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Old December 12th, 2013, 11:24 AM   #4441
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Old December 15th, 2013, 09:59 PM   #4442
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Old December 16th, 2013, 10:29 AM   #4443
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Complaints over online flight booking procedures in Hong Kong soar in last year
South China Morning Post
16 December 2013

Complaints filed to the consumer watchdog about online flight booking soared almost four times from January to November compared to the same period last year.

The Consumer Council announced on Monday that it received 405 complaints during the period, up from 110 last year. Some of the complainants bought the tickets through the airline’s website, others made the purchase at travel agents’ websites.

The amount of money involved in the disputes also went up from HK$640,000 to HK$1.5 million in the period.

“While I can’t say that the companies are getting more cunning, there is certainly a need for the companies to improve communications with their customers,” the council’s chief executive Gilly Wong Fung-han said.

She declined to name which airlines or agents were named in the complaints.

In one case, a man bought five low-fare tickets to Japan at a total cost of HK$20,320. The website had indicated that the cancellation fee was HK$800 for each ticket.

He later needed to change the travel date and was told that he needed to pay an extra HK$6,070, well exceeding the HK$4,000 he was supposed to pay according to the airline’s website.

He turned to the council for help. The airline then explained that the low-fare tickets on the new travel dates of his choice were all sold out. The surcharge he was asked to pay was indeed the difference between the low-fare and the normal fare.

Later, the airline was willing to settle the dispute and asked the man to pay only HK$4,620 of surcharge.
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Old December 18th, 2013, 04:07 AM   #4444
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Airport Authority board reject plan to move train depot for third runway
Huge cost of moving depot for driverless third runway train would outweigh improved land value, Airport Authority board were told
18 December 2013
South China Morning Post

The huge cost of moving the depot for the train meant to serve the new terminal at Hong Kong International Airport's proposed third runway - and the delay it would cause to the opening of the runway itself - has led the Airport Authority board to vote against changing its plans for the airport.

The board was informed that the cost of moving the depot would be double the reduction in the value of the land, estimated by a consultancy firm, that would occur if the depot remained in its original location.

The cost and the need to complete the third runway on time finally put an end to the argument between the board's chairman Marvin Cheung Kin-tung and board member Vincent Lo Hong-sui over the North Commercial District project.

Board members including Lo - who had advocated relocating the depot - unanimously agreed to keep the driverless electric rail yard underneath the commercial development, as originally planned.

The authority now plans to kick-start the project by beginning construction of a hotel on the site as soon as possible. "Although developing the site in phases will reduce land value, we were informed that moving the depot and delaying the airport as a result would cost almost double that reduced land value," one board member told the Post on condition of anonymity.

"The high cost is mainly due to inflation if the construction of the runway is delayed," the member added.

The 120,000 square metre site between Terminal 2 and the AsiaWorld-Expo is currently a temporary golf course. The commercial project, comprising a hotel and mall, was proposed to offer tourists an alternative to heading into the city and to strengthen development on Lantau.

Lo, widely tipped as the next board chairman, had wanted the rail depot built by the runway site, which would have prolonged the environmental impact assessment of the runway - expected to completed by 2023 - by at least six months.

He also complained that the authority had withheld reports from board members which found keeping the depot underground would reduce the site's value by billions.

Yesterday Cheung said the authority had yet to come up with an accurate estimate of the reduction in land value. He stressed the new runway was on schedule and its environmental impact assessment report would be submitted for government approval early next year.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said the timing of the project would inevitably be delayed by the depot, but priority should be given to the runway.

"I believe that in the circumstances this is the best arrangement as the [authority] has committed themselves to design and build the depot without too much interference [above it]," said Lo.

But he admitted it was a compromise. "I supported the decision as I bear the city's overall interest in mind. Personally, I still believe the depot could be relocated."

Lo resigned as chairman of the authority's infrastructural planning committee early last month over the row but stayed on as a board member. He reaffirmed that decision yesterday. "I couldn't advance the commercial plan under my leadership. It wasn't an impetuous decision."
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Old December 24th, 2013, 10:59 AM   #4445
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Old December 29th, 2013, 05:09 PM   #4446
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Jetstar rejects claim airport unable to cope
The Standard
Friday, December 27, 2013

Jetstar Hong Kong yesterday insisted that it could operate flexibly, using slot resources at non-peak periods at Chek Lap Kok airport.

It was responding to a claim in a radio interview on Wednesday by of the Civil Aviation Department director-general Norman Lo Shung-man that the airport may not be a suitable place to develop budget flights.

Lo said on air that the existing two airport runways will be saturated within two to three years. As few timeslots are available, the development of low cost carriers in the SAR will not be practical as they focus on short-haul, high-frequency flights.

The number of flights at the airport has reached a record 370,000 over the past 12 months, with an average of 65 flights per hour, close to an upper cap of 68 per hour, Lo said.

A Jetstar Hong Kong spokesman countered that there is still much room for flights during non-peak hours, from midnight until the early hours.

Legislator Yiu Si-wing, who represents the tourism sector, also believes there is capacity for low-cost airline development. He said that budget airlines only account for about 5 percent of market share in Hong Kong. Other top airports have around 20 percent. But Lo stressed the need to build a third runway.

Jetstar Hong Kong said it remains confident of getting a license.
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Old January 7th, 2014, 02:39 PM   #4447
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Old January 8th, 2014, 10:45 AM   #4448
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Terminal growth
Third runway ‘takes priority over depot’

6 January 2014
South China Morning Post

Airport Authority chairman argues expansion is most important after dispute among board members over plans for key development site

The proposed third runway should take priority over commercial development at the airport, Airport Authority chairman Marvin Cheung Kin-tung said in his first media interview since a split emerged in the authority’s board over plans for a key development site.

The board voted unanimously last week in favour of building a train depot on the site of a temporary golf course, a location some board members had wanted to use purely for a shopping and hotel development. Board member Vincent Lo Hong-sui had threatened to quit the board over the issue but changed his stance after learning that moving the railway depot would delay the third runway by a year.

“According to the Airport Authority Ordinance, the first [purpose] of the authority is to develop the airport. The provision of other facilities is secondary. This says building the airport should always be our main task,” Cheung told the South China Morning Post.

He said Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying had been kept informed about the authority’s discussions. Lo is a Leung supporter.

The row broke out in November when Lo tendered his resignation as chairman of the authority’s infrastructural planning committee after the authority’s management insisted the depot for the driverless electric train that will service the new runway should be located under the commercial development. Lo argued that the depot would reduce by billions of dollars the value of the 120,000 square metre site between Terminal Two and the AsiaWorld-Expo complex.

The authority said moving the depot closer to the new runway would delay the environmental impact assessment on the controversial runway plan, which is being fought by environmentalists who claim reclamation work will destroy the habitat of the rare Chinese white dolphin.

All board members, including government officials, accepted the argument that the cost of delaying the runway, work on which is due to begin in 2015, could vastly outweigh the reduction in the value of the commercial plan.

“It’s true that [keeping the depot] will discount the land value,” Cheung said. “But do you know how much the cost of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge increased after its tender was delayed for a year? With the runway project costing more than HK$130 billion, can you estimate how much more we would have to pay if it was delayed for a year?”

The government had estimated that the 10-month delay in the HK$58 billion bridge project, the result of a judicial review application, had pushed costs up by HK$6.5 billion. The increase was blamed on rising material costs and a higher risk induced by a tighter schedule.

Cheung said moving the depot would delay the new runway by a year, rather than the three to six months suggested by Lo.

And he said he would do all he could to keep Lo on the board and as head of the infrastructure committee. Lo has been tipped as a possible successor to Cheung, whose tenure was extended for 12 months last year. He added the matter was never personal.

“It is a very important matter that requires detailed discussion,” he said. “We should not make an impetuous decision … There could be misunderstanding. It is a complicated issue that takes time to understand.

“I have never been opposed to any idea [being raised] or lobbied anyone to support the management. My role is to facilitate the discussion so that both sides of arguments can be heard.”
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Old January 15th, 2014, 05:08 AM   #4449
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Budget airlines find Hong Kong a tough market to crack
13 January 2014
South China Morning Post

Budget airlines are thriving in South Asia, but in North Asia - particularly Hong Kong - they are struggling.

Hong Kong Express is the city's sole budget airline so far, launched in October 2013. Jetstar Hong Kong, another budget carrier that has been trying to get off the ground since 2012, is on indefinite hold thanks to delays in its licensing.

Low-cost airlines control about 45 per cent of the South Asian market but just 5 to 6 per cent of the Hong Kong market, estimates Andrew Cowen, deputy chief executive of Hong Kong Express.

Budget airlines cut out all extras such as food or drinks unless you pay for it and charge for check-in luggage. There is no entertainment. They often force passengers to unload on the tarmac using external stairs, to shave off the fractional cost (about HK$1 per passenger) of using a passenger boarding bridge.

The airlines also use a single aircraft type (Jetstar, Hong Kong Express and AirAsia only fly Airbus 320 jets) which cuts maintenance and pilot training costs.

Budget carriers are also very focused on getting their planes back in the air. Cabin crew clean the plane as soon as it lands, working from the back, which means the plane does not have to wait for a cleaning crew.

AirAsia uses leather seats for the simple reason that they are easy to wipe down (the fact that few people are eating on the plane also cuts down on mess).

These saved minutes add up. AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes told the South China Morning Post that his jets take just 25 minutes to get back in the air after hitting the gate, as opposed to the 1- 1 1/2-hour wait seen by a premium carrier. Quicker turnarounds mean planes are in the air more, maximising the revenue of each aircraft.

So why is the budget carrier such a difficult business model to pull off in north Asia? Japan only got its first budget carrier in 2012. Taiwan still has none. The mainland is warming to the low-cost model, but its two budget carriers (Spring Airlines and West Air) are on the periphery of that market. You have a dominant carrier in Cathay which uses its muscle to slow down airlines that try to come into its market.

The problem is largely down to North Asia's high fixed costs. All airlines have to pay the same high wages, fuel bills and airport landing fees. This means that the part of the ticket on which the budget carriers can discount - food and entertainment costs - becomes less significant.

"Hong Kong is a difficult market for the budget carriers. It has high costs and is significantly more constrained," said Daniel Tsang, founder of Aspire Aviation, an aviation consulting firm.

The problem is partly explained by regulators' unwillingness in North Asian countries to let budget airlines compete with profitable incumbents with a vast local workforce.

"The Chinese government likes to protect their own interests … and they will block [low-cost carriers] with the airline licensing," said Daniel Wong, an analyst at Hong Leong Investment Bank.

Cowen said: "I have worked on low-cost carriers where they were not able to come into the market … [because] regulators refused to issue extra licences to protect the incumbent flag carrier."

Cowen's comments are slightly ironic in that Hong Kong Express filed an objection - along with Cathay - to Jetstar's Hong Kong licensing.

Cathay Pacific objected to Jetstar's application for a Hong Kong licence, in September last year, on the grounds that it violated the Basic Law, Hong Kong's mini-constitution. In 2005, Cathay also opposed the licence application by the now-defunct Oasis Hong Kong Airlines.

"You have a dominant carrier in Cathay which uses its muscle to slow down airlines that try to come into its market," said Fernandes. "It becomes a political issue … [Cathay] seem to be dead against any low-cost carrier coming in."

Cathay Pacific says that granting Jetstar a licence would violate the Basic Law and put important economic assets into the hands of a carrier controlled by a foreign airline.

"This is not a simple matter of a budget airline seeking to establish its operations in Hong Kong. It is much more than that. It is an issue that will have far-reaching impact on Hong Kong's overall competitiveness and ultimately on Hong Kong's position as Asia's aviation hub," said a Cathay spokesman.

Edward Lau, chief executive of Jetstar Hong Kong, would not be drawn in to comment on the motives of regulators or the companies that oppose Jetstar's launch, saying simply that it is a process the firm needs to go through.

"It's the difficulty of launching a low-cost carrier in North Asia. It's reflected [by the fact that] low-cost carriers hold barely 6 per cent of the Hong Kong market," he said. "The low-cost model … has not been adopted in Hong Kong."
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Old January 15th, 2014, 09:45 AM   #4450
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So what happens next?
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Old January 15th, 2014, 09:55 AM   #4451
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it is very beatiful
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Old January 15th, 2014, 10:47 AM   #4452
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunming tiger View Post
So what happens next?
Jetstar needs to keep waiting until the licensing decision is made.
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Old January 15th, 2014, 11:03 AM   #4453
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Jetstar needs to keep waiting until the licensing decision is made.
JQ needs to pack their bags & invest in mainline!
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Old January 15th, 2014, 07:55 PM   #4454
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Quote:
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Jetstar needs to keep waiting until the licensing decision is made.
Timeframe?
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Old January 15th, 2014, 09:30 PM   #4455
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Timeframe?
The airline was launched in 2012 with operations commencing the following year Good on CX for putting up the fight to block them, that's my personal opinion.

Sale and leaseback tipped in Jetstar's Hong Kong waiting game

Grounded: Jetstar Airbus A320s are parked in Toulouse, France, for now.
Jetstar's fledging offshoot in Hong Kong is considering the sale and leaseback of its growing fleet of new Airbus A320s stuck on the ground to try to reduce costs while it awaits regulatory approval to launch flights.

The delays come as pressure builds on Jetstar's parent, Qantas, to find ways to satisfy investors who are eager for it to present a credible plan to strip out costs and become more competitive against Virgin Australia.

Jetstar confirmed that selling the Hong Kong affiliate's planes to a leasing company, and leasing them back when needed, was an option it was considering.

Up to seven of the new single-aisle A320s remain parked at Airbus' manufacturing base in Toulouse, France. Jetstar is also said to be due to take delivery of a further two planes by June.

The planes were among a large order of A320s by the Qantas group.

Jetstar Hong Kong and its three shareholders - Qantas, China Eastern and listed conglomerate Shun Tak - are bearing the growing cost of the parked planes.

The airline, which faces stiff opposition from Cathay Pacific, has been hiring staff since late 2012 and now has a permanent workforce of about 50, including pilots and cabin crew.

The airline's fate remains in the hands of Hong Kong regulators who have given no indication of when they will decide whether to grant it approval to fly. Jetstar had originally targeted the middle of last year.

Last month it turned down a proposal from Qantas, which was detailed in a leaked letter, to take three A320s and store at least two of them in Australia.

Jetstar's new offshoot in Japan has also been forced to keep at least four new A320s on the ground because of delays with regulators deciding whether they will allow the budget airline to set up a second base in the country.

Jetstar's Asian ventures have been hailed as the long-term growth engines for Qantas.

Qantas booked $50 million in start-up costs for the Jetstar ventures in Hong Kong and Japan last financial year, up from $31 million a year earlier.

After Moody's this week downgraded Qantas to junk status, Credit Suisse analysts said the airline's strategic review remained the major catalyst for the stock and a test of management's credibility.

The analysts said the onus was on Qantas management to present a credible strategy for reducing costs to help it meet the challenge posed by a rejuvenated Virgin.

Qantas will reveal details of its strategic review at its half-year results late next month.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/sale-...#ixzz2qUszmVHM
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Old January 16th, 2014, 11:38 AM   #4456
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Railway could link SZ, HK airports
15 January 2014
Shenzhen Daily

A NEW rail line could be built to link the airports in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported yesterday, citing the Democratic Alliance for Betterment in Hong Kong (DAB).

The DAB visited Shenzhen’s new airport terminal Monday to learn how airports in the two cities can strengthen cooperation.

The DAB said the two cities should continue researching the potential for such a railway to increase the flow of passengers and cargo between the two airports.

Shenzhen Airport Group manager Zhang Gongping said Hong Kong’s airport boasts a broad international network while Shenzhen’s airport has many hinterland flights, indicating potential for increased collaborations.

A railway between the two airports could give passengers access to cheaper services at the Shenzhen airport while high-end and intercontinental passengers could access more internationalized services at Hong Kong’s airport.

DAB chairman Tam Yiu-chung said Hong Kong officials have been discussing expanding the city’s airport, a project that could learn from Shenzhen’s new terminal.

The DAB said Hong Kong should actively seek cooperation with airports in the Pearl River Delta area during the transitional period of its airport expansion, to increase its operational effectiveness.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 02:26 PM   #4457
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Old January 20th, 2014, 01:37 PM   #4458
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HKIA Achieves Another Record-Breaking Year
Flight Movements Hit New Monthly Record in December 2013

Press Release

HONG KONG, 19 January 2014 – Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) reported a year of solid growth in all three traffic categories in 2013, setting new annual records in passenger and aircraft movements. During the year, HKIA welcomed more than 59.9 million passengers and handled 372,040 aircraft movements, representing annual growth of 6.1% and 5.8%, respectively. Cargo throughput rose 2.4% year on year, reaching 4.12 million tonnes.

HKIA handled 32,830 flight movements in December 2013, up 6.6% compared with same period in 2012, breaking the previous monthly record set in August 2013. The airport also served nearly 5.3 million passengers during the month, up 6.1% from the same month in 2012. Cargo volume handled was 371,000 tonnes, consistent with the level recorded in December 2012.

The growth in passenger trips was driven mainly by Hong Kong resident traffic and visitor traffic, which saw 13% and 6% gain, respectively, over the same month in 2012. Passenger traffic to and from Mainland China, Taiwan and Japan recorded the most significant increases. On the cargo side, both imports and exports registered 1% year-on-year growth, while transshipments dropped by 6% compared to December 2012.

Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Chief Executive Officer of Airport Authority Hong Kong, said, “We are pleased to see another record-breaking year for HKIA in 2013, which further strengthens our position as a leading regional and international aviation hub. We welcomed five new airlines and added five new destinations during the year.

“HKIA was also inducted into TTG’s Travel Hall of Fame, recognising the hard work and tireless contributions of the 65,000-strong airport community. 2013 was also a year of development, enhancing our facilities to keep in stride with the fast pace of growth. While 20 new aircraft parking stands entered service last year, another eight stands will become operational within this year. Construction of the Midfield Concourse and the associated facilities is also progressing on schedule, and these facilities are expected to come on stream in the end of 2015.”

During the year, HKIA also broke new annual records for cross-boundary traffic. Approximately 2.67 million passengers made use of SkyPier, representing a yearly growth of 2.8%. Nearly 2 million passengers hired limousine and coach services travelling between HKIA and Pearl River Delta destinations, up 3% year on year.

“2014 will be another challenging year for HKIA, as demand for air services continues to increase. With a daily average of 1,050 flight movements projected in the coming summer schedule, everything is done to ensure we maintain a world-class travel experience for our passengers. We will continue to work closely with HKIA’s business partners to achieve that,” added Mr Hui.
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Old January 20th, 2014, 04:40 PM   #4459
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Old January 27th, 2014, 07:34 PM   #4460
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Engineers look to jobs fair - and a jet engine - to drive on aviation industry
23 January 2014
South China Morning Post

The city's undermanned aviation industry hopes to attract new talent at an upcoming public fair, as well as introducing young people to the professional accreditation recently established for aircraft engineering.

A five-tonne Rolls Royce Trent 500 engine that once powered an Airbus A340 will go on display at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai this weekend as part of the Discover Aviation Careers 2014 fair.

The Western Harbour Tunnel will be closed to all other traffic for 30 minutes from 4am Friday, as the HK$100-million engine is transported through on its way to the convention centre.

Some 16 participating businesses - including Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company and Hong Kong Airlines - will be looking to hire new recruits at the fair.

While the generally low unemployment rate in recent years and competition from other industries have contributed to the aviation sector's manpower shortfall, leading aircraft-engineering companies also blame low public awareness of the potential careers the industry offers.

"That's why we are providing more information on the industry, in a way that is more engaging to young people, as well as their parents," said Warren Chim Wing-nin, honorary secretary of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers' aircraft division.

"Once the general public is aware of the industry and its career prospects, more will consider a career in aviation," Chim said.

Since 2009, aircraft engineering has been recognised by the institution as a professional discipline, and it offers graduates and high-diploma earners in the field engineer accreditation.

Dennis Hui King-wai, general manager for quality at the Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company which has trained many of the city's homegrown aircraft engineers, said the company would aim to hire 550 staff this year.

He added that the industry provides both engineering and non-engineering jobs, ranging from aircraft engineering and catering to executive-jet management, and is looking for people of all ages and academic qualifications.

Richard Kendall, general manager of Hong Kong Aero Engine Services (HAESL), said the company would aim to hire two to five graduates as trainees each year in order to provide a fast track to attaining the aircraft engineer qualification in four years, compared to the six years it usually takes.

Karina Mak Ka-wun, who joined HAESL in 2006 as a trainee, said she was looking forward to joining a team that has been working on the US$110-million Airbus A350 engine for the last three years.
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