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Old January 4th, 2015, 04:32 AM   #4661
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Летището Chek Lap Kok в Хонг Конг e петото най-голямо международно пътническо летище в света. Построено в средата на Южно Китайско море, в сърцето на тайфунна зона... by MajaTuneva, on Flickr
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Old January 8th, 2015, 08:11 PM   #4662
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Hactl tackles loss of biggest customer
22 November 2014
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals faces challenge growing its business after Cathay Pacific sets up its own operation to handle freight

For Mark Whitehead, the chief executive of Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd (Hactl), finding ways to grow the ground handling business after parting ways with long-time customer Cathay Pacific Airways has not been easy.

Every year, the more than four million tonnes of cargo throughput at the airport makes Hong Kong the world’s largest air cargo hub. The goods range from fresh produce on lunch tables to horses at equestrian events, iPhones, radioactive substances, dolphins and human remains.

All of that is moved by ground handlers, of which there are now three, after Cathay set up its own cargo terminal early last year.

The challenge for Whitehead, as head of the largest air cargo terminal operator that handled 1.3 million tonnes of cargo up to the end of September, is to grow the company after losing a customer that accounted for almost half of its business.

“It will get worse before it gets better, and certain people will go out of business,” Whitehead said of the global air cargo industry, which has been suffering from weak demand and overcapacity since the financial crisis.

The problem is exacerbated by modern widebody aircraft, which have ever bigger belly space, adding capacity to the market.

The industrywide glut is what is stopping everyone in air cargo from getting ample returns, while the sector’s ability to cut cost was disproportionate to its scale and importance since it was responsible for 35 per cent of global trade by value, Whitehead said.

Cathay, which started building its own air cargo terminal in 2008, completed the migration last year, and only left the handling of horses and dangerous goods to Hactl.

“You can never make up, in the short term, for the loss of 40 per cent of your business in an industry like us,” Whitehead said. “You try to retain your existing customer base and attract other airlines … and the other part is to look at your cost base.

“You’ve got to do whatever you can to cut cost while at the same time be very mindful that survival depends on providing a high level of service.”

Hactl serves more than 100 airlines and 1,000 forwarders, and business has gone up 10 per cent in the first three quarters of this year compared with last year – excluding volume from Cathay.

Among Hactl’s expanded handling capabilities, livestock is one for which it has a purpose-built handling centre. Hactl is the city’s largest equine handler, shipping about 500 horses in and out of Hong Kong a year, according to Whitehead.

“Horses seem to be pretty good at jetlag, they don’t seem to complain,” while lobsters, with a higher mortality rate, were much harder to handle, he said.

But unlike airlines, which charge premiums for premium products, a ground handler imposes a set fee for every tonne or kilo regardless of what the cargo is, and efficiency was what determined profit, he said.

Express cargo – whose recent explosion has been driven by e-commerce – perishables, and pharmaceuticals are the three types of cargo showing the strongest growth, according to Whitehead.
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Old January 13th, 2015, 04:37 PM   #4663
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Old January 15th, 2015, 04:47 PM   #4664
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United Airlines attendants claim fired over their security concerns
8 January 2015
Excerpt

(Reuters) - A group of 13 flight attendants say they were illegally fired by United Airlines after refusing to fly on a Hong Kong-bound plane last July that had a "threatening" message scrawled under its tail engine, according to a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Labor.

In the complaint, filed Tuesday, they said the words "Bye Bye" and two faces, one smiling and the other "devilish," were found finger-drawn in oil grime under the auxiliary engine of the Boeing 747-400 plane at San Francisco International Airport.

The flight attendants, all with 18 or more years of experience, said the airline refused to deplane the passengers and conduct a security inspection. They said they disobeyed orders to work, believing the lives of more than 300 passengers and crew on the jumbo jet could be endangered.

After a delay, the July 14 flight was eventually canceled. United accused the flight attendants of insubordination and fired them all, according to the complaint.

Chicago-based United, a unit of United Continental Holdings Inc, said it would fight the pending litigation vigorously. A spokesman told Reuters in an email that the airline's teams had investigated the issue and found there was no "credible security threat."

The airline followed all of the Federal Aviation Administration's procedures, the spokesman said, noting that the pilots and mechanics had deemed the plane safe to fly.
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Old January 20th, 2015, 06:02 PM   #4665
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HKIA Achieves Record Breaking Year in 2014
All Three Traffic Categories Reach New Daily and Yearly Heights

Press Release Excerpt

(HONG KONG, 18 January 2015) – Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) achieved a successful year in 2014 with all three traffic categories setting new annual records. During the year, HKIA welcomed 63.4 million passengers and handled 390,955 flight movements, representing annual growth of 5.8% and 5.1%, respectively. Cargo throughput also rose 6% year on year, reaching a record of 4.38 million tonnes.

Fred Lam, Chief Executive Officer of Airport Authority Hong Kong, said, “We are pleased to see HKIA achieving another record breaking year in 2014, which further strengthens its leading position as an international and regional aviation hub, supporting the economic growth of Hong Kong.”

"We have also seen new daily records in all three traffic categories last year, reaching about 210,000 passengers, over 16,000 tonnes of cargo and 1,178 flight movements. We are very proud that HKIA is one of the very few airports in the world that ranks near the top in both passenger and cargo volumes," Mr Lam added. In 2014, HKIA also welcomed three new airlines, namely American Airlines, Siam Air and Vanilla Air, helping extend our flight network to 180 destinations around the world.

During the past year, approximately 2.76 million passengers made use of SkyPier to travel between HKIA and eight ports in the Pearl River Delta (PRD), representing yearly growth of 3.26%. Nearly two million passengers hired limousine and coach services travelling between HKIA and PRD destinations.

For December 2014, all three traffic categories experienced steady growth, with flight movements setting a new monthly record of 34,235 – beating the previous record set in August 2014 and registering 4.2% growth compared to the same month in 2013. The number of passengers reached 5.6 million, climbing 7.5% compared to December 2013; while cargo volume rose 3.1% year on year to 387,000 tonnes.
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Old January 22nd, 2015, 05:09 PM   #4666
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Old January 26th, 2015, 10:38 AM   #4667
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Old January 26th, 2015, 05:14 PM   #4668
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Jetstar Hong Kong defends its autonomy claims at public hearing
25 January 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Low-cost airline Jetstar Hong Kong coordinates with partner Jetstar Airways using "common sense", but does not report to the Australian firm, a public hearing was told yesterday.

Jetstar Hong Kong's chief executive Edward Lau made the distinction on the second day of the Air Transport Licensing Authority hearing that will determine whether the carrier will be allowed to operate in Hong Kong.

"It is a coordination duty. My reporting duty is to the Jetstar Hong Kong board," Lau said.

The hearing must determine the airline's principal place of business in line with Basic Law Article 134.

The three opposing airlines - Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express - claim that Jetstar Hong Kong is in effect a franchise or branch unit of the Australian firm.

Jetstar Hong Kong was incorporated originally in 2012 as a joint venture between Qantas Group, the parent company of Jetstar Airways, and China Eastern Airlines, with a takeoff planned for that same year.

In June 2013, Shun Tak Holdings was added as an equal joint partner.

Held up by two years of regulatory delays, Jetstar Hong Kong sold six of its nine Airbus 320s.

Cathay Pacific's counsel Benjamin Yu argued that while majority ownership did lie in Hong Kong, the firm's management and operational instructions came from Australia.

He said Lau was interviewed by Jetstar Airways chief executive officer Jayne Hrdlicka and Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, and that he reported to Hrdlicka as frequently as twice a day.

Yu also said that in several major operational decisions, including route overlaps, the business agreement allowed Jetstar Airways to have the final say.
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Old January 27th, 2015, 07:36 PM   #4669
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Hactl upbeat after 8.7pc boost to cargo handling
27 January 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Volume gain last year underpins confidence for 2015, especially with cheaper oil, chief says

Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (Hactl), the biggest independent air cargo handler at Hong Kong International Airport, handled 8.7 per cent more goods last year and chief executive Mark Whitehead is optimistic about this year’s prospects.

Hactl said yesterday that it handled 1.81 million tonnes of cargo last year, with exports accounting for 1.04 million tonnes of that. Whitehead, who described the results as “very pleasing”, told the South China Morning Post: “I am reasonably optimistic about global air cargo trends in 2015 and even into 2016.

“With oil prices coming down and airlines adjusting their hedging position, the prospect for air cargo in the short to medium term is positive.”

Whitehead added that a European recovery would be a great growth driver, as the strengthening of the United States economy was a key factor in air cargo’s improved performance last year.

“Europe is only going to improve; it can’t get worse,” he said.

The Airport Authority said last week total tonnage throughput at Hong Kong International Airport, the world’s largest air cargo hub, rose 6 per cent to 4.38 million tonnes last year, up from 4.12 million in 2013.

Airport Authority chief executive Fred Lam said the airport had a record-breaking year last year in both passenger and cargo traffic.

“We are very proud that HKIA is one of the very few airports in the world that ranks near the top in both passenger and cargo volumes,” he said.

Transshipments at Hactl recorded the fastest growth of 28.6 per cent in the past year. Whitehead said it was mainly fuelled by increased intra-Asia trade using Hong Kong as the region’s preferred air hub, including the shipment of goods from mainland China to Southeast Asian economies.
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Old January 28th, 2015, 07:54 AM   #4670
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Old January 29th, 2015, 09:39 AM   #4671
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One of my two favorite airports, Changi airport is the other one.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 05:30 PM   #4672
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Old January 31st, 2015, 08:33 PM   #4673
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Holiday boon as Hong Kong's air passenger fuel surcharge is cut
31 January 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Hong Kong's air passenger fuel surcharge has fallen to its lowest level in six years thanks to the collapse in the global price of oil, putting money in the pockets of frequent flyers and holidaymakers for the Lunar New Year getaway - if they have not yet booked their trips.

Fuel surcharges for short-haul trips booked next month will be capped at HK$81, down from HK$129 this month. For long-haul travel, the surcharge is HK$356, a cut of HK$210 from January's price.

The levy - set by the Civil Aviation Department with the proceeds going straight to the airlines to cover fluctuating aviation fuel prices - has fallen by 60 per cent since February last year. Globally, the price of oil has collapsed from over US$100 a barrel a year ago to US$45 a barrel.
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 05:13 PM   #4674
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Source : http://pic.feeyo.com/posts/616/6166009.html

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Old February 4th, 2015, 08:14 PM   #4675
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Old February 7th, 2015, 02:22 PM   #4676
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Two Hongkongers seek judicial review to block permit for third runway at Chek Lap Kok
7 February 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Two Hong Kong citizens who claim the government unlawfully issued a permit for the addition of a third runway at Chek Lap Kok airport sought a judicial review from the High Court yesterday.

Ho Loy and Tam Kai-hei filed an application urging the court to quash the director of the Environmental Protection Department's decision to approve an environmental impact assessment report and issue a permit for the expansion project in November last year.

They also named the Airport Authority as an interested party in their application.

They state in their application: "The nature of these decisions is of undoubted public importance. They concern one of the largest and most important infrastructure development projects in Hong Kong.

"It will have long-lasting environmental impact on people, flora and fauna over a wide area of Hong Kong."

They complained the director of environmental protection had unlawfully exercised power in approving a report which did not meet the requirement in assessing the noise and air-quality impact of the expansion.

They also claimed the report failed to provide measures to protect Chinese white dolphins off the north of Lantau Island during the construction phase.

The pair also said that the director failed to explain how the decision was reached in granting the permit. They claimed this cast doubt on the reasoning involved.
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Old February 12th, 2015, 06:43 PM   #4677
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Jetstar awaits nod to give new lift to low-cost air travel
9 February 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

‘Local airline’ status crucial to getting licence, becoming Hong Kong’s second budget carrier

With proposed budget carrier Jetstar Hong Kong likely to learn whether it qualifies as a local airline soon after a hearing this Saturday, a positive answer could add fresh momentum to the wave of low-cost carrier take-offs in the region.

Being designated a local airline is crucial for Jetstar’s hopes of getting a licence to become Hong Kong’s fifth airline and its second low-cost one.

According to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), the mainland and Hong Kong are among the markets with the lowest low-cost carrier penetration rates and highest growth potential.

It forecast that by the end of the decade there could be 13 mainland airlines with fleets of more than 100 aircraft – including budget carriers Spring Airlines and West Air – up from six last year, given continued liberalisation from the Civil Aviation Administration of China to allow start-up airlines and low-cost carriers.

Spring Airlines, the mainland’s leading low-cost carrier and largest private airline, has raised 5.9 billion yuan (HK$7.3 billion) since it became the fifth airline to list on the Shanghai stock exchange last month.

At least six new airlines, including a Zhengzhou-based low-cost carrier, are waiting to launch on the mainland this year.

Industry experts said there was little ground to question the safety of low-cost carriers, as aviation safety depended more on the quality of regulatory oversight, with slot constraints likely to be the critical challenge for their development both in Hong Kong and on the mainland.

Andrew Herdman, the director general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, said: “Safety doesn’t depend on the business model. The same level of air worthiness and operation requirements applies equally to all airlines under the same regulatory body.”

He said the quality of regulatory oversight varied from country to country, but “China has an exemplary safety record, and in Hong Kong you’d have to go back many years before you could think of the last fatal accident”.
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Old February 14th, 2015, 06:17 PM   #4678
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Spreading its wings
14 February 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Jetstar Japan is set to land in HK as it launches its first international service, cashing in on the record number of the city’s visitors to Japan

As Jetstar Hong Kong awaits its fate today at a regulatory hearing, the stalled budget airline’s Japanese counterpart is preparing to take off for the city this month.

Jetstar Japan, launched at the same time as Jetstar Hong Kong was founded – in 2012 – is starting its first international service, to Hong Kong from Osaka on February 28.

Jetstar Hong Kong’s take-off, meanwhile, has been delayed as the authorities weigh whether the low-cost operation backed by Qantas Airways, China Eastern Airlines Corp and Shun Tak Holdings can be approved as a Hong Kong carrier.

“Certainly from the point of view of brand enhancement, having both companies operating in and out of the territory could only be positive,” speaking in Hong Kong, Jetstar Japan’s chief executive Miyuki Suzuki said of the delay of Jetstar Hong Kong. But she stressed that each Jetstar unit is run independently.

Jetstar Japan was launched with Qantas and Japan Airlines each owning a one-third stake, and Mitsubishi Corp and Century Tokyo Leasing Corp the rest. Two capital injections totalling A$234 million (HK$1.39 billion) later raised the economic interests of Qantas and JAL to 47.1 per cent each.

Since its launch in July 2012 following the government’s opening up of the low-cost carrier market in Japan, Jetstar Japan has grown to carry nearly seven million passengers with a fleet of 20 Airbus A320s.

The airline accounts for more than half of the new domestic budget travel market, competing against Peach Aviation and Vanilla Air – affiliates of JAL’s full-service rival All Nippon Airways – and Spring Airlines, a subsidiary of the Chinese budget carrier.

The market has long been served by Skymark Airlines, Air Do and Starflyer. Suzuki’s strategy is to gain scale first. The airline has rapidly spread its network and now has two bases – in Tokyo Narita and Osaka Kansai – and operates more than 100 daily flights on 18 routes to 11 cities, making it the biggest among the new entrants in the Japanese market.

But the rapid expansion has come at a price. Although the company more than doubled its revenue to 29.1 billion yen (HK$1.89 billion) for the past financial year to June, its losses widened to 11.1 billion yen from 8.8 billion yen.

By comparison, Peach made an impressive maiden profit of two billion yen for the year ended March.
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Old February 16th, 2015, 08:48 AM   #4679
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HKIA Sees Steady Traffic Growth in the First Month of 2015
Press Release Excerpt

(HONG KONG, 15 February 2015) – Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) started the New Year with steady growth in all three air traffic categories. In January, the airport handled 5.2 million passengers, registering year-on-year growth of 1.8%. Flight movements increased 2.1% to 33,385 over the past year, while cargo volume showed an increase of 1.6% to 356,000 tonnes during the month.

Mild growth in passenger traffic was recorded in January, impacted by the Chinese New Year (CNY) season falling on February this year. The growth in passenger numbers was mainly driven by 12% year-on-year growth in Transfer/Transit traffic. Passenger traffic to/from North Asia and Southeast Asia recorded the most significant increases.

The growth in cargo throughput last month was driven by imports and transshipments, which were up 10% and 7%, respectively, from a year ago. During the month, cargo throughput to/from North America and Southeast Asia increased most significantly compared to other key regions.

Vivian Cheung, Deputy Director, Airport Operations of Airport Authority Hong Kong, said, "With the full cooperation of the airport community, HKIA is prepared for the traffic peak during the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays. This year, the airport will handle over 650 additional flights during the Chinese New Year period, with Bangkok, Bali and Phuket being the most popular destinations for these additional flights.”

************************

On a rolling 12-month basis, flight movements registered a year-on-year increase of 4.6%, amounting to 391,655 movements. Passenger traffic rose 5% to 63.4 million, while cargo tonnage registered a 5.8% increase to 4.4 million tonnes.
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Old February 19th, 2015, 05:39 PM   #4680
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