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View Poll Results: Scale from 1 to 10, 10 being SUPER and 1 being BAD, what would you rate the Airport??
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Old November 15th, 2004, 09:12 PM   #521
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Air cargo rides export wave to hit record high
Staff reporter, Hong Kong Standard
16 November 2004

Hong Kong handled a record 299,000 tonnes of air cargo last month, driven by robust demand for goods from North America, Europe and the mainland, the Airport Authority said.

The figure represents a 14.6 per cent rise from October 2003 and a 7 per cent increase from the previous record of 280,000 tonnes set in September.

Air cargo traffic has been on the rise for the last four months, riding up on a wave of exports to North American and European markets.

The number of total aircraft movements also surged to cope with the increase in cargo.

Aircraft movements for September hit 19,995, up 18 per cent year on year.

Hong Kong is the world's second-busiest airport in terms of cargo and postal traffic, beaten only by FedEx's hub at Memphis in the United States.

Hong Kong also saw passenger traffic rise last month, with 3.35 million passing through the airport, up 17.1 per cent year on year. In September passenger traffic had grown 15 per cent year on year to 3.04 million.

However, September's figure was slightly down from August, when it reached a record 3.51 million.

The authority is offering incentives to airlines in the face of tough competition from neighbouring airports in Guangzhou and Macau.

The airport recently announced plans to offer airlines a 50 per cent rebate on landing charges for the first year on flights they operate to a new destination, and a 25 per cent rebate in the second year.
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Old November 15th, 2004, 09:53 PM   #522
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Dragonair expected to drop move against rival services to mainland
Joseph Lo
11 November 2004
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong Dragon Airlines is likely to drop its objection to mainland route applications filed by start-up rival CR Airways, according to Citic Pacific managing director Henry Fan Hung-ling.

Mr Fan, who sits on Dragonair's board by virtue of Citic Pacific's 28.5 per cent stake in the airline, said new competition on mainland routes from Chek Lap Kok would help reinvigorate Hong Kong's status as a regional hub.

CR Airways has applied to the Air Transport Licensing Authority (Atla) to service Changsha, Chongqing, Guilin, Haikou, Hangzhou, Kunming, Nanjing, Sanya, Tianjin and Wuhan from Chek Lap Kok.

Dragonair, which operates flights to all 10 cities, has filed a formal objection against the applications. An Atla licence is just the first step involved in gaining rights to those cities.

"I think Dragonair is likely to withdraw its objection against CR Airways' application," Mr Fan said. "It is not logical for Dragonair to object [to CR's application] ... when Dragonair itself is seeking to compete with Cathay Pacific [Airways on regional routes]."

A Dragonair spokeswoman said the airline was reviewing its position to the CR Airways application, but declined to elaborate.

Mr Fan said the emergence of CR Airways and Hong Kong Express, two local start-ups with mainland ambitions, was positive for Hong Kong.

"We need to encourage more competition," he said. "Since Hong Kong is a small place, we can't live on our own - we need to be a hub. But we can't be one unless there's a more liberal aviation policy ... [and] that extends to competition."

CR Airways was launched last year as a regional carrier, servicing Laoag in the Philippines with a 50-seat CRJ200 aircraft leased from Shandong Airlines.
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Old November 16th, 2004, 07:59 AM   #523
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Old November 16th, 2004, 10:54 AM   #524
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Tuesday November 16, 06:52 PM
Hong Kong airport tie-up talks with Chinese hubs hit rough patch

HONG KONG, (AFP) - Talks between Hong Kong's airport and rival Chinese hubs have run into serious difficulties, making it unlikely that Hong Kong will clinch alliances with Shenzhen and Zhuhai airports before its planned privatisation in 2006, a press report said.

The talks, which faltered earlier this year on disagreements over pricing, are understood to have slowed further amid resistance from authorities in Shenzhen and Zhuhai, two cities neighbouring Hong Kong in the booming Pearl River Delta region, the Financial Times reported, citing unnamed sources close to the deal.

The newspaper said bankers involved in the talks have been told to take a back seat as discussions continue without them.

It said that Shenzhen has been concerned that an agreement with Hong Kong would give its rival control of landing rights and fees and management of the airport's retail assets.

Failure to secure a tie-up with two of its strongest rivals on lucrative China routes would deepen investor fears over rising competition ahead of the planned six billion dollar listing of the territory's airport, it said.

Officials at Shenzhen and Hong Kong airports told the newspaper that the talks were continuing although they acknowledged there were difficulties.

"As our chief executive has said, these are not easy discussions but we will continue to drive to some sort of cooperation," a Hong Kong airport official was quoted as saying.

Hong Kong's investment in Shenzhen and Zhuhai was intended to reduce competition for passengers and cargo in the Pearl River Delta, home to five major airports.

Rivalry between Hong Kong and nearby hubs intensified this year with the August opening of the 2.4 billion dollar Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou.
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Old November 16th, 2004, 09:58 PM   #525
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Old November 17th, 2004, 08:17 AM   #526
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11 Nov 2004
Corporate Press Release
Direct cargo route to Hong Kong this winter

Finnair Cargo and Cargolux Airlines International S.A. will begin operating a new cargo route between Luxembourg, Helsinki and Hong Kong in two weeks time starting November 25. The route will be operated once a week with a Cargolux Boeing 747-400F aircraft.

Finnair has approximately half the aircraft's cargo capacity on a so called blocked space agreement. The new cargo connection further supports Finnair's strong Asian growth strategy and allows clients to transport larger cargo volumes to the area.

The new flight departs from Helsinki after midnight on Friday. The flight returns to Helsinki on Saturday morning.

Next summer, Finnair will also be flying direct scheduled services on its Boeing MD-11 aircraft from Helsinki to Hong Kong without a stop in Bangkok. Flights from Helsinki to Hong Kong are operated on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays between May 5 and September 2, 2005. The return flights are on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Mondays.
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Old November 17th, 2004, 09:04 PM   #527
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Wednesday November 17, 7:23 PM
HK Dragonair To Add 3 Weekly Cargo Flights To Shanghai

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Ltd. said Wednesday it will add three new freighter services to Shanghai beginning Nov. 18.

This will increase the weekly number of cargo flights between Hong Kong and Shanghai to 16, according to the airline.

"We have seen continued growth in cargo for Shanghai, both inbound and outbound," said Stanley Hui, chief executive of Hong Kong's second-largest airline.

Dragonair currently operates a fleet of 10 A330-300s, six A321s and 10 A320s, as well as four Boeing 747-200/-300 freighters and one wet-leased A300B4 freighter.

The airline's major shareholders include China National Aviation Co. (1110.HK), which holds a 43.29% stake; CITIC Pacific Ltd. (0267.HK), with 29.35%; Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (0293.HK), with 17.79%; and Swire Pacific Ltd. (0019.HK), which holds 7.71%.
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Old November 17th, 2004, 09:06 PM   #528
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Old November 17th, 2004, 09:49 PM   #529
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Airport fees may have to rise before public offer
Vanson Soo, Hong Kong Standard
18 November 2004

Fees charged to airlines may have to rise if the government hopes to privatise the Airport Authority, according to a consultation paper.

The authority, which runs Hong Kong International Airport, booked a record profit of HK$502 million for the year ended March 2003.

But that was a return on equity of less than 2 per cent, ``far lower than what would be considered reasonable from a commercial perspective'', said the government report, which has been sent to legislators.

"[The] Airport Authority's low profitability means it would be unlikely to achieve a reasonable commercial return in the next few years without substantially increasing its revenues and lowering its costs," the report said.

In February, the government said it hoped to privatise the authority by 2006 through an initial public offering.

The authority is valued at HK$30.7 billion after a capital restructuring returned HK$6 billion of its equity capital to the government, improving its debt-to-equity ratio ahead of the intended listing.

Whenever the possibility of higher airport charges is mentioned, airlines say it would make Hong Kong less competitive with the mainland and other Asian centres. The consultation paper noted, though, that the SAR's airport fees are comparable to those of Singapore and below those of Seoul, Bangkok, Taipei and the mainland.

It also said that while accounting for only about 4 per cent of the operating costs of airlines, charges for landing, parking and terminal use generate 45 per cent of authority revenue.

The extent of the increase in airport charges would depend on various factors, including the business performance of the authority between now and the IPO, the regulatory framework and market conditions.

The government plans a number of asset sales - including securitisation of the Tsing Ma Bridge and five tunnels - to help achieve its goal of wiping out the deficit by 2008-09.

A deficit of HK$42.6 billion is officially forecast for the current fiscal year.

The government has invited public comment on the privatisation issue before the end of February.
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Old November 18th, 2004, 12:16 AM   #530
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Government; denies lifting; charges; at airport
Joseph Lo
18 November 2004
South China Morning Post

Public consultation papers released this week on the government's proposed privatisation of the Airport Authority have prompted concerns that aviation-related charges at Chek Lap Kok will be raised ahead of the listing to give its shares a better valuation on the stock market.

Critics have argued that such a move would alienate passengers and reduce Chek Lap Kok's position as Asia's most important air hub and mainland gateway as increased charges would probably be passed on to consumers through higher air fares.

However, the government moved yesterday to distance itself from the speculation, saying it would let the three-month consultation run its course before deciding on ways to improve the airport's attractiveness to investors.

A spokesman said no official statement would be made on the consultation documents until after officials from the Economic Development and Labour Bureau met legislators on Monday.

Principal Assistant Secretary for Economic Development and Labour Howard Lee Tat-chi denied reports in the Chinese-language media yesterday that the government had already decided to raise aviation-related charges at the airport ahead of the privatisation.

"I don't know why they would say that. There have also been reports quoting the government that increases in air fares were inevitable as a result of raised airport charges. We didn't say that either," Mr Lee said.

"We have not issued any statements on the public consultation documents because we will be in the Legislative Council on Monday and we don't want to pre-empt those discussions."

The consultation documents include a proposal for the authority to set down charges for airlines for the three to five-year period following the privatisation and the creation of an independent arbitration body if airlines disagree with the airport's user-pricing decisions.

The papers also state that the airport's profitability has been poor over the past few years and there is a danger that the initial public offering would be a disappointment based on investors' demand for better returns in the near term.

As such, raising charges could be one way to rectify the situation and lead to a better return from the offering for the government and hence taxpayers who funded Chek Lap Kok's development.

A Cathay Pacific Airways statement said privatising the airport was "not only an issue for the aviation or tourism industries; it also is a key issue for Hong Kong's future economic development".
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Old November 18th, 2004, 05:24 AM   #531
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AME Info - ME Company Newswire
November 16, 2004

CATHAY PACIFIC ANNOUNCES TWO ADDITIONAL FLIGHTS FROM DUBAI

In an effort to further strengthen its position in the Middle East, Cathay Pacific will have two new additional flights from Dubai starting December 4 departing every Tuesday and Saturday evenings arriving early morning in Hong Kong, announced Philip Herbert, the airline's Country Manager for UAE and Oman.
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Old November 18th, 2004, 05:52 AM   #532
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Old November 19th, 2004, 01:15 AM   #533
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Airport fees may have to rise before public offer
Vanson Soo, HK Standard
18 November 2004

Fees charged to airlines may have to rise if the government hopes to privatise the Airport Authority, according to a consultation paper.

The authority, which runs Hong Kong International Airport, booked a record profit of HK$502 million for the year ended March 2003.

But that was a return on equity of less than 2 per cent, "far lower than what would be considered reasonable from a commercial perspective", said the government report, which has been sent to legislators.

"[The] Airport Authority's low profitability means it would be unlikely to achieve a reasonable commercial return in the next few years without substantially increasing its revenues and lowering its costs," the report said.

In February, the government said it hoped to privatise the authority by 2006 through an initial public offering.

The authority is valued at HK$30.7 billion after a capital restructuring returned HK$6 billion of its equity capital to the government, improving its debt-to-equity ratio ahead of the intended listing.

Whenever the possibility of higher airport charges is mentioned, airlines say it would make Hong Kong less competitive with the mainland and other Asian centres. The consultation paper noted, though, that the SAR's airport fees are comparable to those of Singapore and below those of Seoul, Bangkok, Taipei and the mainland.

It also said that while accounting for only about 4 per cent of the operating costs of airlines, charges for landing, parking and terminal use generate 45 per cent of authority revenue.

The extent of the increase in airport charges would depend on various factors, including the business performance of the authority between now and the IPO, the regulatory framework and market conditions.

The government plans a number of asset sales - including securitisation of the Tsing Ma Bridge and five tunnels - to help achieve its goal of wiping out the deficit by 2008-09.

A deficit of HK$42.6 billion is officially forecast for the current fiscal year.

The government has invited public comment on the privatisation issue before the end of February.
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Old November 19th, 2004, 01:19 AM   #534
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Old November 19th, 2004, 06:54 AM   #535
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Dragonair traffic soars to new highs - Carrier breaks both passenger and cargo records in October
Hui Yuk-min
19 November 2004
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong-based air carrier Hong Kong Dragon Airlines set new records for passengers and cargo last month, helping the carrier to mitigate the impact of high oil prices.

Dragonair carried a record 451,644 passengers in October, up 8.7 per cent from the previous month, after a 6.6 per cent month-on-month decline recorded in September.

The October passenger numbers beat the previous record, set in August, by 7,146.

The airline also broke its daily record twice last month, with 18,182 passengers carried on October 17 and 19,242 recorded on October 24.

"The month started off slowly due to less inbound traffic to mainland cities during the National Day holidays, but picked up quickly thereafter, bolstered by strong business and leisure traffic," Dragonair chief executive Stanley Hui Hon-chung said in a statement. "Significantly, we also saw greater demand from individual travellers in the mainland."

"The timing is good, given that we are in the busy pre-Christmas peak, so we are expecting this month's record to be broken sooner rather than later," Mr Hui said.

The carrier also set a new record in cargo operations, hauling 34,739 tonnes last month, up 2.6 per cent from 33,928 tonnes in September.

Dragonair added three new all-cargo flights to the busy cargo hub of Shanghai yesterday, raising its weekly freighter services to 16.

High oil prices continue to crimp profit performance, despite the good operational numbers.

"Fuel costs accounted for 22 per cent of our total costs in October, up from 8 per cent two to three years ago. This is consistently putting heavy pressure on our bottom line" Mr Hui said.
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Old November 19th, 2004, 10:04 AM   #536
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17 November 2004 Corporate Press Release
SHANGHAI CARGO SERVICES INCREASED TO 16 A WEEK

(HONG KONG) Dragonair will operate three new freighter services to Shanghai starting from November 18, raising the weekly number of all-cargo flights it operates to 16.

"There is strong demand in the market for all-cargo services to Shanghai and Dragonair is pleased to be able to offer shippers additional capacity and flexibility with these three new services a week," said Chief Executive Officer Stanley Hui.

"We have seen continued growth in cargo for Shanghai, both inbound and outbound."

"Shanghai is the key gateway for goods coming from and flowing into the industrial heartland of the Yangtze River Delta. Much of the outbound cargo is destined for Hong Kong, Taiwan and Europe, key markets served by our freighter operation. Meanwhile, the inbound flow is being driven by goods from Taiwan and transshipments from the Pearl River Delta via Hong Kong."

In addition to the 16 all-cargo services a week, Dragonair's 87 passenger flights a week to Shanghai have the capacity to carry up to 15 tonnes each in the bellyspace.

"We see a continuation of the growth story going forward," said Mr. Hui. "The cargo industry in the Mainland is still at an early stage of development, and Dragonair is fortunate to be at the vanguard of its development. It is also positive for the role that Hong Kong plays as a regional and international cargo hub."
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Old November 20th, 2004, 07:32 AM   #537
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Old November 21st, 2004, 08:05 AM   #538
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Old November 21st, 2004, 10:39 PM   #539
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Non-stop daily service between Beijing and Hong Kong

Starting 1 December 2004, Cathay Pacific will offer daily flight service between Hong Kong and Beijing.

Cathay Pacific has always been progressive in bringing better frequency and the continual expansion of our global network to meet passenger's needs. The addition of this new flight strengthens Hong Kong’s role as the gateway to China and our position as an international aviation hub. Now you can get better connected to China and the rest of the world via Hong Kong, while enjoying Cathay Pacific’s world-class service!

To celebrate, be a part of "Visit Beijing Now" when you fly Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to Beijing between 1 December 2004 to 28 February 2005 – you’ll receive 2 nights' free hotel accommodation to make your stay in Beijing even more delightful.
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Old November 21st, 2004, 11:12 PM   #540
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Baoan's future tied to Chek Lap Kok;
Report finds natural fit between Hong Kong and Shenzhen airports and calls for closer ties and further investment

Russell Barling
22 November 2004
South China Morning Post

Shenzhen Baoan International Airport must strengthen ties with Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and invest 20 billion yuan over the next 20 years if it is to keep pace with demand for passenger and freight services, according to a consultants report commissioned by Shenzhen aviation authorities and obtained by the South China Morning Post.

The report suggests that Shenzhen airport officials are at least aware of their facility's natural fit with Chek Lap Kok, given Baoan's extensive domestic network and Chek Lap Kok's international linkages.

They were also advised to promote Baoan as a centre for low-cost carriers and services, and to develop it as a cargo gateway to China rather than a regional hub.

"HKIA and [Baoan] could form a strategic link to optimise their combined advantage of a strong international network and a moderate domestic network in the face of growing challenges from [Guangzhou's new international airport]," the report said.

"For Hong Kong, acquisition of [an equity stake in Baoan] is crucial if it wants to assuage investors' fears over rising competition ahead of its $6 billion privatisation."

The objective of Baoan officials, the report's authors continued, should be "to develop [Baoan as] an air cargo gateway to the [Pearl River Delta] region and [as] the low-cost domestic passenger partner for a dual ... airport hub [with Hong Kong] serving southern China and the Asia-Pacific region."

Speaking at the weekend, a senior Airport Authority executive denied media reports last week that discussion over potential fiscal or operational co-operation between the two airports had broken down.

"They're still talking," the executive said.

If its recommendations are followed, the report predicted Baoan would handle 62 million passengers and two million tonnes of cargo a year by 2025. With Hong Kong's aviation authorities slow to capitalise on the rise of low-cost carriers, part of the strategy appears to take aim at Macau's successful courtship of budget airlines such as Air Asia.

Suggested projects include two new runways, the construction of a 420,000 square metre domestic passenger terminal by 2009, and new cargo and express-freight facilities.

"The need for more domestic passenger terminal capacity is expected to occur by 2009-10 when passenger traffic will exceed 20 million per annum," the report said.

"A major portion of the [20 billion yuan] capital cost involves the reclamation of land for the expansion of the airport. This reclaimed land also is to be used for an expressway connecting Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

"It is understood the regional government has agreed to fund the reclamation and would lease the land back to [the airport's listed vehicle, Shenzhen Airport Co Ltd]."

More than 10 million passengers passed through the airport in the first nine months of this year, an increase of 42 per cent over the same period last year.

It expects 14 million travellers this year and, according to the report, about 7 per cent of them will come from Hong Kong.

Baoan saw a 28.4 per cent year-on-year surge in freight business over the first nine months of this year, handling about 365,000 tonnes in the period.

According to the report, its recommended investment of 19.52 billion yuan by 2025 would reap a net economic benefit of 16.32 billion yuan, and Baoan would see its first positive cash flow - of 760 million yuan - by 2015.

The report was drafted by Australia-based consultants Sinclair Knight Merz, drawing on an earlier master plan done for Baoan by Netherlands Airports Consultants.
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