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Old January 31st, 2005, 05:44 AM   #741
hkskyline
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South China Morning Post
January 28, 2005
HK & India - Readiness to walk off with nothing key to good deal
Russell Barling

Ask any economist which two consumer markets will offer investors the greatest potential over the next decade and they will undoubtedly say China and India.

The phoenix-like rise of China's economy from the ashes of socialism has grabbed headlines around the world since the 1990s. India, on the other hand, has only registered on the radar screens of western capitalists in the past few years.

India's tourism industry is embryonic when measured against more mature Asian markets. The number of international visitors to the country rose 23.5 per cent last year, to a modest 3.4 million, and is expected to rise a further 30 per cent this year, according to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation.

Its tourism revenue rose a comparative 36.1 per cent to US$4.8 billion last year, the centre said.

Hong Kong did its small part, with 233,000 travellers filing through Chek Lap Kok on their way to or from the world's most populous democracy.

As this represented less than 1 per cent of the airport's traffic, it would be easy - but short-sighted - to dismiss the potential India has to fill the coffers at the Airport Authority, Dragonair or Cathay Pacific.

But India's true value to any foreign enterprise or economy can not be measured in terms of its present contribution. Its worth is in its potential, which is why the bilateral negotiations Hong Kong officials will conclude today with their Indian counterparts are likely to be the most important aviation deal the SAR will cut in the next few years.

According to people who have dealt with them, the Indians are shrewd negotiators who will undoubtedly try to exploit the disparate agenda of Hong Kong's aviation community. They are expected to offer unlimited access to new secondary Indian markets in return for beyond rights through Chek Lap Kok to the United States.

Below Deck understands that Jet Airways - one of three influential, privately held airlines granted the rights last year to fly foreign routes - has been lobbying the Indian government to secure access to Hong Kong and beyond to Los Angeles in this round.

The Indian side is likely to argue that those beyond rights, coupled with first-time access to cities such as Bangalore and Chennai, would help pump more revenue through the airport in the lead-up to the partial privatisation of the Airport Authority, enhancing its value to potential investors.

But, from Hong Kong's point of view, this deal will be judged by the increased access our airlines gain to India's key commercial areas, Mumbai and Delhi.

This is because the Indian negotiators will never put beyond rights through India on the table in this round, while none of India's secondary markets has enough traffic to be commercially viable for daily flights - Bangalore, for example, handled about 2.5 million mostly domestic passengers last year.

So, even though allowing Jet Airways to funnel US-India traffic through Chek Lap Kok would be a small fillip to our hub, the overall benefit would be nowhere near that provided by greater access to Mumbai and Delhi for Hong Kong airlines.

Given how important these talks are to Hong Kong's hub ambitions, at least one informed source fears the Hong Kong team may concede too much to make a deal.

"They need to get meaningful frequencies - at least dailies - to Delhi and Mumbai or a deal isn't worth doing. They are the markets that count," the source said. "They must trade off valuable assets, such as beyond rights across the Pacific, for something of equal value."

Many industry watchers felt Hong Kong received little in the last round of Sino-Hong Kong talks: limited additional access to Shanghai and Beijing was supplemented with a host of rights to secondary and tertiary markets that were not attractive to Hong Kong's airlines, they say.

"They have gone for deals in the past that look good on paper, but didn't necessarily do the hub any good," the source said. "I hope their strategy this time is not just to do a deal that makes good headlines. I hope they have a walkaway position, and I'm not sure they do."

India's major cities are endowed with exotic and bountiful markets, but anyone who has braved the oppressive heat and unruly crowds to unearth the treasures they hold knows that sometimes the secret to getting a good deal is to convince the proprietor that you are willing to walk away with nothing.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 06:29 PM   #742
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Monday January 31
Hong Kong delays the sale of its airport

AP - Hong Kong has delayed the sale of its airport by three months to provide extra time for possible legal challenges and public complaints, an official said Monday.

The deal's public consultation period was to end Feb. 28 but it will now close at the end of May, said Stephen Ip, Secretary for Economic Development and Labor.

Ip said that some had complained that the consultation period for privatizing the airport was too short. "We're happy to extend it for three months," he told lawmakers.

Opened in 1998, Chek Lap Kok airport occupies a 1,255-hectare (3,099 acres) site of reclaimed land on outlying Lantau Island. It operates 4,000 flights a week, with a capacity to handle 45 million passengers a year.

By delaying the airport's privatization, officials might be trying to avoid the same legal tangles that recently derailed the sale of government-owned shopping centers and parking lots. The deal would have created the world's largest property trust.

An elderly public housing resident's threat to challenge the deal with a legal appeal prompted officials to shelve it just hours before the stocks were to be listed. It was a major embarrassment for the government, and the media blamed officials for rushing the deal and not properly thinking it through.

On Monday, Ip said officials wanted all the important issues about the airport privatization raised during the consultation period.

"We hope to discuss issues including possible lawsuits and use of land in detail," Ip said.

Some local associations are worried that airport charges on carriers will rise due to the privatization process, making Hong Kong less competitive than other regional hubs.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 12:09 AM   #743
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Officials happy to revisit Wan Chai heliport idea
Danny Chung, Hong Kong Standard
February 1, 2005

The government said it would reconsider building a new heliport next to the convention center in Wan Chai, but officials warned Hong Kong Regional Heliport Working Group's Michael Kadoorie that the proposal probably would not survive a court challenge.

Under a decision by the Court of Final Appeal in January, 2003, the government must demonstrate an "overriding public need" which could include community, economic, environmental and social concerns, to undertake new reclamation at the Wan Chai site.

At a Legislative Council joint panel for economic services and planning yesterday, deputy secretary for economic development Wilson Fung pointed out that Legco had twice previously rejected the plan in favor of a Sheung Wan location that did not require any reclamation.

"If legislators now say no, Golden Bauhinia Square is more suitable, and the government should go and consider it, then the government will consider," Fung said.

He added the government had already looked at the working group's Wan Chai proposal and said it would require 1,000 to 1,500 square metres of reclamation.

Would the commercial nature of the venture meet the needs test? he asked.

His comments came as a majority of groups presenting views backed a proposal by Kadoorie, a member of heliport working group and chairman of CLP Holdings, to switch the site back to Wan Chai.

Kadoorie's group wants to piggyback on a Government Flying Service (GFS) plan to build two helicopter pads next to the convention center exclusively for its own use. The heliport group would add two pads and transform a ferry facility into a terminal.

"We should take advantage of this opportunity," Kadoorie said, adding the government's plan for a heliport at Sheung Wan in addition to the GFS pads represented an "unnecessary duplication of facilities."

The 2003 appeal court decision forced the government to reconsider its entire plan for Wan Chai reclamation.

Lawmaker Ronny Tong asked the government to provide more information and criticized it for favoring a plan involving reclaiming more than 20 hectares at Wan Chai but opposing one that involved just 1,000 to 1,500 square metres.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 03:48 PM   #744
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South China Morning Post
January 23, 2005
Dragonair pilots' threat to holiday flights recedes
Simon Parry

A work-to-rule by Dragonair pilots, which threatened to disrupt flights in and out of Hong Kong and themainland over the Lunar New Year holiday, appears to have been averted for now.

The Dragonair Pilots Association is expected this week to postpone the action, which was to have started on February 1, for at least one month while a series of talks aimed at settling the dispute are held with management.

Nearly 100 pilots voted unanimously - in person and by proxy - in favour of the action at an extraordinary general meeting of the association last month. It was called after talks between association officials and the airline's management reached a stalemate.

Pilots said they had no rostering agreement and were working increasingly long spells away from their home base, without time off in compensation, as the airline rapidly increased its network.

They also wanted assurances that serving pilots would be able to fly new Boeing 747-400 freighter planes - due to come into service in two years - as well as guarantees on a number of other career-path issues.

Accusing management of stubbornness and saying pilots were feeling like "slaves to the job", they decided to start a policy of contract compliance - refusing to work beyond the terms of their contract - on February 1, unless the airline agreed to substantive talks.

The work-to-rule had the potential to disrupt Dragonair flights carrying tens of thousands of people between the mainland and Hong Kong over the Lunar New
Year holiday, which will begin four days later.

A spokesman for the association said two preliminary meetings had been held and four more had now been scheduled to take place in February. A decision on whether to postpone the work-to-rule is expected by the end of this week.

"We are determining what the best course of action is, but we are leaning towards an extension on the deadline for the work-to-rule, so we can at least see how the meetings in February pan out," he said.

The association was encouraged by Dragonair's response, the spokesman said, but he added: "Unfortunately, the talks so far haven't materialised into anything. Nothing has yet been offered from their side. However, the fact that we are talking and the discussions seem to be more productive than in
previous meetings I would say at least is a signal that things are heading the right direction."

Floran Lee, supervisor of public relations for Dragonair, said: "Constructive talks are ongoing and so it would be inappropriate for us to comment further
at this time."

Pilots at Dragonair, which now carries more than 400,000 passengers a month and flies to more than 20 mainland destinations, have launched work-to-rule
actions twice in recent years.

Cathay now has a rostering agreement with its pilots, but the Dragonair Pilots Association spokesman said: "Our guys are going away for up to 12 days every month, away from their families ... it is translating into less time at home. We are not getting any more time off. Pilots are feeling they are a slave to the job, and whatever life they had is gone."
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Old February 1st, 2005, 07:01 PM   #745
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Hong Kong, Macau battle for low-cost airline
Russell Barling
1 February 2005
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong and Macau are locked in a battle to become the home for Asia's newest low-cost-airline start-up.

"We're courting everyone," an Airport Authority source said. "We understand the airline is to be called WOW Macau if it is based [in Macau] and WOW Asia if it is based here. It may be based in both places."

The new airline's management initially intended to set up in Macau. But a late bid from senior Hong Kong government officials and Chek Lap Kok's managers means the final decision is now finely balanced, according to Andrew Pyne, a director of the new airline's holding company, Macau Eagle Aviation Services.

Mr Pyne, who until last year was Cathay Pacific's head of international affairs, said: "Macau had, over time, emerged as the favourite. But there have been some recent discussions with the [Airport Authority] about the value of changing our hub.

"Hong Kong, of course, is a bigger market. But Macau is cheaper on an operational level. The argument is finely balanced."

The airline, whose start-up costs could reach US$25 million, is planning a late-summer launch. Investors include executives from Hong Kong and Macau, low-cost carriers operating in Thailand and Italy, and Australia's information technology sector.

"There's a saying in the industry that you don't invest in airlines, you invest in their management," Mr Pyne said. "We have people who know China, Hong Kong, Macau and Europe. And they know the industry.

"We believe our competitive strength will be the depth in expertise of our management team."

Mr Pyne said the airline was in the final stages of discussions to secure aircraft, probably Boeing 767s and 757s - models that are bigger than the planes typically used by low-cost start-ups.

Provisional route networks have been selected, but a final decision on destinations is pending. The new airline, for example, is waiting to see what routes would be available to it under a "sub-concession licence" with Air Macau, should it select the former Portuguese enclave as its hub. Air Macau, which is 51 per cent owned by Hong Kong-listed China National Aviation, has an exclusive 25-year franchise as Macau's home carrier.

It is understood the Airport Authority is courting the airline in part because it does not aim to compete with Hong Kong's home carriers.

Mr Pyne said: "Our network will probably be looking out from China, rather than into the mainland. We will avoid going head to head with Cathay or Air Macau {hellip} by offering an innovative network that is not being well served from the Pearl River Delta."

He added the new airline could offer destinations that "may be considered long-haul" - one of which is thought to be Rome.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 07:08 PM   #746
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By oscar1983 from HKADB :











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Old February 2nd, 2005, 05:54 PM   #747
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Tycoon calls for Wan Chai heliport
Michael Kadoorie says it would boost city's role as transport hub

Ambrose Leung
01 February 2005
South China Morning Post

One of Hong Kong's leading tycoons, Michael Kadoorie, is pushing for a permanent heliport on the Wan Chai waterfront to improve the city's competitiveness as a regional transport hub.

The plan would involve reclaiming about 1,500 square metres of the harbour next to the Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Under a plan now under consultation, the government wants to build a privately funded heliport on the Sheung Wan waterfront to serve flights within Hong Kong, and another one above an existing pier next to Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai to be used by the Government Flying Service.

But this plan has been criticised by district councils in both areas affected and the aviation industry on the grounds that the Sheung Wan site is too close to residential areas and would be too far from the central business district.

Deputy Secretary for Economic Development Wilson Fung Wing-yip said the government would adopt an open mind to Mr Kadoorie's proposal, but added that laws constraining land reclamation could block the development.

Speaking at a joint meeting of the Legislative Council's economic services and planning panels, the tycoon said the government should scrap its plan to construct a heliport in Sheung Wan and instead locate it in Wan Chai.

Mr Kadoorie - director of Sir Elly Kadoorie and Sons, which owns helicopter services among other public utilities - said his proposed location would strengthen the city's long-term competitiveness as a regional transport hub.

"The call to provide easy access and communication for executives, visitors and overseas buyers to empower cross-border businesses and tourism - the lifeblood of Hong Kong and the livelihood of many of our ordinary workforce - is of vital importance if we are to retain our prominence in the Pearl River Delta," he said.

"Time is money. Instead of [hours] from here to other places, it could now take 15 minutes. This is like a taxi service."

Mr Kadoorie said the government's proposed site would be poorly utilised.

Under his proposal, made in the name of the Hong Kong Regional Heliport Working Group, the existing pier next to the convention centre would be transformed into a heliport complex built by the government and shared between government and private operators.

It would include government offices, restaurants, departure and arrival halls, and parking facilities.

Legislators from the Liberal Party, the Democrats and the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong generally agreed there was a pressing need for a permanent heliport in the city centre after the closure of the Central Heliport in Admiralty in 2003.

While there was concern among legislators about the need for further harbour reclamation, some believed a relatively small reclamation in addition to the one already being sought in the area could be feasible.

Domestic helicopter services for sightseeing, business charters and aerial surveying surged by 126 per cent between 2001 and 2003, and it is estimated it will grow an average of 6.3 per cent a year towards 2020.

The helicopter service industry is pushing for a relaxation of air services arrangements under the growing integration of the Pearl River Delta.
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 03:36 PM   #748
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Start-up budget airline enters HK fray
Former Dragonair chief returns with Oasis to compete against established carriers with cheap flights to Europe
Joseph Lo
03 February 2005
South China Morning Post

A former chief executive of Hong Kong Dragon Airlines is to launch a new long-haul airline, with hopes of giving established carriers operating from Chek Lap Kok a run for their money in the budget tourism sector.

The new carrier - Oasis Hong Kong Airlines - aims to fly tour groups and value-conscious travellers to European destinations that are either not served from Hong Kong or priced too expensively for the average consumer.

Steve Miller, who ran Dragonair before it was taken over by Cathay Pacific Airways, will serve as the new carrier's chief executive. Although Mr Miller calls the new airline a low-cost carrier, it departs from the traditional business model in that he hopes to work with travel agents and tour groups, and avoid regional routes for long-haul destinations.

Oasis also plans to operate a small fleet of either Boeing 747-400 or Airbus A340-300 aircraft that will fly high frequencies to a handful of tourist gateways.

It aims to launch services to Europe by the end of this year, possibly expanding to North American cities by the end of next year.

"We will move quickly to three aircraft within three months and aim for five aircraft in two years," Mr Miller said. "We want to start small and will begin with two or three destinations in Europe.

"It's good to have a spread of points, so that tour groups can enter Europe through one city and depart through another."

London's Stansted airport is one destination under consideration, as are Berlin, Vienna and cities in Switzerland, Italy and central Europe.

News of Oasis' intended launch comes just days after it emerged that Hong Kong and Macau are battling to be the base for another low-cost airline aspirant, WOW Macau, headed by Cathay's former head of international affairs, Andrew Pyne.

Rather than offering ultra-low fares as other budget carriers have done, Oasis aims to price its fares at the same level as carriers operating from Hong Kong to Europe through Middle Eastern or other Asian hubs, such as Emirates or Gulf Air. These flights, which are known in the airline industry as "sixth freedom" services, are typically 20 to 40 per cent cheaper than those of Cathay, depending on the time of year.

Mr Miller said Oasis would offer the same fare levels without requiring travellers to change planes or stopover en route to Europe.

He added that the start-up airline would fend off the expected competition from incumbent carriers between Hong Kong and Europe by being "lean and mean".

"I've experienced that kind of competition when I was running Dragonair," he said.

"It's been 20 years since I founded Dragonair, and I had never thought of starting another airline in Hong Kong until now because the timing wasn't right and the government's attitude wasn't right. But now is the time."

While the government has made some moves to liberalise commercial aviation in Hong Kong, start-ups still face an uncertain regulatory environment in the route application process.

CR Airways, which finally launched its first scheduled services to Nanning last month after nearly two years of operation as a charter carrier to the Philippines and Cambodia, is still in the dark over an application for licences to 10 mainland destinations lodged almost a year ago.

Oasis's backers include Raymond Lee Cho-min, a Boston-based property developer with local connections, and Allan Wong Chi-yun, chairman of consumer electronics maker VTech Holdings.

Mr Lee chairs Oasis Development Enterprises, a property investment company active in the Boston market
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 06:12 PM   #749
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent
hkskyline, do you know if it is much easier to increase cargo flight (let's say UPS want to increase flight) in HK airport than mainland airport? coz of mainland flight quota limitation
Hong Kong

US cargo carriers are allowed fifth freedom rights out of Hong Kong following the US-HK bilateral air services agreement.

DHL Opens New Central Asia Hub - August 2004
http://www.dhl.com/publish/g0/en/pre...0804.high.html

DHL, the world's leading express and logistics company, today opened its new Central Asia Hub, a dedicated and purpose-built air express cargo facility, at the Hong Kong International Airport. A centrepiece of DHL's infrastructure in the region, the US$100 million facility is the largest of its kind in the region and forms an important step forward in DHL's long-term regional growth strategy. With the new Central Asia Hub, DHL's regional throughput is expected to increase substantially on the back of growing intra-Asia Pacific trade.

"Strategically located in Hong Kong, which is within a four-hour average flying time to major cities in Asia Pacific, the new Central Asia Hub will significantly increase express shipment throughput capacity in Hong Kong and Southern China, strengthening Hong Kong's position as a leading regional hub and logistics gateway to China. Already, over 60% of express cargo processed by the Central Asia Hub is intra-Asia Pacific shipments. It clearly reflects the important role that Hong Kong plays as a conduit for international and intra-Asia Pacific trade," continued Mr. Mullen.

In Asia Pacific, DHL's key markets include Japan, Hong Kong and Korea with China as a key driver of its continued growth. DHL's business in China has consistently registered an annualized growth rate of between 35% and 45% over the past few years. In the first half of 2004, DHL's business has increased by between 50% and 60% in China. Over 70% of DHL's China in- and out-bound shipments are routed through Hong Kong.

China
Under the US-China bilateral air services agreement, more cargo flights will fly directly between the two countries.

Major dates of the latest US-China air services agreement
7 January 2005
Economist, Source : Business China

July 24th 2004
Bilateral air services agreement signed in Beijing by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC); each country will be allowed a total of nine carriers and 249 weekly flights to fly between China and the US by 2010

August 1st 2004
One new cargo carrier and an additional 14 passenger and 21 cargo flights allowed to fly to any Chinese/US destination

September 3rd 2004
DOT approves fourth US cargo carrier to China, Polar Air Cargo

March 25th 2005
One new passenger carrier and an additional seven passenger and 18 cargo flights can fly to any Chinese/US destination

March 25th 2006
One new passenger or all-cargo carrier can be approved, and another seven passenger and 12 cargo flights can fly to any Chinese/US destination

March 25th 2007
Foreign airlines are allowed to establish cargo hubs in China; an additional seven passenger and 15 cargo flights can fly to any Chinese/US destination; another seven China-bound passenger flights can serve only Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou, while, for the US-bound flights, there are no limits on destinations

March 25th 2008
One new passenger or all-cargo carrier can be approved, and an additional seven passenger and 15 cargo flights can fly to any Chinese/US destination; another seven China-bound passenger flights can serve only Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou, while, for the US-bound flights, there are no limits on destinations

March 25th 2009
An additional seven passenger and 15 cargo flights can fly to any Chinese/US destination; another seven China-bound passenger flights can serve only Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou, while, for the US-bound flights, there are no limits on destinations

March 25th 2010
One new passenger or all-cargo carrier can be added, along with seven passenger and 15 cargo flights to fly to any Chinese/US destination; an additional seven China-bound passenger flights can serve only Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou, while, for the US-bound flights, there are no
limits on destinations
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Old February 4th, 2005, 08:05 AM   #750
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February 3, 2005
Government Press Release
Flight movements to break record on Feb 9

A record high number of flight movements at the Hong Kong International Airport is expected on February 9, Lunar New Year's Day, when 762 aircraft are scheduled to arrive and depart, the Civil Aviation Department says.

The department also expected that the second-highest record will be made on Sunday, February 13, the fifth day of the Lunar New Year, when 752 aircraft are scheduled to arrive and depart.

The number of flight movements expected on the Lunar New Year's Day represents an increase of about 13% when compared with an average of 675 movements a day.

15 airlines asked to operate additional flights

As of today, 15 airlines had submitted slot requests to operate 338 additional scheduled and ad-hoc charter flights from February 4 to February 20, bringing the total number of flight movements to 676.

Most applications are for the period from February 9 and February 13. All requests received so far have been accepted.

Airlines that have already submitted requests plan to operate flights to 14 destinations on the Mainland, 14 destinations in Northeast Asia, eight destinations in Southeast Asia, and one destination in New Zealand. Taipei is the most popular destination, followed by Seoul, Sapporo, Kunming and Shanghai.

Runway capacity to be increased

The department said the runway capacity during the holiday period will be increased from 50 to 52 flight movements per hour to cope with the extra traffic.

The previous record high of 746 flight movements in a single day occurred on April 9, 2004, an Easter holiday.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 04:28 PM   #751
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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
February 4, 2005 Friday Home Edition
Airport to initiate cargo flights to Hong Kong starting in August
KIRSTEN TAGAMI

The Atlanta airport is adding cargo flights to Hong Kong, and airport officials hope they could lead to passenger flights as well.

Starting in August, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways will fly Boeing 747 freighters out of Hartsfield-Jackson International three times a week, with plans to add more flights, said Doug Wahl, Cathay Pacific's Midwest cargo manager.

He described the service as a "direct link between the world's two fastest-growing regions."

Outbound flights will carry such things as carpets and computer parts, while inbound flights will bring clothing, electronics and other goods, he said.

Cathay Pacific's cargo business is the first step toward passenger flights by the highly rated airline, said Mario Diaz, Hartsfield-Jackson's deputy general manager. Travel and Leisure magazine ranked Cathay Pacific the second-best international airline last year, after Singapore Airlines.

Atlanta has no direct passenger flights to China, although Delta Air Lines is competing for approval of a daily nonstop to Beijing.

Hartsfield-Jackson handles more passengers than any other airport --- about 83 million last year --- but it was 10th in the nation for cargo shipments in 2003. The No. 1 cargo airport is Memphis International, hub for FedEx.

The airport and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce hope to make Atlanta a top five U.S. cargo airport. Hartsfield-Jackson is working on a cargo master plan, to be completed in June.
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Old February 5th, 2005, 04:07 AM   #752
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February 4, 2005
Government Press Release
Aircraft accident report, review published

The report of an investigation into the August 22, 1999 crash of a China Airlines plane at Hong Kong International Airport has been published, along with a report from an independent review board.

On its landing during a tropical cyclone, the plane's right wing clipped the runway, causing the plane to flip. Three passengers died in the accident and more than 200 people onboard the plane were injured.

The Inspector of Accident conducted an investigation, and finished its report in April, 2002. It contains an analysis of the circumstances surrounding the accident and safety recommendations.

China Airlines and the plane's co-pilot applied for a review of the findings and conclusions of the accident report. In September, 2002, the Chief Executive appointed an independent Board of Review made up of a Principal Magistrate and two overseas expert assessors. Their report completed in December, 2004.

The investigation and review aimed to determine the circumstances and causes of the accident with a view to the preservation of life and the avoidance of accidents in the future - not for apportioning blame or liability.

Copies of the two reports are for sale at the Publications Sales Unit of the Information Services Department in Room 402, Murray Building, Garden Road, Central. They are also available for free downloading here.
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Old February 5th, 2005, 06:10 PM   #753
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A hazy January
Thursday, February 3, 2005
Government Press Release

With haze occurring on most days in Hong Kong in the month, the number of hours of reduced visibility observed at the Hong Kong International Airport reached an all-time high value of 484 hours (i.e. about 65% of the time) in January 2005. January was drier than normal. The monthly rainfall of 5.9 millimetres was 17.5 millimetres below normal.

An intense surge of the winter monsoon brought fine, dry and very cold weather to Hong Kong on the first day of January. The minimum temperature of 6.4 degrees that morning was the third lowest on record for New Year's Day. While remaining cold, it turned cloudy on January 2 and 3. With the weakening of the winter monsoon, temperatures climbed gradually in the next three days. The weather turned fine on January 6. Apart from some cloudy periods on January 8, generally fine weather prevailed until January 12. There were also long periods of haze from January 4 to 12.

Another intense cold surge arrived at the south China coast on the early morning of January 13, bringing cloudy and rainy weather to Hong Kong. It got progressively colder during the day with temperatures in the urban area falling to about 10 degrees that evening. The temperature dropped further to about 7 degrees in the morning of January 14. Ice pellets and icicles were reported on Tai Mo Shan where the temperature fell to a minimum of -2.1 degrees that morning. The clouds dispersed during the day and there was plenty of sunshine. The weather remained fine and cold on January 15 and 16. As local winds moderated, it became hazy again in the following three days. The visibility at the Hong Kong International Airport once dropped below 3000 metres on January 19.

It became cloudy with some mist patches on January 20 when a replenishment of the winter monsoon arrived at the south China coast. On January 21 and 22, it was mainly cloudy with some light rain patches in the morning.

Under the influence of a maritime airstream, it was humid with mist and fog in Hong Kong from January 23 to 30. On the night of January 25, two cargo ships collided near Lei Yue Mun in thick fog.

A cold front crossed the south China coast on the night of January 30, bringing some light rain and cooler weather to Hong Kong. It was cold with some rain on the last day of the month.

Only one tropical cyclone occurred in the western North Pacific in the month.
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Old February 6th, 2005, 09:07 AM   #754
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Friday February 4, 10:59 AM
Hong Kong's airport expects record number of flights during holiday

AP - Hong Kong's airport was expecting a record number of flights next week during Lunar New Year's Day - the biggest annual holiday in the territory, officials said.

The airport expects 762 aircraft to arrive and depart on Wednesday - the first day of a three-day public holiday, the Civil Aviation Department said.

"The number of flight movements expected on Lunar New Year's Day represents an increase of about 13 percent when compared with an average of 675 movements a day," the department said in a statement.

The previous record high for flights in a single day was 746 set during an Easter holiday on April 9, 2004.

An estimated 8 million people will travel in and out of Hong Kong by land, air and sea during this year's Lunar New Year holiday - a 15.5 percent increase compared to last year, the Immigration Department said.

The airport expects to record the second-highest number of flights on Feb. 13 - the fifth day of the Lunar New Year holiday - when 752 aircraft are scheduled to take off, the statement said.

"The runway capacity during the holiday period will be increased from 50 to 52 flight movements per hour to cope with the extra traffic," the department said.

Fifteen airlines have requested to fly a total 338 additional scheduled flights and charter flights on Feb. 4-20, the statement said. All requests have been approved.
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Old February 6th, 2005, 08:28 PM   #755
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HK Govt: HK, Japan Agree To Expand Cargo Air Capacity
4 February 2005

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--The Hong Kong government said Friday it has reached an agreement with the Japan government to increase cargo capacity between Hong Kong and Japan by over 40%.

"Cargo services are becoming more and more important as a revenue source for Hong Kong airlines," said Wilson Fung, Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Labour.

Both Hong Kong's largest airline, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., and Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Ltd. operate cargo services between Hong Kong and Japan.

Dragonair is 43.3% owned by China National Aviation Co. (1110.HK), 28.5% by CITIC Pacific Ltd. (276.HK), 7.7% by Swire Pacific Ltd. (0019.HK), 17.8% by Cathay Pacific, and the remainder by other shareholders.

"The talks, which ended earlier this morning, were successful," said Fung. "Japan is a very mature market, there are already many flights between Hong Kong and Japan. The further opening up of air ties in this already mature market is difficult, especially at Narita International Airport."

The 40% growth translates to an additional 12 cargo flights per week with a capacity of 100 metric tons per flight, or 24 flights with a capacity of 45 metric tons each.

There are currently 36 cargo flights per week between Hong Kong and Japan for a total of 2,400 tons.

Fung said the two governments haven't reached an agreement to expand passenger flight capacity, as this isn't yet fully utilized.

Fung said there are 150 passenger flights between Hong Kong and Japan per week, but declined to disclose the current capacity level.

Fung said the Hong Kong government will again hold talks with the Japanese government on expanding passenger capacity at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year.

-By Ruby Chan, Dow Jones Newswires; 852-2802-7002; [email protected]
-Edited by Andrew Bullard [ 04-02-05 1126GMT ]
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Old February 7th, 2005, 08:24 AM   #756
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Cal Refuses to Accept Hong Kong's Report on 1999 Crash

TAIPEI, Feb 7 Asia Pulse - China Airlines (CAL), Taiwan's largest carrier, refused Friday to accept the results of an investigation by the Hong Kong civil aviation authorities into a CAL jet crash in August 1999 at Chek Lap Kok Airport, arguing that wind shear, rather than human error, was behind the accident.

CAL public relations director Liang Han-chung said that the aviation company cannot accept the investigation results that ascribed the fatal accident to pilot error on the grounds that Boeing Corporation, the maker of the MD-11 jet plane, found new evidence during the investigation that a wind gust suddenly changed direction 1.5 seconds before the plane touched down.

Evidence collected from the plane's flight data recorder (FDR) showed that swift wind changes, triggered by a tropical storm sweeping through Hong Kong at that time, made the pilot unable to control the aircraft's sudden descend, Liang said, pointing out that wind, not the pilot, caused the accident.

According to Liang, CAL forwarded the evidence to the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department and asked it to attach the information to its investigation report.

CAL CI642 from Bangkok with 300 passengers and crew on board plunged into the runway of Chek Lap Kok Airport Aug. 22, 1999 while trying to land during a typhoon. It flipped and burst into flames, killing three and seriously injuring 50.

Taiwan's Aviation Security Commission, which helped in the investigation, pointed out that the FDR showed that the pilot tried hard to keep the airplane aloft when the gust hit. But the wind was too strong for the pilot to respond, it concluded.

The plane crashed at the airport of Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong government was in charge of carrying out the plane in line with international norms.

According to the Hong Kong investigation report, the cause of the accident was the commander's inability to arrest the high rate of descent, a foreign wire service reported. The pilot was descending too fast as he tried to touch down during a tropical storm, the services reported, citing the Hong Kong's Civil Aviation Department.

(CNA)
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Old February 7th, 2005, 05:41 PM   #757
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HK Air Cargo Terminal Jan Throughput Up 20.1% On Year

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd. said Monday its January cargo throughput grew 20.1% on year to 174,772 tons.

Hactl, which handles about 80% of air cargo passing through Hong Kong, said the growth was due to a weak comparison base as cargo activity in the same month last year was low because of early Chinese New Year holidays.

Of exports, imports and transshipment, exports had the strongest growth of 27.4% last month with throughput of 98,446 tons.

-By Carmen Chan, Dow Jones Newswires; 852-2802-7002; [email protected]
Edited by David Riordan
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Old February 7th, 2005, 05:45 PM   #758
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HK's Cathay Plans Feb 28 Start For Xiamen Cargo Service
7 February 2005

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Hong Kong's biggest airline, said Monday it plans to launch thrice-weekly cargo services to Xiamen city in China's Fujian province starting Feb. 28.

'We've received approval from CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) in Beijing so the critical thing now is to get all the local business and tax registrations in place,' Raymond Ma, Cathay Pacific's manager in Xiamen, said in the latest edition of staff newsletter CX World.

Xiamen will be the third mainland China city to be served by Cathay Pacific.

Cathay Pacific resumed passenger services to Beijing Dec. 2, 2003 after a hiatus of 13 years, and it now operates daily services to the capital.

The airline resumed cargo operations in Shanghai on Jan. 27.
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Old February 7th, 2005, 08:35 PM   #759
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Here are some of my comments on this article :
1. Guangzhou's population is large enough to have its own international connections and Hong Kong's population is large enough to support international connections to the same set of destinations.
2. However, incomes in Guangzhou are still significantly lower than Hong Kong. The propensity to travel thus is restricted to more regional flights. As incomes rise in China, links to more long-haul destinations will increase.
3. Hence, both catchment areas are actually not in competition with each other. Neither Guangzhou nor Hong Kong is dependent on traffic from the other city.
4. For Hong Kong, sustaining passenger growth will be dependent on the local market.
5. For cargo, prices, logistics, and service quality will be key deciding factors on where airlines will locate. Capacity alone is not sufficient when the other factors are not taken into consideration.
6. Both Guangzhou and Hong Kong airports will be prosperous.


Monday February 7, 4:28 PM
Huge expansion plans to consolidate Guangzhou airport as rival to Hong Kong

BEIJING, (AFP) - Guangzhou's huge new airport in southern China, which has vowed to unseat Hong Kong as the region's air hub, will move further towards that goal with major construction work starting next month, state media said Monday.

The second phase construction project for Baiyun International Airport, which began operations in August, is expected to be completed by 2009 and come into operation the year after, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The report did not specify details of the building work but an airport official, who did not want to be named, told AFP that construction would focus mainly on enlarging the main terminal building,

Once the project is completed, the airport would be able to handle 80 million passengers a year, up from 27 million now, Xinhua said, citing an industry symposium held in Guangzhou, the capital of the southern province of Guangdong.

By the end of the decade, the airport is also expected to be capable of processing 2.5 million tonnes of cargo, up from one million tonnes now, it said.

The report would appear to confirm that Baiyun, built at a cost of 19 billion yuan (2.4 billion dollars), aims to become a major player in the regional aviation market.

It is particularly bad news for Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok airport less than 100 kilometres (60 miles) away.

The Hong Kong airport, opened in 1998, currently handles 35 million passengers annually as well as three million tonnes of cargo, more freight than any other in the world.

Guangzhou's huge new airport in southern ChinaAnalysts have said Baiyun, in the center of China's manufacturing heartland, could rob it of vital trade.

Baiyun International Airport has so far opened 83 domestic and 28 international routes, according to Xinhua, adding that it planned to add another 15 international flights this year.
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Old February 8th, 2005, 03:29 PM   #760
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HK airport to set record
Vince Chong , Straits Times China Desk
8 February 2005
Straits Times

HONG KONG'S busy airport at Chek Lap Kok will get even busier during the Chinese New Year pe- riod.

It is set to break a record tomorrow, the first day of the Chinese New Year, when 762 planes are scheduled to zip in and out of the territory.

That is a 13 per cent increase over the daily average of 675, according to the Civil Aviation Department (CAD).

The previous record of 746 flights in a day was set on April 9 last year during the Easter holiday.

This number will again be surpassed on Sunday, when 752 planes are scheduled to land or take off at Chek Lap Kok, Asia's third-busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic.

What these figures paint is a pretty rosy picture for Hong Kong's burgeoning tourism sector, which was one of the major factors behind last year's recovery, say economists.

Hong Kong saw more than 20 million tourist arrivals last year, beating the 2002 record of 16.6 million.

The numbers took a dive in 2003 because of the Sars outbreak.

Tourism accounts for about 3 per cent of Hong Kong's gross domestic product, says the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

The figure shoots up to as much as 11 per cent, if indirect spin-offs from airlines and retail sales are included.

For the current festive period, 15 airlines submitted plans to operate almost 340 more flights between Hong Kong and other destinations from Feb 4 to Feb 20 to meet higher travel demand, CAD said.

Mr David Leung, the Hong Kong Tourism Board's regional director for South and South-east Asia, told The Straits Times: 'The increased flights will considerably boost passenger capacity and provide better opportunities for travel.'

Most of the tourists visiting Hong Kong and Macau in the past few years were from China, which has been relaxing travel rules for its citizens.

Even more visitors from the mainland - and also from the region - are expected to descend on the territory when the Disneyland theme park opens in September.

This fresh injection of tourists will continue to boost retail consumerism, analysts say, with data from Hong Kong showing that Chinese visitors like to shop even though they may spend less on hotel accommodation and food.
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