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Old February 23rd, 2005, 05:44 PM   #781
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HACTL conducts power outage drill

11th February 2005, Hong Kong

Business contingency procedures at Hactl were in action early this morning when a power outage simulation exercise took place at SuperTerminal 1. The drill, which started at 0001 today, tested the back-up power distribution to Hactl's major cargo handling systems, and validated the terminal's emergency cargo handling procedures in a power outage scenario.

During the drill, a simulated power interruption caused a suspension of power supply to SuperTerminal 1. Cargo handling systems and facilities in the East Wing of the Main Terminal of SuperTerminal 1 were used to test the emergency procedures. Backup power supply was distributed to the key functional units of the affected area, during which service delivery contingency plan was activated to carry out cargo handling activities.

All Hactl service delivery units responsible for import and export cargo handling took part in the drill, and dummy shipments were used to test the capability of import / export cargo handling under the scenario of prolonged power interruption. As part of the simulation exercise, the terminal's primary computer room was also tested with power interruption, during which back-up power supply was connected to the computer systems and equipment that controlled the automated cargo handling systems.

The power outage drill was closely monitored and directed by Hactl's Crisis Management Team at the Hactl Control Centre, which served as a command base for the drill. A consultant from an independent crisis management firm, MYR Consulting Pty Limited, took part in today's exercise to observe the drill proceedings. Business partners were also invited to participate as observers.

"The exercise has validated the effectiveness of the emergency procedures in place," said Enoch Lam, Hactl's Director, Service Delivery. "As the major air cargo terminal operator in Hong Kong, Hactl understands the importance of business continuity in all foreseeable contingencies. The power outage drill is one of our on-going risk management efforts to mitigate the risks associated with different emergency scenarios. It enables us to identify areas where we can refine our risk mitigation and contingency measures, ensuring our emergency response capability is adequate at all times," Mr. Lam added.

Mr. Chris Hawkins, Senior Consultant of MYR Consulting said, "I am impressed by the level of attention that Hactl has put in today's drill. The planning has been very thorough, and the management and frontline staff alike has put in many hours of hard work to make the drill a success. The exercise is a testament to Hactl's commitment to providing reliable service to customers as well as to the airfreight industry."

Normal cargo terminal activities were diverted to the West Wing of the terminal building, and remained unaffected during the drill. The drill was completed at 0605 hours, and normal cargo terminal operations resumed at the East Wing when all cargo handling systems were connected back to normal power supply.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 07:26 PM   #782
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Thursday February 24, 11:17 AM
Hong Kong's airport expects to handle 40 million passengers this year

AP - The Hong Kong airport expects to handle 8.1 percent more passengers and 9.7 percent more cargo this year compared to 2004, an official said.

The airport expects to serve 40 million passengers in 2005, compared to the record 37 million last year, Airport Authority Chairman Victor Fung said in a speech Wednesday night.

Cargo traffic through the airport is forecast to reach 3.4 million metric tons (3.7 million US tons), 9.7 percent more than the record 3.1 million metric tons (3.4 million US tons) handled last year.

"To achieve these objectives, we will continue to expand our services and facilities, while operating the airport along sound commercial principles," Fung said.

Opened in 1998, Chek Lap Kok airport operates 4,000 flights a week, with a capacity to handle 45 million passengers a year. Hong Kong's government owns the Airport Authority, but now plans to sell part of its interest. Executives have said a stock market listing is likely to happen in 2006.

Fung didn't comment on the privatization process other than to say the Airport Authority will "continue to provide the government with our full support by continuously enhancing the value of our airport business."
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Old February 24th, 2005, 07:28 PM   #783
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United Airlines Further Expands Asia Service : Chicago - Hong Kong
February 23, 2005
Corporate Press Release Excerpt

Also as a result of customer demand, United is advancing its scheduled increase in flights on its existing daily service between Chicago and Hong Kong to May 6, 2005, from the originally scheduled date of June 7, 2005. The boost in service will add three more flights each week between the two cities, for a total of 10 weekly flights, and up to 50 tons weekly of extra cargo space nonstop to and from Hong Kong. The new flights will depart Chicago O'Hare beginning May 6 at 3:10 p.m. on Tues., Fri. and Sun., arriving in Hong Kong at 7:45 p.m. the following day. Chicago-bound flights will depart Hong Kong on Tues., Fri. and Sun. beginning May 8 at 10:10 a.m., arriving in Chicago at 11:40 a.m. the same day. United will operate this combined passenger and cargo service using a Boeing 747 aircraft configured with 14 United First Suite seats, 73 United Business seats and 260 United Economy seats, including 88 Economy Plus seats.

United also offers daily service between San Francisco and Hong Kong, as well as daily service between Hong Kong and Narita, Singapore, and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon).
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Old February 25th, 2005, 07:34 AM   #784
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Thick fog in Hong Kong forces 23 arriving flights to divert to other airports

AP - Thick fog at Hong Kong's airport delayed 23 flights and forced 23 arriving planes to divert to the Philippines, Taiwan and other parts of the region Friday morning, the Airport Authority said.

The foggy conditions were created by a humid maritime airstream that swept into southern China, reducing visibility to less than 200 meters (yards), the Hong Kong Observatory said.

Twenty-three flights were diverted to neighboring airports, including Taipei, Taiwan, and Manila, Philippines, the authority said. Hong Kong is slightly more than an hour from Taipei, and Manila is about two hours away.

The weather also delayed 23 departing flights, but by late morning, the fog had lifted and planes were able to land, the authority said.
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Old February 25th, 2005, 02:03 PM   #785
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Friday February 25, 5:31 PM
Investigators say fatigue cracks likely cause 2002 China Airlines crash

AP - Crash investigators said Friday that fatigue cracks likely caused a China Airlines jetliner to split apart shortly after take-off and plunge into the Taiwan Strait in 2002, killing all 225 people on board.

The cracks in the plane's tail section might have developed when the Boeing 747-200's tail hit the runway while taking off in Hong Kong in 1980, the Aviation Safety Council said in its final crash report.

Flight CI611 from Taipei to Hong Kong broke up shortly after takeoff in May 2002 and crashed near the Penghu island chain, 50 kilometers (30 miles) off Taiwan's west coast.

"The inflight breakup of CI611, as it approached its cruising altitude, was highly likely due to the structural failure" in the tail section of the fuselage, said the council, a government agency that investigates aviation accidents.

The 22-year-old plane was carrying 19 crew members and 206 passengers when it disappeared off radar screens about 20 minutes after leaving Taipei.

The crash report said numerous cracks were found near the tail of the plane, and many were associated with the 1980 incident, which it called a "tail strike."
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Workers fixed the spot near the rear cargo door with an aluminum patch, or a "doubler," the report said.

But before the patch was applied, workers did not properly sand away scratches on the plane's skin, and the doubler did not extend sufficiently beyond the damaged area to restore the structural strength, the report said.

"We've ruled out engine troubles and inflight explosion, and the most likely cause was structural failure," chief investigator Wang Hsin-chung said. "Just before the breakup, there was at least a 71-inch (180-centimeter) crack, a length enough to lead to disintegration."

Kay Yong, chairman of the aviation council, said some of the fatigue cracks had pierced through the plane's skin, and repair work done after the 1980 tail strike did not fully comply with the Boeing manuals.

"There may have been communication problems" between repair workers and Boeing instructors, Yong said.

China Airlines, which has one of the industry's worst safety records, said in a statement that since much of the wreckage wasn't recovered, "the available information is not conclusive enough to determine the exact cause of the accident."

But the carrier added, "China Airlines respects the investigation report. The ASC also respects China Airlines differing opinions."

The plane broke up about 35,000 feet (1,380 meters) in the air. Workers recovered the four engines and 1,500 other pieces, or 75 percent, of the plane's wreckage from the sea. Investigators then reconstructed the plane in a lengthy probe of the crash's cause, Yong said.

The plane had been repaired with 31 patches, and the airline failed to perform a range of tests on the jet, investigators have said.

In recent years, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has become concerned about aging planes and their structural repairs. The FAA adopted new regulations for inspecting repairs, and the rules became effective in May 25, 2000.
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Old February 25th, 2005, 02:14 PM   #786
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Fog forces AirAsia to make its debut in HK
Russell Barling
25 February 2005
South China Morning Post

AirAsia, the region's biggest low-cost carrier, made its inaugural flight to Hong Kong yesterday - albeit unscheduled.

The Malaysian budget airline's flight AK50 from Kuala Lumpur to Macau was diverted to Chek Lap Kok yesterday when the airport at the former Portuguese enclave was engulfed in a thick blanket of fog, making landing risky.

The 114 passengers, some of whom were destined for Hong Kong via Macau, were not allowed to disembark due to "immigration requirements", according to the airline.

The aircraft sat on the tarmac at the airport for 3½ hours waiting for the fog to clear in Macau before taking off for the 15-minute flight.

AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes was critical of the Airport Authority in April last year for not lowering its landing and terminal fees to capitalise on the low-cost carrier phenomenon.

"Our talks with them never got off the ground. They took the point of view of a monopoly and were not willing to adjust," Mr Fernandes told the South China Morning Post at the time. "They apparently don't feel the need to go out and get business. We believe the right option is the cheaper airport."

The detour would have cost AirAsia a $5,000 landing fee yesterday, and it gave the authority the final word, for now.

"It shows Hong Kong is an all-weather airport, one which can operate in all conditions," a spokesperson said. "You get what you pay for."
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Old February 27th, 2005, 06:15 PM   #787
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By Mark Tang @ HKADB :







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Old February 28th, 2005, 05:43 AM   #788
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Oasis to fly in face of travel history
Nicholas Zamiska, Hong Kong Standard
February 28, 2005

Airlines have traditionally fought pressure from no-frills carriers to cut costs and fares by relying on their profitable long-haul routes, an area the budget sector has yet to encroach.

Until now.

After founding Dragonair 20 years ago, Stephen Miller, the 65-year-old chief executive of start-up Oasis Hong Kong Airlines, is now hoping to be the first to marry low-cost and long haul, a feat that aviation analysts say has eluded others and may still be out of reach.

Using the low-cost model hammered out by industry legends such as Ryanair and Southwest Airlines, the fledgling airline plans to start non-stop services with two or three leased Boeing 747-400s this year from Hong Kong to a handful of destinations in Europe.

By steering clear of the major European gateways that are already clogged with long-haul traffic, Oasis is banking on negotiating reduced landing fees at secondary airports and growing demand for air travel out of Hong Kong.

"You've got to have a lot of luck," said Jim Eckes, managing director at consultancy Indoswiss Aviation in Hong Kong. "There's a possibility that there may be an opportunity, but it's not going to be easy."

Other aviation analysts said investment groups have for years passed over proposals for similar ideas.

For a host of reasons, intercontinental trips have remained immune from the low-cost competition that has transformed domestic and short-haul markets. Whereas carriers running short hops could stop serving food to cut costs, for instance, cancelling meals on 12-hour treks between continents becomes much more difficult.

If Oasis gets off the ground, it will have been Miller's second airline to succeed. Dragonair now serves 30 destinations in Asia.

When he was starting up Dragonair, he also wanted it to fly to Europe, but regulators rejected his plans in order to protect the major airlines' networks.

"I'm an aviation man. I don't think of forming airlines everyday, but I'm in the business. This is in my blood," Miller said.

The airline's principal owner is a husband and wife team - Raymond and Priscilla Lee.

The couple, who own a stake of just under 60percent, currently head Oasis Development Enterprises, a 10-year-old Hong Kong-based real estate development firm with an office and properties in Boston. The company has a portfolio of around two dozen properties mostly in and around Boston, Massachusetts.

Allan Wong, chief executive of the Hong Kong-based consumer electronics manufacturer VTech, controls 15 percent. Miller, who owns a relatively minor stake, declined to say precisely how much he has invested.

Raymond Lee and Miller met in April while standing in line for a movie. They struck up a conversation and ended sitting next to each other in the cinema. A few weeks later, Miller called Lee and pitched his idea of starting an airline together.

Miller said he was drawn to the Lees in part because they seemed to have a "special mission, rather than the almighty dollar."

Both Lees hold master's degrees in theological studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, an evangelical school in Massachusetts.

Gordon Lee is a pastor at the Faith Community Church in Hong Kong.

The move by Oasis comes amid a proliferation of low-cost carriers.

There are now around 50 budget carriers in Asia, some backed by larger airlines, said Andrew Herdman, director-general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, which represents the region's major international airlines, including Cathay Pacific.

But few have even ventured, let alone succeeded, where Oasis plans on going. Air Asia, a low-cost airline established in Kuala Lumpur in 2001, had ambitions of flying long-haul routes to Europe and North America until its executives scrapped the plans because of costs, settling for regional routes instead.

Some industry observers questioned whether there was any room for new carriers to undercut the costs of the larger airlines.

"I think the existing operators are running efficient long-haul operations. A newcomer has to ask what edge they're going to have," Herdman, who used to work for Cathay Pacific, said.

Oasis has around US$25 million (HK$195 million) of capital to work with in the project's early stages, according to Raymond Lee.

"We intend to increase our capital only when our initial probes prove to be successful," Lee said, although he declined to say exactly how much he is prepared to invest.

Industry analysts differed on whether Oasis' initial start-up capital is sufficient to get the airline off the ground, with some saying that it is around average for a new airline and others saying it is a bit low.

"For a long-haul, low-cost carrier, the closer you can get to US$50 million in start-up capital the better," Eckes said.

While company executives emphasized that nothing has been finalized yet, they said they have narrowed down the field of possible European destinations to Milan, Berlin, Cologne and London's Stansted Airport. They plan to begin scheduled flights to two or three of these cities by November, and hope to expand services to the United States - possibly Honolulu, Boston and Oakland, California - in 2006.

Miller said round-trip fares will be around HK$4,000 to HK$5,000 year-round between Hong Kong and Europe. Cathay flies non-stop to five European destinations - London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris and Rome.

While the regular price of direct flights are usually above HK$5,000, special deals can be lower than HK$4,000. British Airways, which flies direct between Hong Kong and London, currently offers a special fare of HK$3,800. Many of the lowest fares to the destinations Oasis is planning on flying to are currently available from carriers such as Turkish Airlines and Emirates, but they require a change of planes.

The Lees have been negotiating deals with European airport authorities trying to chisel away at the landing fees, one of many costs that can hobble a start-up airline.

"That's the only way they're going to have a possible chance is to try to keep their landing costs as low as possible in Europe," Eckes said.

The low-cost model was pioneered on short and medium-length segments in the United States and western Europe, where carriers like Southwest and Ryanair relentlessly slashed costs and boosted productivity.

One of the main advantages they had was that their jets spent less time on the ground and more time in the air because of quicker turnaround times loading and unloading passengers. Southwest became famous for landing a plane and having it take off scarcely 30 minutes later. But this strategy works best on shorter routes, where jets fly between two cities several times a day, and airlines can shave a little bit of time off each stop, adding up to significant increase in productivity over time.

On longer routes - especially ones between continents where a plane lands only once or twice each day - turning a plane around more quickly makes much less of a difference.

"If you save 11 minutes flying an 11-hour route, does it make that much of a difference?" said Kevin O'Connor, head of transport research for the Hong Kong-based investment bank CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets.

To help cut costs, Oasis plans on charging passengers a fee for movies or television, as well as for alcohol. It will have affordable one-way tickets, a small business class, but no frequent-flyer program, Miller said.

He said they have all but settled on leasing two or three 747-400s, the industry standard on intercontinental routes because it burns much less fuel than similar models. He said plans are for around 400 passengers a flight.

Oasis executives believe that the arrival of a discount international airline will stimulate demand, prompting people to travel who had previously balked at high costs.

Some industry analysts agreed, suggesting there may be untapped demand on routes between Europe and Asia. The number of passengers traveling from Hong Kong to London and Rome - two of the major European gateways Oasis is hoping to attract customers - remained strong for the 12 months to the end of last March even though SARS hurt the tourism industry that summer and caused significant declines in passenger traffic.

While traffic on nearly all routes to and from Hong Kong fell during that period because of SARS, it actually rose 9.2 percent between Hong Kong and Rome to 99,385 travelers, according to statistics compiled by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.

The number of passengers traveling between Hong Kong and London also remained relatively steady at 533,490, while traffic to Frankfurt plummeted, falling nearly a quarter to a total of 180,391.

A spokeswoman for Cathay Pacific declined to comment directly on Oasis and would only say that "we believe our cost structures are competitive, but we continue to improve productivity and lower costs."

Oasis is aiming to fill around 75 or 80 percent of the seats, Miller said. O'Connor of CLSA said Cathay's flights to Europe are running very full, with some over 90 percent load rates.

Flights between Asia and Europe generally had fewer empty seats than other international flights, according to the International Air Transport Association, the Montreal-based industry group that represents nearly all of the world's international airlines. Flights from Europe to Asia were 74.2 percent full on average in 2003, the latest year for which data were available, while the average international flight for the same year only filled 69.5 percent of its seats, according to the association.

The association expects passenger traffic between Europe and Asia to grow at an average rate of 7.1 percent each year over the next five years, outpacing the global growth rate of 5 percent.

And airline analysts point out that Cathay's flights have been increasingly full, suggesting that Oasis could skim off some passengers who would rather pay less.

But airlines are notoriously hard to start, with many failing even before a single plane takes off, O'Connor said. "Some will be a twinkle in someone's eye and never even get off the ground."
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Old February 28th, 2005, 04:57 PM   #789
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28 February 2005
Corporate Press Release
Cathay Pacific celebrates first passenger service to Xiamen

Cathay Pacific Airways this morning celebrated the success of its first passenger service to Xiamen. Flight CX350 departed Hong Kong on schedule at 10:05am this morning. The airline’s first return service from Xiamen arrived back in Hong Kong at 13:45pm.

The flight’s arrival marked an important milestone in Cathay Pacific’s ongoing effort to strengthen Hong Kong as a global hub and gateway to the Chinese Mainland. Xiamen has long held strong overseas connections. With the new services to the city, Cathay Pacific offers passengers greater choice in providing same-carrier connections through Hong Kong to points across the region and up to 90 destinations around the world.


Cathay Pacific’s Engineering Director Derek Cridland and Manager Xiamen Raymond Ma at the Xiamen airport together with the pilots and cabin crew from flight CX350, the airline’s first flight to Xiamen.


(From left) Cathay Pacific’s China Sales Coordination Manager K W Young and Passenger Sales Manager Stephen Wong at the Hong Kong International Airport this morning to meet with passengers who travel on the airline first flight to Xiamen.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 03:54 PM   #790
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Cathay seeks extra US cargo services
Joseph Lo
01 March 2005
South China Morning Post

Cathay Pacific Airways is considering launching all-freight services to Dallas and Atlanta this summer.

The plans coincide with the delivery of a half-dozen freighter aircraft later this year, following the addition of a new Boeing 747-400 cargo plane last month.

Cathay spokeswoman Carolyn Leung said: "We are interested in operating to more cities in North America, but there are planning and operational issues yet to be sorted out."

If the route were approved it would operate three times a week, Ms Leung said, adding that additional stops could be added.

In January, Cathay returned to the Shanghai market with a daily freighter service from Hong Kong after a lengthy battle with Dragonair for mainland route rights.

While Cathay awaits more opportunities to expand in the mainland - an air services deal signed between Hong Kong and Beijing last year gives it the right to apply for new passenger services and additional freighter capacity to Shanghai by late next year - senior managers said the airline planned to boost transpacific flights.

The airline operates 18 freight-only flights per week to the United States and Canada, as well as passenger and freight flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Toronto and Vancouver.

Ms Leung said Cathay expected the delivery of nine new aircraft this year, including six Boeing 747-400s that were being converted into cargo planes.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 05:37 PM   #791
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24 February 2005 Corporate Press Release
Dragonair Tsunami Relief Efforts Raise > $1.3 Million in 5 Weeks

(HONG KONG) A five-week inflight campaign to raise funds in support of tsunami relief efforts by the Red Cross has raised HK$1,305,024.37.

"We've never seen such an outpouring of generosity on this scale before: our passengers have been amazingly open-hearted," said Chief Executive Officer Stanley Hui.

The funds were collected on flights throughout Dragonair's passenger network between January 8 and February 12 and are being donated to the Red Cross South Asia Relief Fund.

"We launched the campaign to give our passengers a simple and convenient channel through which to make a donation. Now the results of their kindness will be used to help in the ongoing efforts to provide relief supplies to the affected areas," Mr. Hui said.

He continued: "I wish to thank all those who made a donation, and those who gave their time and effort so freely to help us implement the campaign, including business partners and our staff."

Dragonair staff have also been making donations through the company to the Red Cross in Thailand.
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 08:07 AM   #792
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Aircraft noise
Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Following is the question by the Hon Albert Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Development and Labour, Mr Stephen Ip, in the Legislative Council today (March 2):

Question :
Will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the figures on flight noise levels which reached 70 to 74, 75 to 79, and up to or over 80 decibels between 11pm and 7am each year, as recorded by various noise monitoring stations; and

(b) the types of aircraft whose flight noise levels reached 80 decibels or above and their operating airline companies since the opening of the Chek Lap Kok Airport?

Reply :
Madam President,

(a) At present, there are 16 noise monitoring terminals in Hong Kong. The noise events recorded at these terminals since the opening of the Hong Kong International Airport are detailed at Annex I (PDF Format).

(b) The types of aircraft with noise events exceeding 80 decibels and the operating airlines concerned are detailed at Annex II (PDF Format).
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 05:50 PM   #793
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From a flight report by DC10 from HKADB :







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Old March 3rd, 2005, 07:21 PM   #794
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@hkskyline: With Guangzhou Int'l expanding rapidly, will Hong Kong do the same? I know CLK has room on the island for a remote concourse, (and I think the people mover's tunnel has already been extended out there), so will they be building it soon to keep up?
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 07:38 PM   #795
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This year, about 40 million passengers will go use HKIA while the current capacity is about 50 million. There is room for a satellite terminal west of the existing facility, but there are no immediate plans to build. On the other hand, HKIA is concentrating on additional convention facilities east of the terminal. Construction is already underway.

Hong Kong and Guangzhou are not in direct competition for passengers. Both cities serve primarily their hinterlands and the number of mainland passengers transiting via Hong Kong is still very small, so even if Guangzhou grows very rapidly, Hong Kong will not suffer. Cargo is a different story. Exports from the Pearl River Delta can now choose between Baiyun and Chek Lap Kok, but that market is growing very rapidly, so most likely it'll be a win-win situation for both airports.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 05:47 PM   #796
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04 March 2005
Corporate Press Release
Cathay Pacific marks 30 years in New Zealand with Maori warriors

Cathay Pacific Airways today marked its 30th anniversary in New Zealand with Maori warriors issuing a traditional “challenge” to Chief Executive Philip Chen as he arrived in Auckland.

Tourist arrivals to Hong Kong from New Zealand have risen steadily as Cathay Pacific has increased the frequency of services to Auckland to 12 a week. The number of New Zealanders who last year visited Hong Kong hit an all time high of over 70,000 – up from 50,000 a decade ago.

Cathay Pacific offers the fastest service from Auckland to major Mainland destinations, including timely same-carrier passenger connections from Beijing and Xiamen and a daily freighter service to Shanghai.

Cathay Pacific established a presence in New Zealand in 1974 to serve the country’s emerging tourism market and strong ties to Europe. It promoted Hong Kong via services through Sydney and Singapore.

The airline’s first scheduled service was a joint venture with Air Niugini and Air New Zealand. It launched its own weekly scheduled flight in 1983, a one-stop service via Port Moresby, went daily in 1998 and now operates 12 non-stop services a week with its A340-300s.

A seamless connection from Auckland to Cathay Pacific’s new daily freighter service to Shanghai allows the airline to make next-day deliveries of perishable goods from New Zealand, including fresh seafood.

New Zealand’s trade and tourism ties to China are now major drivers for growth in air services. New Zealand received approved destination status from China early on. In 2004, New Zealand received 84,368 arrivals from the Chinese Mainland, an increase of nearly 28 percent over the previous year. Many Mainland travellers flew via Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen said: “Our success over the past three decades reflects the growth of Cathay Pacific as a network carrier and Hong Kong’s strength as a global aviation hub and gateway to the Chinese Mainland. New Zealand’s connections to China are growing stronger by the day. It is Hong Kong’s position as the gateway to the Chinese Mainland and Cathay Pacific’s strength as Hong Kong’s home carrier where our future commitment to New Zealand lies.”


Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen meets a Maori warrior face to face as he encounters a traditional “challenge”.


Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen, Country Manager New Zealand & Pacific Islands David Figgins and the Maori cultural group.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 05:55 PM   #797
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Case of tail wagging the dog in airport privatisation talks
04 March 2005
South China Morning Post

Negotiators from the airlines and the Airport Authority are set to knock heads again over the issue of the authority's proposed privatisation.

This will mark the second three-month period granted by the government for public consultation, the first having ended last month without much agreement.

But if the government thinks the discussions are moving towards finding common ground and that the second consultation period will guarantee a successful conclusion to the talks, it may have to think again.

According to the industry, the two sides are no closer on the fundamental issues than they were in December when they started.

What are these issues?

It really boils down to the question of whether the airport should balance its books on a single-till accounting system, as is the present practice, or whether to move towards a dual-till system.

While the single-till system combines all revenues and costs into one account, a two-till system separates aviation and commercial activities into two accounts.

The government's rationale for changing the system would be to separate the two activities to better assess profitability, allowing the authority to set airline charges and commercial leases separately as and when needed to make sure that both areas are independently profitable.

It is a question of the tail wagging the dog, or whether the government believes it is the other way around.

The government sees Chek Lap Kok as a big shopping mall that will generate profit from commercial activities, while the airline operations are ancillary.

But the airlines argue that no one would be shopping at the airport in the first place, if they were not there to get on a plane or to see off or greet a loved one.

There are other issues as well, but their conclusions depend on first resolving the single versus dual-till debate.

The airlines would like to see the adoption of a transparent charging mechanism at the privatised airport.

There was widespread panic in the industry when the public consultation documents hinted that user charges for airline operators may have to be significantly increased if the privatised airport is to show a reasonable rate of return.

That begs the question: just what is a reasonable rate of return and how much of that should the airlines bear?

Consumers too - air travellers and the wider community - have a right to a transparent charging mechanism, if their interests are to be protected.

Another issue will be the checks and balances that will be put in place to ensure that the authority's core focus remains on running Chek Lap Kok.

In January, the Airport Authority signed a letter of intent with Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport in Zhejiang province, paving the way for its first major investment outside Hong Kong.

The government has said that it is critical the airport be allowed to build alliances and partnerships with outside entities, giving it greater competitive flexibility.

That is fine, too, but it is equally important that the authority's managers are not distracted from their core business of running Chek Lap Kok for the benefit of the community.

The industry says the two sides are preparing to head back to the negotiating table.

That they are still prepared to talk is a good sign, but the worry remains that the government is set on its dual-till approach and it is just paying lip service to other considerations.

It is also worrying that the first public consultation produced no concrete proposal from the authority or the government on the charging mechanism or the future regulatory framework.

However, some light is emerging at the end of the tunnel.

Airline negotiators say that the government has asked them what they would consider to be a reasonable rate of return for the airport, which is a step in the right direction.

But given that the two sides still remain so far apart, it will be a wonder if the next three months turn out to be more productive than the past three.
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Old March 5th, 2005, 05:15 AM   #798
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Metrojet : Fly with the elite passenger and reach new heights
5 March 2005
South China Morning Post

Experienced and qualified cabin attendants have a unique opportunity to take their career to new heights .

Asia's leading corporate aircraft charter company Metrojet, which recently acquired three new aircraft, has positions for full-time and part-time flight attendants.

A leader in the private jet charter business, Metrojet flies mostly in the Asia region (destinations depend on the requirements of the client, who may also wish to fly beyond the region).

Candidates should be mature, independent and outgoing, with a flexible approach to working hours and the confidence to handle high-level clients, said Cherie Drummond, Metrojet's chief flight attendant. The role carries a great deal more responsibility than that of commercial flight attendants, she added.

"You are totally in charge of all the catering, you have to liaise with clients before every flight, deal with special requests, and ensure the aircraft is completely equipped," she said.

Cabin crew are on call all hours of the day, seven days a week. Crew members should be therefore totally flexible and ready to change personal plans whenever they get a call from their superiors.

"We are looking for people with preferably no ties, because schedules often change," Ms Drummond said.

Five years of airline experience (including time spent in First Class) is a must, but Metrojet is particularly interested in applicants who have a corporate aviation background.

"We are aiming high because of the level of service our clients expect," Ms Drummond said.

The company is looking for someone who is fluent in Cantonese or Putonghua, and who can get along with the three-person in-flight crew.

The elite background of the clientele is one of the attractions of the job. Because the number of passengers is usually limited, cabin crew have a chance to bring a touch of flair to the job and put a personal stamp on their service, Ms Drummond said.
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Old March 6th, 2005, 05:45 AM   #799
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Source : http://www.pbase.com/aksu/tokyotour2004929airport









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Old March 6th, 2005, 06:07 AM   #800
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Hong Kong's biggest airline to report record-breaking 2004 profits, analysts say
By RITA RAAGAS De RAMOS
5 March 2005

HONG KONG (AP) - Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Hong Kong's biggest airline, is expected to report a record-breaking threefold surge in net profit last year, mainly on a rebound from losses suffered during the SARS crisis in 2003.

But prospects for this year appear modest at best, mainly because of the continued volatility of oil prices, analysts say. The carrier plans to report its earnings on Wednesday.

Cathay Pacific carried 13,663,958 passengers and 972,416 metric tons (1.06 million short tons) of cargo last year, both record highs. Traffic was boosted by new and more frequent passenger and cargo services to key cities such as Beijing, Sydney, New York and Moscow.

"The first half numbers from Cathay, plus passenger and cargo traffic data for the full year already gave us a clear picture of what to expect for the airline's 2004 results," said Gary Zhang, an analyst at SHK Financial.

Cathay Pacific's net profit for 2004 is expected to come in at HK$4.01 billion (US$513.87 million; euro387.99 million), according to 15 brokers surveyed by data provider Thomson One Analytics. That's more than triple the airline's HK$1.3 billion (US$166.59 million; euro125.78 million) in net profit in 2003.

Cathay Pacific's policy of subsidizing its fuel costs by imposing surcharges helped it cushion the blow of volatile oil prices in 2004. Fuel accounts for about 25 percent of the airline's total operating cost.

In June last year, Cathay Pacific imposed a surcharge of US$5 (euro3.77) per sector -- or leg of a journey -- for each passenger on a short-haul flight and US$14 (euro11) for long-haul flights. Such surcharges and the time frame for their implementation are subject to approval by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department.

The latest approval given to Cathay Pacific allows the airline to charge a fuel surcharge of US$5.30 (euro4) for short-haul flights and US$15 (euro11.32) for long-haul flights until March 31.

Whether or not the airline can continue to pass part of the costs of high oil prices to consumers remains to be seen, and is a major concern for investors.

"Oil price volatility is such a big unknown variable for Cathay Pacific, as it is with other airlines, and that causes us to avoid this stock for now," said a Hong Kong-based regional fund manager.

Although fuel prices remain volatile, they have nevertheless softened after hitting a peak of US$56 (euro42) per barrel last October. Light, sweet crude oil prices rose US$1.37 (euro1.03) to $53.05 (euro40.05) a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Wednesday, its highest close since Oct. 25.

Meanwhile, analysts don't expect Cathay Pacific's new services to China to be a significant contributor to the airline's bottom line just yet.

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

The airline resumed cargo operations in Shanghai on Jan. 27 and in the southeastern city of Xiamen on Feb 28.

Last week, the airline lost a lawsuit in Hong Kong's High Court, which sided with three flight attendants who claimed the company breached their contracts by refusing to give them automatic annual pay raises in 1999. The airline had argued it needed to change its salary policy to help the company remain competitive in the wake of the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.
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