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View Poll Results: Scale from 1 to 10, 10 being SUPER and 1 being BAD, what would you rate the Airport??
1 3 3.57%
2 0 0%
3 0 0%
4 0 0%
5 0 0%
6 1 1.19%
7 7 8.33%
8 9 10.71%
9 28 33.33%
10 36 42.86%
Voters: 84. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 16th, 2009, 06:58 AM   #3061
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Old July 16th, 2009, 06:58 AM   #3062
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Opinion : New shopping mall at airport makes no sense
16 July 2009
South China Morning Post

I cannot accept the rationale of Douglas Louden ("Airport must pay its way", July 3), replying to my letter ("Proposed airport mall will suffer same fate as Terminal Two", June 16). Mr Louden wants to see another mall at Chek Lap Kok.

This makes no sense given the fiasco of the Terminal Two mall. As your correspondent points out, the Airport Authority has no expertise running shops.

I repeat what I said in my letter: that an inquiry should be set up to look into the authority's largesse. It should ask about the billions spent to build Terminal Two, which has proved to be a disaster. Its cinema and golf course enjoy little patronage.

I do not understand why authority chiefs would think tourists want to come to Hong Kong so they can play golf or visit malls at the airport.

The finances of the authority should be subject to a public examination so it can be decided if the Civil Aviation Department should revert to its role as manager of the airport. After all, the department has done a good job at keeping planes moving.

Outlets elsewhere are near airports because they are out of town and rents are cheaper. If Hong Kong people want access to cheaper shopping they will go to Shenzhen.

The Airport Authority is unfairly competing with developers and other businesses by offering land it did not have to pay for.

It is operating shops and hotels even though it has no experience in these areas.

Also, why do we need a third runway when the number of flights is dropping and will continue to drop given the rise in flights between Taiwan and mainland cities?

Although it has squandered money, it has a monopoly over airport charges and so continues to make a profit, despite the financial tsunami.

The government should ensure that the airport tempts tourists here by offering lower and realistic charges, and that staff concentrate on running the airport business and not use taxpayers' money to build empires and create perks for themselves.

In other parts of the world, public protests over the authority would have been heeded.

Sadly in Hong Kong, under the present chief executive, this has not happened.

M. Lai, Mong Kok
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Old July 17th, 2009, 04:49 AM   #3063
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Old July 17th, 2009, 09:52 PM   #3064
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Old July 18th, 2009, 09:10 AM   #3065
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Customs seizes 4 kg of "ice" at airport
Friday, July 17, 2009
Government Press Release



Hong Kong Customs foiled an attempted cross-boundary drug trafficking activity yesterday (July 16) and arrested a 52-year-old Filipino man after seizing four kilogrammes of methamphetamine ("ice"), with an estimated street value of $3 million.

Customs officers last night mounted an anti-narcotics operation at the Hong Kong International Airport. Shortly before 9.30pm, the officers intercepted the Filipino at the Departure Hall as he was about to leave for Manila. A false compartment, specially made with a wooden plank and fastened with eight screws, was found in his check-in suitcase. Inside the false compartment were 13 packets of "ice", weighing approximately four kilogrammes.

The arrested man will be charged with trafficking in a dangerous drug and will appear at the Tuen Mun Magistrates' Courts tomorrow (July 18).

Under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, the maximum penalty is life imprisonment and a fine of $5 million.

Hong Kong Customs will spare no effort to support the anti-narcotics work personally supervised by the Chief Executive and carry out multi-pronged measures to tackle youth drugs abuse and drug trafficking. Meanwhile, Hong Kong Customs will continue to work closely with overseas and Mainland counterparts for intelligence exchange to combat transnational drug trafficking activities.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 08:45 PM   #3066
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Old July 21st, 2009, 05:25 AM   #3067
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Hong Kong's passenger traffic drops 18.9 percent in June
20 July 2009
Agence France Presse

The number of passengers passing through Hong Kong's airport dropped 18.9 percent year-on-year in June, authorities said Monday, as demand for travel continued to shrink amid the economic downturn.

The Hong Kong International Airport handled 3.3 million passengers in June, due to a weak economy and the fear sparked by a global outbreak of swine flu, the Airport Authority Hong Kong said in a statement.

Cargo traffic at the airport, one of Asia's key transport hubs, was down 13.4 percent to 270,000 tonnes in June, compared with the same month last year.

The drop in cargo volume was mainly caused by a decline in exports to the continually weak consumption markets in North America and Europe, the statement said.

Stanley Hui, chief executive officer of the authority, noted that the air cargo market had shown signs of stabilising.

He said June's year-on-year drop was noticeably smaller than the 20 percent declines in recent months, as well as the 30 percent reductions recorded for the months between late 2008 and early 2009.

Hui said he expected that both passenger and cargo traffic for the months ahead would see smaller drops as people's concern over swine flu receded and the global economy began to stabilise.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 08:52 PM   #3068
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Old July 21st, 2009, 09:04 PM   #3069
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Sleepy? Poll rates best, and worst, airports for shut-eye

SINGAPORE, July 20 (Reuters) - On a shoe-string, stuck or just need some shut-eye? Avoid Paris' Charles de Gaulle at all costs, but embrace Singapore's Changi, according to a survey that rated the world's 10 worst, and best, airports to sleep in.

Dirty floors, filthy, overcrowded bathrooms, bird poo and biting insects were among the biggest complaints of the 6,200 travellers who took part in the poll, by travel website The Guide to Sleeping in Airports.

Charles de Gaulle was voted the absolute worst, followed by Sheremetyevo in Moscow, which one traveller called "hell on earth". In the third and fourth spots were New York's JFK and Los Angeles' LAX, while India's Delhi airport rounded off the top five worst airports.

On the flip side, Singapore's Changi was rated the cleanest and most comfortable airport to sleep in, followed by Seoul's Incheon and Amsterdam's Schiphol.

Oslo's Gardermoen and Hong Kong airport rounded off the top five best airports, which the site said travellers loved for the amenities, friendly staff and comfortable seating.

"Sleeping in airports is no longer just for the young budget traveller looking to save a few bucks," said the website, which was founded by Canadian former travel agent and expert budget traveller Donna McSherry in 1996.

"People of all ages and vocations can now be seen stretched out on airport floors all around the world, whether they are there because of a long transit, flight delay or voluntarily to save money."

For a full list, pls click on www.sleepinginairports.net/
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 05:08 AM   #3070
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 05:30 AM   #3071
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Customs intercepts HK$23m ketamine haul
22 July 2009
South China Morning Post

Customs officials at the airport cargo terminal have made their second-biggest seizure of the drug ketamine, with a street value of HK$23 million. A Hong Kong man was arrested.

The 196kg seizure was nearly 41/2 times that of the 44kg that law enforcers found in the first five months of the year.

The drug was in 196 bags, each weighing 1kg, placed in three cartons that arrived from India on July 11. The three boxes also contained five bags of sugar and six bags of rice.

Matthew Wong Hung-san, head of customs' air cargo (import) division, said: "The consignment was declared as bags. It is not common for bags to be delivered to Hong Kong from India by air cargo."

He said it was suspicious because the goods came from India, which is a source country for ketamine. Another factor that alerted officials was that the address of the receiver - a trading company in Tai Kok Tsui - was incomplete, Mr Wong said.

The consignment was selected for inspection at about 3am on July 14 when it was picked up by a forwarder. It was scheduled to be loaded on to a Taiwan-bound flight the same day. The cartons were found packed with the bags of ketamine, sugar and rice when opened for inspection at the airport's cargo terminal.

Investigators believe the sugar could have been for mixing with the ketamine to increase the quantity.

After a week-long investigation, officers arrested a 31-year-old employee of the trading company at his home in Kwun Tong on Monday. He has been released on bail and no charges have been laid.

Tam Wai-lun, head of customs' airport command, said another air-cargo consignment, which arrived from India in November, was picked up at 3am at the airport and officers found it contained 307kg of ketamine and 10kg of methamphetamine.

"It's possible that criminals believe our officers are tired and dozing off in the small hours of mornings. They may think our inspection will be lax at this period," he said.

He added that drug smugglers might also try to take advantage of Hong Kong's reputation for not being a source of drugs to smuggle the ketamine from India to Taiwan.

So far this year, customs officers at the airport have seized 330kg of illegal drugs worth about HK$50 million, compared with 470kg worth HK$100 million in the whole of last year.

Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen dismissed claims that the government had asked Shenzhen to lengthen the detention of Hongkongers caught taking drugs there. He urged people not to take drugs.

"Whether you do it in Hong Kong or on the mainland, this will hurt not only yourself but your family and friends," Mr Tang said.

On Monday, some Hongkongers freed from a Shenzhen detention centre said officials had told them Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen had asked for their five-day detention to be lengthened to 15 days.

Speaking in Hong Kong, Shenzhen Deputy Mayor Zhuo Qinrui said he had no idea whether the Hong Kong government had asked for an extension.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 03:12 PM   #3072
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 09:17 PM   #3073
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 10:26 PM   #3074
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Aviation Market Shows Sign of Stabilisation
Press Release
Supplements previously-posted article with more details.

(HONG KONG, 20 July 2009) ─ June passenger volume and cargo traffic at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) declined by 18.9% and 13.4% when compared to the same month in 2008, to 3.3 million and 270,000 tonnes, respectively. Air traffic movements also decreased by 13.3% to 21,505.

The declines in passenger volume and aircraft movements were mainly attributable to the continually weak global economy and reduction in flights by airlines to reflect lower demand. Demand for travel was further dampened by the global fear sparked by Influenza A (H1N1). As a result, travel by Hong Kong residents and visitors dropped by 12% and , visitors by 25% and transfer passenger traffic by 17% year-on-year respectively. On the cargo side, exports declined 17% over the same month last year, mainly due to the continually weak consumption markets in North America and Europe.

For the first half of 2009, HKIA handled a total of 22.4 million passengers, 1.5 million tonnes of air cargo and 138,290 aircraft movements, representing drops of 8.2%, 19.8% and 7.7% respectively when compared to first half of 2008.

Comparing the year-on-year changes of air traffic performance of the first and second quarters of 2009 showed a further decline in passenger traffic while cargo throughput showed signs of stabilisation. When compared to the first three months of 2009, April to June in 2009 saw an additional decline of 2.1 percentage points in passenger throughput whereas cargo volume showed an improvement of 5.9 percentage points *.

Commenting on the first-half traffic performance, Stanley Hui Hon-Chung, Chief Executive Officer of the Airport Authority Hong Kong, said, "The quarter-for-quarter comparison reflects that while passenger traffic experienced a further drop, brought about most likely by the outbreak of Influenza A (H1N1), which we hope is a one-off phenomenon, the airfreight market has shown signs of stabilising. June's year-on-year 13.4% drop in cargo throughput was noticeably smaller than the 20% declines recorded in recent months, which wereas smaller still than the 30% reductions recorded in end-2008/ early 2009."

Mr Hui added that as people's concern over Influenza A (H1N1) recedes and the global economy starts to stabilisestabilise and eventually recovers, he expects passenger traffic for the months ahead to see smaller reductions while cargo volume will also gradually recover.

For the 12 months ended 30 June 2009, 46.6 million passengers, 3.3 million tonnes of cargo and 289,630 air traffic movements passed through HKIA, representing year-on-year decreases of 5.8%, 15.3% and 4.1%, respectively.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 07:07 PM   #3075
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JuneYao Airlines to Open Skyways to Hong Kong, Macao in 09

SHANGHAI, July 24, SinoCast -- JuneYao Airlines Co., Ltd. will hopefully be greenlighted by the Chinese regulators to open routes to Hong Kong and Macao before the end of 2009, according to Wang Junjin, chairman of the Shanghai-based private air carrier.

The company also plans to commence flights to Southeast Asia, Japan, South Korea and other regions later, Mr. Wang said.

Making sail in September 2006, JuneYao Airlines is now running more than 30 domestic skyways with Shanghai centering. It has bought an Airbus A320 airliner for over USD 40 million and hired ten by far, and is set to purchase three new aircrafts in the second half of 2009.

Last year, the airways achieved a profit of CNY 11.5 million, according to Mr. Wang, who estimated its company's profit to exceed 50 million in 2009.

In addition, the CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) East China Regional Administration forecasted that Shanghai Pudong Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao Airport would handle 770,000 flights and 5 million tons of cargo, and serve 84 million passengers during the World Expo 2010 Shanghai.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 09:40 PM   #3076
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Old July 25th, 2009, 07:13 PM   #3077
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Old July 25th, 2009, 07:17 PM   #3078
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加航出招 國泰以靜制動
25 July 2009
星島日報

據加拿大《星島日報》報道,加航在暑期旺季會推出優惠機會,由八月中至九月初期間,加拿大往香港來回機票只需六百七十加元,另外往上海、北京、東京等航班亦有優惠價。

對於加航進取的促銷策略,國泰和中航都反應平靜,強調暫時不會推出類似計畫,國泰航空加西地區銷售部經理范登胡文話,國泰今年都有優惠機票,雖然折扣稍細,但不擔心會流失熟客。中航營業部總經理何志剛亦回應,要看市場需求如何才作決定。
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Old July 26th, 2009, 05:57 PM   #3079
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Old July 27th, 2009, 07:28 PM   #3080
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Turbulence on radar as airlines cut agents' fees
27 July 2009
SCMP

The Hong Kong travel industry is bracing for a shake-up as travel agencies resist moves by airlines to cut commission on ticket sales in the face of stiff competition from online services.

Travel agents in the city are entitled to a commission of 5 to 7 per cent of the fare on every ticket they sell on behalf of the airlines. But, elsewhere, airlines stopped paying commissions in 2002, pushing many travel agencies out of business and forcing the survivors to charge passengers service fees.

"If I were younger, I would find another job rather than be a travel agent," said Susan, who has worked at a Hong Kong travel agency for 30 years. "I can see that lower or zero commissions is an inevitable trend."

The popularity of Web-based ticketing platforms, enabling passengers to book and pay for flights directly online, has given airlines greater bargaining power with travel agencies.

Zero commissions have been the norm in the United States and Europe for nearly 10 years, but carriers have encountered huge obstacles in adopting the model in Hong Kong.

Air France-KLM, which tried to reduce the commission fees gradually to zero in the city, triggered a street protest by hundreds of travel agents last month. Emirates Airlines, which attempted to cut the commission to 5 per cent from 7 per cent in June last year - the first major carrier to attempt to lower the fee - was boycotted by travel agents in the city for two weeks.

Nevertheless, the attempts set an example for others to follow. Virgin Atlantic Airways will adopt a 5 per cent commission from August 1, following other carriers who lowered their commissions to 5 per cent from 7 per cent during the past year.

Only a handful of airlines, including Cathay Pacific Airways, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines, continue to offer 7 per cent commissions.

"Airlines' distribution model and customer behaviour are evolving over time ... new business models are coming up such as the introduction of fee-based schemes," said Carolyn Leung, a spokeswoman for Cathay Pacific. "There is a need to constantly review the components of the distribution model based on these changes."

Analysts said Hong Kong's flag carrier did not want to take a proactive role in changing the commission fee structure because the political risks were too high. "The benefit from slashing the commission would be offset by the negative impact on its image by doing so," said Kelvin Lau, a transport analyst at Daiwa Institute of Research.

"Legislative Council members, especially those representing the interests of the tourist industry, would oppose the cut in commission fees as it will affect the income of travel agencies," a market watcher said.

In Hong Kong, there are about 1,500 travel agencies employing more than 40,000 agents. "If the commission fee is reduced to zero, many of them will suffer as over 80 per cent provide purely ticketing services," said Paul Tse Wai-Chun, the legislator representing the tourism industry.

As Hong Kong people's travel patterns were often unplanned, travel agencies could provide value-added services, he added.

When the commissions were scrapped in the US in March 2002, the number of travel agents shrank to fewer than 21,000 in 2005, compared with more than 30,000 in 2000, according to a survey by Amadeus, a technology provider for travel agencies.

Still, lower commissions could be good for consumers.

"After the 2 per cent cut in commission fees, the room for lowering airfares becomes larger," said Angelina Wong, public relations and marketing manager for Virgin. However, airfares were subject to market forces and a lower commission may not mean a cut in airfares, she said.

For the airlines, slashing commissions is a logical cost-cutting strategy. It is all the more compelling at a time when the economic downturn has forced carriers to cut expenses by any means, including grounding aircraft, making staff redundant and imposing pay cuts and unpaid leave.

Commissions to agents are one of the major costs of airlines, after oil prices, airport charges, salaries and maintenance fees.

The rationale for cutting commissions, however, is more than cost-cutting. "Passengers could have more choice as they can select the agent who charges them less," said an industry veteran. "There would be differentiation in the service fee charged by different agents, unlike the fixed commission."

The customer could select a relatively modest travel agency with a lower service charge if they required simple service, while choosing a more high-end travel agency for handling more complicated transactions.
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