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Old November 3rd, 2009, 12:52 PM   #3181
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Hactl sees first growth in cargo for 16 months
3 November 2009
SCMP

Hong Kong's air-cargo sector has seen the first signs of recovery since the start of the global financial crisis, with the city's largest ground handler of air shipments expecting the first monthly volume gain since July last year.

Hongkong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd (Hactl) said shipments were expected to rise year on year in October, the first growth in 16 months.

Air cargo is an important bellwether that may augur improvements in other areas of the economy.

Official figures will be reported later this week by the terminal operator, which handles about 70 per cent of the cargo at the airport.

In a sign airlines are expecting better times, the long-awaited cargo joint venture between Cathay Pacific Airways and Air China reportedly will be launched before May next year. Ten Boeing 747-400 freighters will be used by the Shanghai-based carrier, in which Air China will own 51 per cent.

Cargo demand last month returned to positive territory at the world's busiest cargo airport from last year, said Lilian Chan, Hactl's general manager for marketing and customer service.

She said the surge in demand for air cargo would continue into the first week of next month when the last pallet of holiday cargo was shipped before the Christmas season.

Hactl has signed up nine new airlines as customers this year, including Air Cargo Germany, Air Pacific Fiji and Yangzijiang Express Airlines.

Since the second week of last month, Shanghai and Hong Kong airports have been busy handling shipments bound for the United States before the Thanksgiving holiday. Deliveries of new Apple computers produced on the mainland and extremely low stocks at US retailers had led to the surge in air cargo.

A cafeteria on the sixth floor of the Hactl building has served as an unlikely indicator of the upswing in the cargo market.

"It used to be extremely quiet in the first half ... but now I have to go down 15 minutes earlier to avoid the crowd," said one staff member working at the building, which accommodates about 100 tenants from cargo airlines, freight forwarders and trucking companies.

Chan said sales representatives from airlines' cargo divisions were refusing to pick up the telephone when it rang now "as they have no cargo space to offer to the desperate freight forwarders".

The rebound in air-cargo volume is so profound that freight rates to the US have doubled in the two months to as high as HK$35 per kilogram. This contrasts with the first quarter when rates to the US and Europe plummeted to single digits as airlines were desperate to fill up aircraft cargo spaces.

The seemingly V-shaped rebound in air-cargo demand has also been attributed to the reduced number of operating freighters and cargo-carrying passenger aircraft. Chan said there had been a more than 20 per cent cut in capacity from Hong Kong that included Cathay, China Airlines and China Eastern Airlines Corp.

Samuel Pang, a cargo sales supervisor at China Airlines, said he was cautiously optimistic about cargo demand but buying power in Europe was still a substantial impediment to a full recovery.

"The shippers are still worried about a potential bubble in the economy of the European region," he added.

China Airlines has resumed more than 40 flights a week between Taiwan and the US, on par with pre-economic crisis levels. But the service to Europe remains at 12 flights a week, about 20 per cent below the peak last year.

The year-on-year drop in cargo volume handled by Hactl shrank to 4.3 per cent in September from 6.3 per cent in the third quarter and 16.3 per cent in the first nine months.

Hong Kong International Airport handled 304,000 tonnes of cargo in September, down 4.3 per cent from a year ago, against 17 per cent in the second quarter and 22.9 per cent in the first quarter.
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Old November 4th, 2009, 06:22 PM   #3182
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Old November 6th, 2009, 04:28 AM   #3183
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Chinese tourists expected to boost Fiji's economy
Xinhua News Agency
2 November 2009

SUVA -- The Fiji government and tourism stakeholders said on Oct.27 they expect tourism numbers to boom with increased airlines servicing Fiji and a direct flight from China to the Fiji resort city of Nadi.

It has already been confirmed that Australian airlines Jetstar, a low-cost Qantas subsidiary, and V Australia will start servicing Fiji within months with competition expected to heat up.

The direct flight from Hong Kong to Nadi starts on Dec. 3.

Fiji will get direct connectivity to the Europe market with direct Air Pacific flights from Hong Kong to Fiji's resort city of Nadi.

Fiji's Tourism Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said opportunities and tourism numbers were expected to increase dramatically.

The Chinese Embassy in Fiji said the direct flight from Nadi to Hong Kong will boost tourist arrivals from China.

The Chinese Embassy Counselor in Fiji, Fei Mingxing, said the recent move by Air Pacific was a great one and would increase tourist numbers from Asian countries.

For the first time, Air Pacific in its 2008 and 2009 financial year, recorded 1 million passengers on their carrier destined for Fiji and the introduction of new routes are expected to rake in millions of dollars.

The direct flight from Hong Kong to Nadi move has been welcomed after Air Pacific noted a fall in demand from the Tokyo-Nadi route.

Air Pacific recorded losses from this route and that was why they canceled it.

Despite four years of attempting to improve the number of tourists for the Tokyo-Nadi route, results were negative.

Hong Kong is popular for being a major hub and it is hoped that the new move would place tourism as a major source of income for the Pacific island nation.

Fiji has the largest market share of Chinese visitors compared to its neighboring Pacific island countries.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 04:46 PM   #3184
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Old November 9th, 2009, 07:14 PM   #3185
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Guys, I am dying to see pics of the Hong Kong Airport sattelite terminal! Please, if anyone can post pics I would appreciate it, maybe hkskyline? Thanks!
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Old November 9th, 2009, 08:13 PM   #3186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halawala View Post
Guys, I am dying to see pics of the Hong Kong Airport sattelite terminal! Please, if anyone can post pics I would appreciate it, maybe hkskyline? Thanks!
The only most recent picture available, shamelessly taken from the official website....



As you can see, the new garage.......I mean the new concourse won't be ready to operate very soon........

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Old November 10th, 2009, 04:40 PM   #3187
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Hong Kong air cargo throughput rebounds in October

HONG KONG, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Air cargo throughput via Hong Kong rose in October for the first time since June 2008, up 1.7 percent from a year earlier, a further indication that global trade flows are picking up, data from Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd. showed on Tuesday.

Cargo exports from the city continued to fall, by 2.8 percent from a year earlier, but that was modest compared with an 18.6 percent drop for the first 10 months of this year.

Cargo imports rose 15.4 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 9.8 percent decline in the first 10 months of the year.

Year-on-year change in air cargo via Hong Kong:

Oct Sept Aug Jul Jun May Apr Mar Feb
1.7 -4.3 -6.2 -8.4 -14.4 -18.6 -22.5 -21.1 -22.0

Hong Kong is a re-export centre for trade between Asia and the rest of the world.

Air cargo volumes through Hong Kong in October totalled 225,856 tonnes.

A breakdown of air cargo handled by Hactl in October:

Code:
               October 2009           Jan-Oct 2009 
               Tonnage  Yr/Yr         Tonnage   Yr/Yr
             (tonnes)  growth (pct)  (tonnes)  growth (pct)
 Export          123,772    -2.8        966,256   -18.6
 Import           59,252   +15.4        498,798    -9.8
 Transshipment    42,832    -1.5        384,918    -8.8
 ------------------------------------------------------
 Total           225,856    +1.7      1,849,972    -14.5
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Old November 11th, 2009, 03:30 PM   #3188
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Old November 11th, 2009, 06:08 PM   #3189
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Old November 12th, 2009, 05:18 PM   #3190
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Old November 12th, 2009, 05:26 PM   #3191
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Airport Authority Welcomes New Board Members
AA Press Release

HONG KONG, 12 November 2009 — The Chairman of Airport Authority Hong Kong, Dr Marvin Cheung Kin-tung, today welcomed the appointments of three new members of the Board by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The new members—the Honourable Chan Kam-lam, the Honourable Albert Ho Chun-yan and Mr Allan Wong Chi-yun—will join the Board on 1 January 2010.

Welcoming the appointments, Dr Cheung said, “Hong Kong International Airport is at an important juncture of growth and development. These new members will bring valuable insights to the Board and add to the wealth of experience of the existing Board of the Airport Authority.

“As always, through considered guidance and direction of the Board, we will continue our mission of strengthening Hong Kong’s status as a leading international and regional aviation centre and maintaining a world-class airport,” added Dr Cheung.

From 1 January 2010, the Board of the Airport Authority will comprise 16 members.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 05:52 AM   #3192
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 05:55 PM   #3193
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 05:58 PM   #3194
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No systemic problems with plane oxygen bottles The ATSB could not replicate the explosion.
17 November 2009
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) says it has found no evidence of systemic safety problems with oxygen bottles like those involved in a Qantas incident last year.

An oxygen cylinder blew a hole in a Qantas jumbo jet on a flight from Hong Kong to Melbourne in July.

Flight QF30 was forced to land in Manila after an explosion blew a gaping hole in the side of the plane in front of the starboard wing.

A preliminary report confirmed that an exploding oxygen tank was responsible for the incident and that some oxygen masks failed.

Another interim report released today, says the ATSB have not been able to replicate the cylinder failure, using five oxygen cylinders obtained from the same manufacturing lot.

The original one was lost over the South China Sea.

The ATSB is continuing to conduct tests on the cylinders, examining them for mechanical and manufacturing flaws.

The ATSB's final report is expected some time next year.
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Old November 24th, 2009, 06:50 PM   #3195
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Old November 24th, 2009, 07:11 PM   #3196
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Cargo Volume Sees First Growth after 14 Months of Decline

(HONG KONG, 15 November 2009) – Cargo tonnage handled by Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) in October 2009 increased by 1.3% over the same period last year, to 324,000 tonnes – marking the first month since August 2008 that a year-on-year monthly comparison registered positive growth. Passenger throughput and air traffic movements declined 3.7% and 7.8% compared to the same month last year, to 3.9 million and 23,945 respectively.

Transshipment traffic also shrank, decreasing 8% compared to the same period last year in part because of the diversion of Mainland/ Taiwan cargo to scheduled direct flights across the Taiwan Strait. Tight capacity from Hong Kong due to strong demand and reduced freighter capacity also made carriage of transshipment less attractive to airlines. Meanwhile, export volume registered a very small year-on-year increase of 0.1%, ending months of negative growth. Import volume performed exceptionally well in October, posting year-on-year growth of 13%.

On the passenger side, Hong Kong resident traffic registered 20% growth over October 2008. Visitor numbers dropped by around 4%, while transfer/ transit traffic declined by approximately 18%, due to the weak performance of the Mainland and Taiwan markets.

Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Chief Executive Officer of Airport Authority Hong Kong, pointed out that the recent traffic figures continued to indicate signs of stabilisation, particularly on the air cargo side, which was in line with the overall economic environment. "It is encouraging to see cargo throughput end the downward trend and increase by 1.3% in October. Though this is just a mild improvement made on October 2008 – which itself saw a drop compared to October 2007 – it nevertheless is an encouraging change for the better during a challenging time.

"Meanwhile, pre-Christmas stock replenishment has caused a sudden boom in air cargo in the region, resulting in higher rates and more extra freighter flights being operated. Momentum is building up to the year-end seasonal upturn, which hopefully is a sign of market recovery," Mr Hui continued.

From January to October, the airport received some 38.2 million passengers, moved 2.7 million tonnes of cargo and handled 231,800 aircraft movements, representing yearly declines of 6.3%, 13.4% and 7.9%, respectively.

On a rolling 12-month basis, passenger throughput was down 6.2% year-on-year to 46 million, while aircraft movements dropped 6.9% to 281,345 and cargo volume slid 15.2% to 3.2 million tonnes.
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Old November 26th, 2009, 04:40 PM   #3197
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The 'Great Wall of China' is hurting airlines' bottom lines
16 November 2009
SCMP

For Hong Kong pilots, the Great Wall of China is not a centuries-old stone defence but an invisible 4,800-metre barrier that costs aircraft entering mainland airspace an extra 135,000 tonnes of fuel each year.

The "one country, two systems" principle may have benefited Hong Kong people in many ways, but arcane airspace management is hurting airlines' bottom lines and the expansion plans of airports in the Pearl River Delta.

The barrier, which planes travelling into and out of Hong Kong must fly above, exists because Hong Kong airport and the ones in Guangzhou and Zhuhai operate under separate airspace controls. Instead of an integrated system, the invisible barrier segregates the aircraft taking off and landing at the different airports.

The problem is that planes leaving Hong Kong have to fly in a big loop so they can gain enough altitude to get over the barrier. Separate operation of the two airspaces costs each plane leaving Hong Kong 15 minutes' additional flying time for trips to the mainland, Europe and parts of North America.

It also applies to planes arriving from these destinations.

An estimated 15,000 flying hours could be saved every year for aircraft arriving at or leaving Hong Kong if the airspaces were integrated, says the airline trade body, the International Air Transport Association. This translates to at least 135,000 tonnes of fuel burned and 425,250 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

This could cost airlines HK$748 million in fuel bills and HK$67 million for the carbon offset when airlines are subject to a European emissions-trading scheme in 2012.

"It is inevitable as long as the air-traffic control in Hong Kong and Shenzhen remains operating under two separate systems," said Peter Lok Kung-nam, the former director general of Hong Kong's Civil Aviation Department. "The invisible wall could only be torn down if air-traffic controls on both sides were consolidated into one."

There are some moves to do this. Russell Davie, Cathay Pacific's general manager for operations, said the Civil Aviation Department would set up an air-traffic control centre in late 2012 which could integrate airspace throughout the Pearl River Delta within a few years. "The eventual integration of the airspace will further improve efficiency, then all aircraft into and out of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Macau and Zhuhai will fly optimum routes, benefiting operators in all the Pearl River Delta," he said.

But there may be regulatory hurdles to full integration. "The new facility can provide the hardware for maximising the airspace as well as integration for its management," said Raymond Li Kwok-chu, chief air-traffic control officer of the Civil Aviation Department. "But the software capability still relies on the negotiations between the regulators in Hong Kong and the mainland."

In the meantime, some breakthroughs have been made after a meeting of Hong Kong, mainland and Macau authorities. The height of the invisible wall had been lowered to 3,900 metres from 4,800 metres between 11pm and 7am on request, Li said. "The mindset of the mainland officials has changed and they are very proactive to streamline the air-traffic management," he said.

One of the challenges in the joint management of airspace lies in different measuring systems used by the two sides. Hong Kong uses feet, while the mainland uses the metric system.

Another challenge will be the fact that about 70 per cent of airspace on the mainland is designated for the military and military training areas, placing extra constraints on airspace management for civil airports.

Airspace in the delta has become a more valuable commodity since the early 1980s when Shenzhen airport was restricted to just a few flights a day, while Zhuhai's was not even a commercial airport.

With Shenzhen airport about to build a new runway and Hong Kong studying a third runway, maximising the use of airspace through integration has become more critical.

AirAsia, the most profitable budget airline in Asia, said the major challenge for developing business on the mainland and Hong Kong was the lack of landing slots.

"We could [operate] a second daily flight from Bangkok to Guangzhou and Shenzhen if the airport could give us the time slot to land in the morning," said Tassapon Bijleveld, chief executive of Thai AirAsia. "It is very difficult now, as the airports in the Pearl River Delta are very congested."
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Old November 26th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #3198
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Old November 27th, 2009, 05:57 PM   #3199
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Asian air cargo log jam spreads
30 November 2009
International Freighting Weekly

The air cargo backlog in China and Hong Kong has spread to other Asian airports, leaving forwarders fighting for space on flights to Europe.

Grant Liddell, key account director at forwarder Uniserve, told IFW: "Air freight levels are still really buoyant, and the blockage at Hong Kong seems to be migrating north to Shanghai, Beijing and even Korea."

On 20 November, there was a backlog of 3,500 tonnes at Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (Hactl), the equivalent of 35 B747 freighters - which meant freight was waiting seven to 10 days for uplift.

Forwarders said there was a build-up also developing at Bangkok, Singapore and Taipei, where rates had increased to around US$4kg.

At Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport several carriers have placed embargoes on transhipment cargo in the last two weeks because Thai origin and destination demand is so great.

Thai Airways stopped accepting bookings last week as it sought to clear its own backlog.

"We saw volumes jump by 20% in October over September and November has been very busy and is projected to be 9% up on October, " said Stewart Sinclair, MD of Bangkok Flight Services, the leading ground handler at Suvarnabhumi.

"September is usually the peak but this year it was flat, then October just took off.

"It's mostly driven by China; there's no capacity anywhere at the moment."

The cargo build-up that started in October has continued with demand spiking last week.

Ad hoc freight rates from Chinese airports to Europe were pushing $6/kg, confirmed carriers and forwarders contacted by IFW, while one source said rates out of Bangkok for ad hoc cargo were also understood to be near the $6/kg mark.

"This year has been unique, because there have been so many last-minute orders, " said Sunny Ho, director of the Hong Kong Shippers' Council.

"Over the last few months, sentiment has been improving, inventories were low, but nobody really anticipated shortages.

Volumes waiting to be air freighted keep on building up."

As IFW went to press, a lack of scheduled flights was forcing forwarders and shippers to buy space on charters, where rates had increased to around $550,000 for a Hong Kong-Europe B747 rotation.

"If they don't take it then somebody else will, " said Ho.

"Some forwarders are also telling customers they will only take half of a booking, forcing them to use other forwarders at higher rates.

"Forwarders have been saying carriers are using dirty tricks to maximise rates, but they are doing the same to shippers."

Airlines remain cautious about rushing freighter capacity back into the market because of doubts about the longevity of the demand rebound.

"Nobody knows what demand will be like after the Chinese New Year in February so you can understand their caution, " said Ho.

A spokesperson for Cathay Pacific said the carrier had been shuffling its resources to meet rising demand.

"We have been adding an average of six to seven extra sectors or charter flights every week to North America or Europe, " she said.

One forwarder described the capacity backlog out of Hong Kong as "ridiculous", and said there was a "fundamental lack of understanding" among shippers about what was going on in the marketplace.

"Some of the demands from customers are at best excessive and at worst irresponsible, " he said.

He said shippers refused to accept that their shipments could not be flown straight away, believing that other customers were getting priority over them.

"No-one is being victimised here - it is just that there is insufficient capacity in the market, " he added.

He said the delays of seven to 10 days applied whether forwarders were buying at inflated ad hoc prices, or capacity arranged through long-term agreements.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 07:35 PM   #3200
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