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Old October 29th, 2004, 09:44 AM   #441
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Row over exhibition venues takes new dimension as Paris joins in
French-invested firm's anger at use of Tamar site prompts top-level talks

Carrie Chan
29 October 2004
South China Morning Post

A French government minister and a top Hong Kong official will today discuss the future of a French-invested exhibition centre near the airport, which is threatened by plans to expand the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.

Gilles de Robien, whose portfolio includes infrastructure, transport and tourism, will meet Secretary for Economic Development and Labour Stephen Ip Shu-kwan.

A spokesman for the French Consulate-General said the minister would "definitely talk about" the AsiaWorld-Expo project.

"We attach a lot to its success," the spokesman said. "It is one of the biggest French projects in Hong Kong. There has never been any public-private partnership of this size. He will also visit the site."

French company Dragages Hong Kong invested $300 million in AsiaWorld-Expo, while the government invested $2 billion.

AsiaWorld-Expo managers have protested strongly against plans to expand the Wan Chai centre, saying they can take any overflow of exhibitors.

In two letters shown to the South China Morning Post, AsiaWorld-Expo chairman Mike Rowse objected in December and June to a Trade Development Council plan to use the Tamar site in Admiralty for exhibitions.

The government replied twice that it would support the TDC only "if we are satisfied that there will be unmet demand taking into account the additional 100,000 square metre" space provided by AsiaWorld-Expo.

But the government this month approved use of the Tamar site for exhibitions in April and October from next year to 2007. It has also not ruled out the TDC's plan to turn the atrium between the Wan Chai exhibition centre's two sections into more exhibition space.

A source close to AsiaWorld-Expo - due to open in December next year - said it reserved the right to take court action.

"It depends on whether the government can be considered as having broken a promise," the source said.

TDC council member Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung, also chairman of the Hong Kong Houseware and Gifts and Premium Fair organising committee, said the expansion was based purely on demand, as existing TDC show exhibitors preferred the Wan Chai location.

"There should not be any competition because AsiaWorld-Expo was built to accommodate new exhibitions that have never been held in Hong Kong before," he said.

He said the French should not intervene because staging exhibitions was a commercial decision.
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Old October 29th, 2004, 06:28 PM   #442
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Friday October 29, 3:41 PM
Qantas increases flights to Britain via Singapore and Hong Kong

SYDNEY, (AFP) - Qantas Airways said it will increase the number of flights from Australia to Britain with stopovers in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Qantas general manager John Borghetti said that from Sunday the airline would add an extra three flights a week on both the Perth-Singapore-London and Sydney-Hong Kong-London routes.

"These six new flights will increase the number of UK services offered by Qantas from 21 a week to 27 a week," Borghetti said. "This will mean nearly 2,300 more seats to London."

He said Qantas would add a fourth extra flight on the Sydney-Hong Kong-London route in 2005 and it had approval to operate a further three flights from April 2006.

"Hong Kong has been a popular Qantas destination in its own right for a long time and now it will also be available as a stopover destination to Europe," he said.

Qantas also announced a codeshare agreement with Air Frace which will see the Australian airline's customers connect with daily Air France flights in Singapore to reach Paris.
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Old October 29th, 2004, 06:38 PM   #443
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Old October 29th, 2004, 08:41 PM   #444
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Bangkok Post, Thailand
October 29, 2004, Friday

Kenya Airways set to increase frequency of Asian service

By Sujintana Hemtasilpa

Kenya Airways plans to increase its weekly flights of its only Asian route -- Nairobi-Bangkok-Hong Kong -- to five from three currently with an aim to boost traffic by 35 percent.

Merita Ombuor, the Kenyan national carrier's manager for the Far East, said that after operating the route for only 18 months, the airline saw 98 percent growth in traffic and 167 percent revenue growth year-on-year. The number of passengers on the route, served by 216-seat Boeing 767-300ER jets, is expected to double this year from 6,000 in 2003.

The two additional flights, scheduled to begin in the middle of December and the end of March, respectively, are expected to generate another 35 percent increase in traffic, Ms Ombuor said.

She attributed the rising demand for the Nairobi-Bangkok-Hong Kong route to the increase in business and trade between Africa and Asia and the growing popularity in the African continent as a tourist destination among Asians, particularly people from Hong Kong, China, Thailand and Japan. The official visit to Thailand by the Kenyan president and his economic cabinet ministers was a sign of the growing relationship, she said.

Kenyan President Kwai Kibaki and his delegation arrived in Bangkok yesterday for a state visit to foster a closer economic relationship between the two countries.

The round-trip economy-class tickets for the Nairobi-Bangkok-Hong Kong route cost about 32,000 baht, and the business-class fare is about 60,000 baht.
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Old October 29th, 2004, 09:41 PM   #445
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A visitor from Myanmar by Ball_Tang from HKADB :

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Old October 30th, 2004, 07:47 AM   #446
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New Dragonair Ads





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Old October 30th, 2004, 08:02 AM   #447
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Wednesday October 27, 08:22 AM
Hong Kong Airport Authority obtains 6 bln hkd loan for capital, expansion

HONG KONG (AFX) - Hong Kong's Airport Authority obtained a 6.0 bln hkd syndicated loan from 22 local and international banks, chief executive officer David Pang said in a statement.

He said the loan proceeds will be partly used to fund working capital and expansion to cope with the increase in passenger and cargo traffic.
Some of the fund will also be used to refinance the 6.0 bln hkd return of capital to the Hong Kong government, he said.

Syndicate members made a total commitment of 14 bln hkd, but the Airport Authority decided to obtain only 6 bln hkd, Pang said.

The first tranche, a 3.0 bln hkd, three-year revolving facility carries an all-in cost of 17 basis points over the Hong Kong interbank offered rate (HIBOR). The second tranche, a 3.0 bln hkd five-year loan, carries an interest of 22 basis points over HIBOR.

The Airport Authority reported that in the first six months of the financial year to September 2004, passenger throughput rose to about 19 mln, up 12.4 pct from the preceding six-month period in the previous financial year.
Total cargo tonnage grew 4.8 pct to 1.5 mln during the same period.

Passenger traffic reached a record monthly high of 3.5 mln people in August, while air cargo throughput reached a high of 280,000 tons in September, Pang said.

(US$1 = HK$7.8)
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Old October 30th, 2004, 08:53 AM   #448
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I want that stamp booklet! Are they still selling it?
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Old October 30th, 2004, 08:56 AM   #449
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I believe the stamps are being released today. I don't see it at the Hong Kong Post website yet. They are supposed to coincide with an aviation conference in Hong Kong in early November. Hong Kong Post allows online orders, but their shipping rates are quite steep.
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Old October 30th, 2004, 09:19 AM   #450
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Friday October 29, 03:08 PM
SAS signs Gothenburg-Hong Kong cargo deal with Emirates

STOCKHOLM (AFX) - SAS AB said it signed a contract with Emirates SkyCargo for two weekly all-cargo flights between Gothenburg and Hong Kong. The contract replaces SAS Cargo's current contract with Lufthansa Cargo, which has expired.
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Old October 30th, 2004, 05:58 PM   #451
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27 October 2004
DRAGONAIR INCREASES SHANGHAI SERVICES IN WINTER SCHEDULE

(HONG KONG) Dragonair will operate three more flights every week to Shanghai in the winter schedule that begins October 31, giving passengers a total of 87 flights a week to choose from to the Mainland business hub.

"The three new Shanghai services ensures Dragonair remains the airline of choice when flying to the Mainland, and that Hong Kong is the most convenient gateway to the Mainland by far," said Stanley Hui, Dragonair's Chief Executive Officer.

Meanwhile, Dragonair Cargo plans to raise frequencies to Shanghai in the winter, with timings to be confirmed.

"We will operate three additional services to Shanghai for a total of 16 freighter flights a week," said Mr. Hui. "We want to build on the demand in the market and offer shippers even more flexibility."

The winter timetable is valid from October 31 to March 26, 2005.
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Old October 30th, 2004, 07:06 PM   #452
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Streamlined airport security charges to be introduced in 2005

(HONG KONG, 28 October 2004) - A streamlined regime of airport security charges will be introduced at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), with effect on 1 January 2005.

Under the new mechanism, a consolidated security charge of HK$33 will be collected directly from each departing passenger by airlines on behalf of the Airport Authority (AA) via air tickets. Currently the amount is collected through a HK$13 Airport Security Surcharges, a HK$16 security-related services charges under the Terminal Building Charges, and HK$4 that airlines collect from each departing passenger to recover part of the costs of providing baggage reconciliation services.

As a result of the charge consolidation, the Terminal Building Charges will correspondingly be reduced from the current HK$39 to HK$23 after excluding the security charges. The new charging regime is cost-neutral to both passengers and the AA.

The new charging regime has gained industry support through the Board of Airline Representatives (BAR), which represents over 70 airlines operating at HKIA. The Aviation Advisory Board was also consulted on the new arrangements.
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Old October 31st, 2004, 06:27 AM   #453
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Teamwork gets KLM recruitment airborne
30 October 2004
South China Morning Post

INTERVIEWING 120 people for 39 positions in just five
days might seem like an impossible task but, thanks to
excellent communication, great backup and, above all,
teamwork, nothing is impossible.

Because of the growing number of Putonghua-speaking
passengers on its Hong Kong-Amsterdam-Hong Kong route,
Dutch airline KLM needed to bump up the number of its
cabin crew with Chinese-language abilities.

Tremendous interest in such roles, coupled with the
carrier's tight time-frame and stringent requirements,
meant the recruitment process was difficult.

While KLM maintains a presence in Hong Kong, it does
not have the capability on the ground to recruit cabin
crew. It uses an Amsterdam-based recruitment team that
crosses the globe in search of the best players
through local recruitment agencies - in Hong Kong's
case, Manpower.

From start to finish, the recruitment project took
about eight weeks.

However, "our [main] brief was between October 20 and
25, to interview 120 people with the view to hiring 39
cabin crew", said Trevor Sunderland, permanent and
executive selection services manager at Manpower's
Hong Kong office.

Initially, what made this recruitment project stand
out was the large-scale volume of recruitment it
entailed, which "logistically possessed some
challenges and some problems", according to Mr
Sunderland.

In addition, it was unusual to have an airline as a
client. "It's not every day you have airlines coming
to you. Most recruit internally, particularly for
locally based [roles]," he said.

While this breed of project was not entirely new for
Mr Sunderland and his team, it was distinguished by
its strict time-frames, strict numbers and conversion
rates and the goal of building a five-day recruitment
package with a rapid-reaction time.

As the project planning unfolded, squeezing the entire
programme into a tight schedule and marshalling the
numbers became the overriding challenge.

The initial advertisement drew about 500 responses, of
which 250 looked good on paper and had to be processed
on a one-on-one basis by Manpower.

Due to the level of professionalism required for the
position, close scrutiny was given to each applicant
in the form of a comprehensive pre-screening interview
on the telephone, incorporating several fixed
questions.

"Most people didn't tell us [on the application form]
about their height or if they could swim, so we got
this out of the way quickly. If they didn't meet the
criteria, they couldn't proceed to the next level of
interviews."

That done, those still fitting the bill were invited
for an interview when the KLM team was in town. "[We
then had to] deal with 120 people, whose schedules
didn't always meet with our own," Mr Sunderland said.

Manpower handled this by using four teams of
recruiters, with one Manpower person and one
individual from KLM in each, and each team held six
interviews a day, resulting in up to 24 interviews per
day.

This proved to be a tight squeeze. Interviews had to
be scheduled closely and each one-hour slot included
preparation time before the candidate's arrival and
assessment after their departure. The interview itself
took 40 minutes. Mr Sunderland described the
experience as like trying to land 120 planes in a day.

However, not all applicants landed on time. While some
were caught in traffic, others had personal issues or
even muddled the interview location.

"We had to be very flexible with time frames. And KLM
was very good and added one or two interviews later."

Ploughing through this large number of interviewees
took some planning. Although no new staff were hired
for the project, Mr Sunderland's home team included 10
consultants, with a project leader to liaise with
Manpower staff and assign duties.

Above all, the work had to be centralised and well
orchestrated.

For example, one individual was dedicated to
contacting the 120 short-listed candidates.

Collecting documents was another must. "You need to
keep on at candidates and remind them these are
necessary within a certain period of time and that, if
they don't provide them, they won't move to the next
step," Mr Sunderland said.

Other issues included budgeting for consultants' time,
arranging interview rooms and sifting through
candidates' documentation, because of issues raised by
working under Hong Kong and Dutch employment
jurisdictions.

"People had to qualify to work in Hong Kong and have
valid work permits, so we had to confirm all of that
quite quickly," he said.

KLM made stringent demands regarding candidates'
educational backgrounds, so their qualifications also
had to be confirmed quickly.

In addition to establishing an educational benchmark,
KLM and Manpower worked to determine questions for
individuals.

"KLM looked at the competencies needed for the
position as well as how people behave in certain
situations," Mr Sunderland said.

"Competencies addressed the skills required to do the
job, while the situational questions were to find out
what [candidates] would do in a [certain] situation
and any experience they had."

Other challenges included the conversion rate - how
many candidates KLM needed to see before it could
realistically expect to hire. With a ballpark figure
of 3:1 this meant that, from every three applicants
interviewed, the client expected to make one hire.

Another KLM benchmark was to score candidates
according to a four-point system: (++, +, +- and -).

"KLM expected a certain number of double plusses in
each of the five days to be comfortable that they
would achieve what they wanted," Mr Sunderland said.

While the airline's parameters were acceptable, he
said the main difficulty in meeting the challenges
came down to different personalities, schedules and
expectations on the candidates' side, especially with
tight deadlines in place.

"Within a fixed time line, those issues play a more
important role than if you have an open-ended
schedule," he said.
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Old October 31st, 2004, 09:01 AM   #454
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By Jzs @ HKADB - delays due to thunderstorms earlier in the day caused a backlog in traffic :





Other photos by the same photographer :









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Old November 1st, 2004, 04:43 AM   #455
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By Coast & Jzs from HKADB :









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Old November 1st, 2004, 08:05 AM   #456
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By ball_tang from HKADB :





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Old November 1st, 2004, 09:24 AM   #457
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Great pictures!
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Old November 1st, 2004, 05:37 PM   #458
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HK hosts 41st Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation

The Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, and the Director-General of Civil Aviation, Mr Norman Lo, officiated at the opening ceremony of the 41st Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation, Asia and Pacific Regions, today (November 1).

Also officiating at the ceremony were the Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Dr Taieb Cherif; and the Regional Director of ICAO, Mr Lalit Shah.

Addressing the conference, the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, said that air transport facilitates trade and investment, promoted tourism, and brought people together.

"Apart from serving a vital support function, the aviation industry is, in its own rights, an important component of the global economy. Hong Kong is located at the heart of Asia and sits at the gateway of the Mainland of China. Our government and our aviation community have worked in a close partnership for the past decades to make Hong Kong a major aviation hub," Mr Tang said.

"In recent years, we have also stepped up our co-operation with other aviation authorities, particularly in areas such as rationalising airspace, streamlining air routes, and mutual recognition of certification. We devote these worthwhile efforts with an overall objective in mind: that is, to maintain the highest safety standards for air services whilst creating a facilitating environment for commercial operators.

"This conference provides a valuable platform for regulators to share experience and to strengthen the partnership required to support the long-term development of air services," Mr Tang said.

Speaking at the conference, the Director-General of Civil Aviation, Mr Norman Lo, said that every stakeholder in the civil aviation community had an individual role to play in contributing to the safe, secure and efficient air transport system.

"Through effective partnership, we were able to strengthen our capability in enhancing our air transport system through integrating the best people, equipment, knowledge and expertise available around us," Mr Lo said.

"Not too long ago, we worked together in difficult times during the economic slowdown and the outbreak of SARS in the region. With the concerted effort of the ICAO, authorities in the regions, airports and airline operators, the Asia and Pacific regions had experienced quite a robust growth in aviation business since the beginning of this year. I am proud to say that our Hong Kong International Airport has become one of the busiest airports in the world in terms of international passenger and cargo throughput."

The conference with a theme topic "Partnership in Achieving a Safe, Secure and Efficient Air Transport System through Effective Safety Oversight" is hosted by the Civil Aviation Department from November 1 to 5 at the Conrad Hong Kong Hotel. More than 170 delegates from 38 states/territories including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and the Macau Special Administrative Region have come to Hong Kong to participate. Also attended were the Vice-Minister of the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China, Mr Wang Changshun, and representatives from the ICAO.

Items on the agenda include the theme of the conference, air navigation planning and implementation, Communications Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management implementation, aviation safety, aviation security, air transport and technical co-operation. A study tour will also be arranged for the delegates, with visits to some civil aviation organisations to increase their better understanding of the local industry.

For the purpose of enhancing communication and co-operation among aeronautical authorities of member states, the ICAO saw the advantage of organising a high-level conference aimed at participation by Directors General of Civil Aviation on a regional basis. The first conference for the Asia and Pacific regions was held in 1960. The conference has since become more or less an annual event.

Although organised under the auspices of ICAO, the conference is held around cities in the region with the aeronautical authority of the state/territory concerned as the host. Hong Kong is a supporter of the conference and has actively participated in the event in its capacity of Hong Kong, China. Hong Kong was the host of the conference in 1962.

Ends/Monday, November 1, 2004
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Old November 1st, 2004, 10:27 PM   #459
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Freight operator's HK export volumes leap 30pc
Danny Chung, Hong Kong Standard
2 November 2004

UPS Hong Kong saw export volumes jump more than 30 per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier, fuelled by booming external trade.

Mainland export volume at UPS China surged 125 per cent during the same period. Overall in Asia, the express freight operator reported an almost 30 per cent growth in export volume.

UPS, an Atlanta, Georgia-based express delivery company, did not reveal actual tonnage figures of its units because of listing restrictions at the New York Stock Exchange, where its shares are traded. "With strong growth in global small-package business, we're seeing double-digit export growth in every region of the world with strong profit increases to match," general manager of UPS Hong Kong and Macau, Leung Kwok-kai said on Monday.

The strong performance in export volumes helped UPS report a 20.4 per cent gain in net income in the third quarter on a 7.7 per increase in revenue and a 49 per cent rise in international profit.

Last month, the United States Department of Transport allowed UPS to run 12 more flights to China, tripling its direct access there.

The US and China signed a new air services pact last July. In October, the company began six new flights between Hong Kong and its Philippines intra-Asia air hub via Singapore, thus expanding capacity between these three important trade markets. UPS opened the hub, based at the former Clark air force base two hours out of Manila, in April 2002.

In Hong Kong, the company recently opened a new operations centre in the ATL Logistics Centre in Kwai Chung. With an area of 36,000 square feet, the package-sorting facility is automated by technology that will allow future capacity expansion.

UPS plans operating a daily freighter service from Guangzhou to the US from next March and said earlier that volumes of its express cargo traffic through Shanghai had doubled each year since 2001. Hong Kong's exports of goods rose by 16.1 per cent in the first nine months, according to government figures, on the back of strong intra-regional and China trade.

Lufthansa in a forecast early this year said Asian airfreight shipments would grow by 6.8 per cent a year in the next two years, dropping later to 6.2 per cent every year until 2010 when total tonnage in Asia will top 10 million tonnes.
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Old November 2nd, 2004, 04:34 AM   #460
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South China Morning Post
November 1, 2004

Ferry tale; Visitors are benefiting from easy links to the airports
Grace Liu

MORE CROSS-BORDER links from the Hong Kong airport will soon be available, as the popular service has taken off since its introduction a year ago.

Two new routes will be introduced in the next two months, to Panyu Lianhuashan and Zhongshan respectively, according to an airport spokesman. This is on top of the services to Shenzhen's Shekou and Fuyong ports, Dongguan's Humen, and Macau, which have carried a total of about 670,000 passengers so far.

After a slow start, growth has surged in the past nine months, with monthly passenger numbers doubling from 46,000 to the current 88,000, the spokesman said.

Business travellers still make up the largest part of the total. But tourists from the delta travelling to overseas destinations, especially Europe, prefer to transit through Hong Kong and the ferry is the easiest way for them to get there, according to Chu Kong, one of the two companies providing the ferry service.

Yu Chen-sheng, a senior manager at Chu Kong, said he expected the addition of two lines would increase the company's current load of 80,000 passengers per month to 100,000.

Mr Yu said Chu Kong didn't have any plan to expand the ferry fleet. "Since the traffic time is short, we can manage six lines by increasing the traffic frequency," he said.

The saving of time and convenience are the two biggest advantages of ferry services, Mr Yu said.

"Passengers can bypass immigration and customs procedures if they take ferries instead of the railway. In travel time alone, this can save them 25 to 30 minutes, never mind the time taken up by boarding and getting off," he said.

The two new lines will take 70 and 90 minutes respectively from Chek Lap Kok to Lianhuashan and Zhongshan.

One issue that still needs to be tackled, however, is the reimbursement of the airport's departure tax, as some ferry passengers find it difficult and time -consuming to find the counter. "We are negotiating with the airport about it and may reach a settlement soon," Mr Yu said.

An airport spokesman said the outlook for the ferry services' business next year was very positive. Chu Kong is predicting growth of 40-60 per cent annually for the next few years.

From the airport's perspective, the ferry service has added to its competitive strengths, an important consideration given the rise of regional rivals such as the new Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, analysts say.

Many predict the airport's second phase project and the opening of Disneyland next year will further benefit the ferry operators.
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