #2318
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Press Release

Double-digit Growth in Passenger Traffic at HKIA

(HONG KONG, 16 December 2007) - Passenger throughput at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) exceeded 4 million in November, the largest increase this fiscal year and a 10.0% improvement on November 2006.

Cargo throughput grew 6.2%, to 364,000 tonnes, driven by strong exports to South East Asia and Europe, and transshipments to and from South East Asia and Mainland China. Air traffic movements increased 6.1%, to 25,210.

Stanley Hui, Chief Executive Officer of Airport Authority Hong Kong, said, "We saw robust visitor traffic in November, particularly from the Mainland, North America and Europe. At our current growth rate, annual passenger volume will soon reach 50 million. HKIA is ready to meet this demand and committed to delivering top-quality services and facilities."

For the 12 months ended 30 November, passenger throughput was 47.4 million, cargo volume reached 3.72 million tonnes and air traffic movements were 294,180. This represented year-on-year growth of 7.5%, 4.3% and 5.2%, respectively.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 02:58 PM   #2319
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Hong Kong sees best ever October inbound figures
Monday, December 17, 2007


Hong Kong has seen more than 2.56 million travellers in the first ten months of 2007, making it the best ever end of October figure, reported the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKBT).

This increase sees the cumulative statistics for the ten month January to October period lift to an increase of 10.4%, up to 22.93 million inbound.

Mainland China played a big helping hand in lifting these figures by increasing by some 25%, but a boost also came from key long-haul regions, all of which recording double digit gains.

‘Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific’ lifted by 17.1%, ‘The Americas’ lifting by 15.0%, and ‘Europe, Africa & the Middle East’ lifting by 11.0%.

In a statement, the HKBT said, “Exceptional performances were recorded in such long-haul markets as Canada (+26.8%), New Zealand (+21.8%) and France (+11.9%), and from the key volume providers, including the United States (+11.5%), the United Kingdom (+12.5%), Australia (+16.4%) and South Korea (+10.2%).”

An interesting market in South East Asia is Vietnam, with a strong and unexpected surge this year, with the ten month numbers already surpassing 2006 whole year figures.

This recent report has seen the regional director for the South and Southeast Asia for HKTB David Leung commenting to a local Vietnamese newspaper that the board is eyeing Vietnam over bigger ASEAN countries such as Thailand and the Philippines.

Records of numbers from China continue to astound, with the month of October alone recording nearly 1.4 Mainland Chinese tourists coming in to the harbour city.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 06:16 PM   #2320
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Airport heads for 50m passengers in yearly volume
Hong Kong Standard
Monday, December 17, 2007

Passenger and cargo throughput at Hong Kong International Airport last month remained strong and annual passenger volume will soon hit 50 million, Hong Kong Airport Authority chief executive Stanley Hui Hon-chung said.

The airport handled about 4.03 million passengers in November, up 10 percent from a year ago - the largest year- on-year growth recorded in 2007.

"If the current growth rate prevails, annual passenger volume will soon reach 50 million," Hui said.

An Airport Authority spokesman said: "The target is not for this year or next year. We will not give a time frame. But it will be achieved soon."

For the first 11 months of this year, total passenger throughput was 43.5 million.

Annual passenger throughput last year was 44.4 million.

The airport is the world's fifth busiest international passenger airport and the most active worldwide for air-cargo operations.

Cargo volume last month rose to 364,000 tonnes, up 6.2 percent from the same period in 2006 and 3.12 percent from October this year.

According to Immigration Department statistics, about 27,611 passengers arrived daily at the airport last month - a new record high.

Hong Kong Inbound Travel Association chairman Paul Leung Yiu-lam said a record high in November is surprising because the month - unlike August, October and December - is not a peak period.

The mainland, North America and Europe accounted for the bulk of arrivals.

With the yuan appreciating, shopping in Hong Kong is more attractive, luring more mainland shoppers to the city, said Raymond So Wai-man, a finance professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
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