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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 May 9th, 2005, 11:35 PM   #961
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Old May 9th, 2005, 11:49 PM   #962
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2nd Tier Cargo Handling

Marine Cargo Terminal ("MCT")
To facilitate multi-modal air cargo services between the airport and the Pearl River Delta, Marine Cargo Terminal (MCT) opened in March 2001, providing a one-stop service linking the airport with various river ports in the Pearl River Delta.

MCT is located at the northeast coast of HKIA and occupies 14,000 sq.m. of land area with 450 metre quay for berthing. Operated by Chu Kong Air-Sea Union Transportation Company Ltd (CKSA) - an alliance of Chu Kong Shipping Development Company Ltd and Hong Kong Air Cargo Industry Services Ltd, a subsidiary of Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd (Hactl), the key function of the MCT is to facilitate multi-modal air cargo services between the airport and its hinterland.

CKSA offers comprehensive one-stop-shop, door-to-door, cargo delivery services between the air cargo facilities (SuperTerminal 1, AAT and Airport Freight Forwarding Centre) and 17 river ports in the PRD Region, such as Doumen, Gaoming and Taiping.



Airport Freight Forwarding Centre ("AFFC") has a gross floor area of 139,000 sq.m. for cargo warehousing, offices and logistics operations. The six hectare land area includes loading platforms and truck parking bays.

AFFC is another crucial component to HKIA's air cargo infrastructure as the on-airport premium warehousing service provider. Its facility houses over 50 freight forwarding/logistics companies and ancillary service providers and offers convenient and efficient access for freight forwarders to the cargo terminal operators.

Tradeport Logistics Centre completed in 2003, is a new air cargo infrastructure developed and operated by Tradeport Hong Kong Limited.

The logistics centre is built on a 1.38 hectare land area in the South Commercial District of the airport. The building has three floors with a total gross floor area of 31,400 sq.m. The centre able to provide a wide range of logistics and supply chain management services such as inventory/stock management, specialist cargo handling, order processing and assembly configuring.

Security

The Hong Kong SAR Government has implemented the trial run of the Regulated Agent Regime (RAR) in March 2000 to enhance the security of air cargo. The introduction of the RAR is to conform to the Standard 4.3.9 of Annex 17 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and requires airlines to only carry shipments that has been accounted for by a Regulated Agent or has been subjected to other means of security control. Such measures have been taken to safeguard air cargo passing through HKIA against acts of unlawful interference.

Integrated Air Cargo Solution

To achieve a seamless solution for air cargo handling, the air cargo handling systems are integrated with Hong Kong Customs and Excise Air Cargo Clearance System (ACCS), enabling air cargo information to be transmitted three hours prior to shipment arrival. The ACCS is linked to the two air cargo terminal operators, four express cargo integrators - DHL, FedEx, TNT and UPS, and MCT to ensure timely electronic interchange of cargo data and customs status. This system allows pre-arrival customs clearance and covers all air cargo type. It also provides "priority consignment" handling.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 12:00 AM   #963
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機艙燈冒煙 加航折返港急降
2005 年 05 月 09 日


【 本 報 訊 】 加 拿 大 航 空 一 班 載 有 兩 百 多 名 乘 客 及 機 員 的 航 機 , 昨 午 離 港 往 溫 哥 華 途 中 發 生 九 霄 驚 魂 , 機 艙 一 盞 工 作 燈 冒 需 緊 急 折 返 本 港 , 卒 安 全 降 落 。 乘 客 稱 當 時 聞 到 陣 陣 燒 焦 氣 味 , 消 防 員 調 查 證 實 是 工 作 燈 電 線 短 路 引 致 , 但 無 起 火 象 。

更 換 機 師 延 遲 起 飛
該 班 加 航 編 號 AC008 航 機 , 機 種 屬 空 中 巴 士 A343 型 , 載 有 二 百 三 十 一 名 乘 客 及 十 六 名 機 組 人 員 , 於 昨 午 四 時 零 三 分 由 赤 角 機 場 起 飛 , 半 小 時 後 , 機 場 控 制 塔 接 獲 機 長 報 告 指 機 艙 內 機 員 工 作 間 一 盞 工 作 燈 一 度 冒 , 要 求 折 返 本 港 , 大 批 消 防 車 及 救 護 車 趕 往 停 機 坪 戒 備 。

航 機 於 下 午 四 時 四 十 五 分 安 全 陸 , 消 防 員 登 機 檢 查 , 一 名 機 組 人 員 感 不 舒 服 , 毋 須 送 院 。 乘 客 由 航 空 公 司 安 排 入 住 富 豪 機 場 酒 店 , 待 今 晨 繼 續 行 程 。

有 乘 客 透 露 , 航 程 可 謂 一 波 三 折 , 航 機 原 定 昨 午 一 時 二 十 分 起 飛 , 但 到 起 飛 時 間 ,乘 客 聽 到 機 上 廣 播 稱 因 為 無 線 電 機 件 故 障 , 及 要 更 換 機 師 而 延 遲 起 飛 ; 航 機 延 遲 了兩 個 多 小 時 起 飛 後 , 又 聽 到 機 長 廣 播 前 艙 冒 , 要 緊 急 折 返 ; 有 乘 客 更 表 示 當 時 聞 到 陣 陣 燒 焦 氣 味 。

冷 氣 風 口 滲 「 」 味
年 約 七 旬 的 乘 客 馮 先 生 表 示 : 「 上 機 後 不 久 便 聞 到 冷 氣 系 統 風 口 滲 出 『 』 味 , 問 空 姐 , 佢 又 話 無 。 」

他 稱 , 昨 晨 十 時 許 , 他 已 進 入 禁 區 候 機 大 堂 , 其 後 只 在 機 上 進 食 過 花 生 小 食 及 飲 過 水 , 落 機 時 已 飢 腸 轆 轆 。

另 一 名 乘 客 鍾 小 姐 對 於 航 機 延 遲 起 飛 後 , 僅 半 小 時 又 要 折 返 , 雖 然 感 到 麻 煩 , 但 始 終 認 為 安 全 要 緊 。 她 說 : 「 飛 返 都 好 , 好 過 發 生 意 外 。 」 不 過 , 她 投 訴 折 騰 了 一 整 天 , 入 住 酒 店 後 要 等 到 晚 上 九 時 才 能 用 晚 膳 , 對 航 空 公 司 的 安 排 頗 有 微 言 。
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Old May 10th, 2005, 05:23 PM   #964
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HK's HACTL says April air cargo volume up 10 pct

HONG KONG, May 9 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's main air cargo terminal said on Monday that it handled 10 percent more cargo in April due to continued strong growth in the transhipment sector.

Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd. (HATCL), 25 percent owned by Jardine Matheson Holdings and 20 percent by Swire Pacific Ltd. , handled 205,169 tonnes of cargo last month, it said in a statement.

For the first four months, it moved a total of 737,517 tonnes, up 4.9 percent from the same period last year.

Growth momentum in the transhipment sector continued in April, up 47.7 percent from the previous year to 31,942 tonnes.

Export volume rose 11.4 percent in the same month to 117,108 tonnes but import volume fell 6.1 percent to 56,119 tonnes.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 05:25 PM   #965
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By AN888 from HKADB :


By Mark Tang :


By AirCanon :
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Old May 11th, 2005, 07:10 PM   #966
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United Airlines adds three weekly Hong Kong-Chicago flights for a total 10 per week
10 May 2005

HONG KONG (AP) - United Airlines has added three more nonstop Hong Kong-Chicago flights, bringing its weekly total to 10.

"These new flights will bring more than 1,000 extra seats a week" to the Hong Kong-Chicago route, said Mark Russell, a managing director at United.

The flights began May 8, the airline said.
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Old May 11th, 2005, 10:12 PM   #967
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By oscar1983 from HKADB :











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Old May 11th, 2005, 11:17 PM   #968
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To develop future leaders in aviation, the Airport Authority (AA) is launching the SkyLeaders Development Programme to nurture a pool of young talents to meet the rapidly growing industry, and to strengthen Hong Kong's leading position as the centre of international and regional aviation.

The Programme

CEO communication sessions
SkyLeaders scholarship award
Leadership mentoring
Summer internship
SkyLeaders management trainee scheme

This invaluable learning programme is a unique opportunity for you to reach new heights in development of your personal, leadership and career capabilities. Undergraduate students who believe they have the qualities to be the future leaders are invited to submit their applications.

Download SkyLeaders Development Programme booklet (pdf)
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Old May 12th, 2005, 05:08 PM   #969
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Orient Thai by louis919 from HKADB :

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Old May 12th, 2005, 05:11 PM   #970
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Sichuan Airlines commences service at HKIA
Airport Authority Press Release

(HONG KONG, 12 May 2005) -- Sichuan Airlines today commences services at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) with the launch of four weekly scheduled flights between Hong Kong and Chongqing.

The carrier becomes the third new airline to join HKIA's extensive aviation network this year, after Thai Sky and Bangkok Airways.

Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA)'s Chief Executive Officer, Dr David J Pang said, "We are glad to welcome Sichuan Airlines as our business partner. Through the continuous addition of new carriers, destinations and flight frequencies, HKIA's status as the gateway of China will be further strengthened."

Mr Yang Jianxin, vice president of Sichuan Airlines, said at the inaugural ceremony that with the wide domestic network of the airline, the new services will boost connections between Hong Kong and other parts of the country, further promoting the flow of people and goods.

Mr Hans Bakker, AA's Commercial Director, greeted the first flight to Hong Kong." We are very pleased to add a new regional Mainland carrier to offer a variety of products and services to both business and leisure travelers."

Chongqing is China's fourth municipality and the largest industrial and commercial centre in southwest China. Sichuan Airlines' new service will further enhance Hong Kong's connectivity to this burgeoning market and the Mainland.

Starting with today, there will be 16 weekly scheduled flights between the two cities, with Sichuan Airlines operating four flights weekly on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, arriving and departing Hong Kong at 6:10pm and 7:10pm respectively.


Flight arrived Hong Kong International Airport


Mr Yang Jianxin, vice president of Sichuan Airlines (left), Mr Hans Bakker, AA's Commercial Director (right), Ms Dora Kay, Head of International Marketing (middle)


Mr Yang Jianxin, vice president of Sichuan Airlines (Right), Mr Hans Bakker, AA's Commercial Director (second from left), Ms Dora Kay, Head of International Marketing (first from left)

Download Larger Versions
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Old May 13th, 2005, 04:04 AM   #971
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Work together, Citic urges Cathay and Dragonair
Russell Barling
12 May 2005
South China Morning Post

Cathay Pacific Airways and Hong Kong Dragon Airlines should restructure their common shareholdings to make them more competitive in the rapidly liberalising Asian aviation market, a senior executive of Citic Pacific says.

Managing director Henry Fan Hung-ling said that with the mainland virtually throwing its doors open to direct services from foreign carriers, the Hong Kong government had little choice but to follow suit in a move that would heap competitive pressure on Cathay and Dragonair.

"Under those circumstances, it will make a lot of sense for Cathay and Dragonair to co-operate rather than continue to duplicate each other's routes," said Mr Fan, whose company owns 25.51 per cent of Cathay and 28.5 per cent of Dragonair. "We will support any restructuring that will see that co-operation strengthened."

Mr Fan's comments on the sidelines of Cathay's annual general meeting yesterday were seen as a sign that the merger of the carriers - first reported in the South China Morning Post on March 16 - may be drawing near and is supported at the highest levels of both the airlines and their parent firms.

While Cathay's passenger and cargo volumes continue to grow in line with its rapid fleet expansion, it is struggling for meaningful access to the promising mainland market - a malaise that a Dragonair merger will remedy - and with the escalating cost of aviation fuel.

Fuel now accounted for "more than 30 per cent" of Cathay's operating costs, up from 24 per cent last year, chief executive Philip Chen Nan-lok said yesterday.

There was, however, some relief yesterday in the price of jet kerosene traded in Singapore - the region's benchmark index - where the cost for a barrel fell to US$64.15, down 15.97 per cent from its April 4 peak of US$76.35.

"It's beginning to hurt," chairman David Turnbull said. "Our fuel bill will be a lot bigger than last year."

Cathay spent just over US$1 billion on fuel last year, up 49.7 per cent on 2003.

Cathay had hedged, or pre-bought at a set price, about 12 per cent of its expected fuel needs this year, Mr Turnbull said.

The airline has applied to the Civil Aviation Department for an extension of its fuel surcharge past the May 31 expiry date and it is thought to have also applied for an increase in the $42 and $118 per one-way ticket it levies on short and long-haul flights.

Cathay does not reveal what proportion of its added fuel costs is recovered by the surcharge. But the International Air Transport Association, the aviation sector's de facto governing body, last month said the industry recovered 10 per cent to 20 per cent of the added fuel burden last year.
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Old May 13th, 2005, 03:50 PM   #972
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DHL Introduces a New Level of Connectivity between China and the US
New direct flights underscore DHL's market leadership and commitment to China

11 May 2005
M2 Presswire

DHL, the world's leading express and logistics company, today announced the introduction of two new direct overnight express services between Beijing and Hong Kong and between Shanghai and the United States. The new flights bring a new dimension of connectivity for consumers and businesses in China, offering seamless connections from the world's fastest growing economy to Asia and the US.

The daily Shanghai-US flight will be operated by Northwest Airlines with a Boeing 747-200 freighter aircraft, while the four times weekly Beijing service will utilise a Cathay Pacific A330-200 passenger aircraft from DHL's Central Asia Hub in Hong Kong.

These new direct flights underscore DHL's commitment to provide the most extensive air network possible for customers in China. With the addition of these new flights, DHL customers will benefit from later pick-up cut-off and earlier delivery times.

Jerry Hsu, President for Greater China and Korea, DHL Express said, "This new development will position DHL to respond to the tremendous growth in demand for express services driven in part by a surging Chinese economy.

The new Shanghai-US service belies our confidence in China, which is today one of the fastest growing markets in DHL's global network, registering an annual growth rate of 50-60% in 2004."

China continues to be a key market for DHL and a significant engine of growth for DHL's business in the Asia Pacific. The company, which has been operating in China for almost 20 years, has embarked on a five-year US$273 million strategic investment programme as part of a wider initiative to reinforce its market leadership as an integrated one-stop' supply chain solutions provider in China with both international and domestic offerings. The company's joint venture DHL-Sinotrans is the market leader in China with a 40% share of the express delivery market.

New flights details The route directly connects Shanghai with Anchorage in the United States and onward to DHL's hubs in Cincinnati and Los Angeles, feeding into DHL's U.S. network. Shanghai is also directly connected to DHL's Central Asia Hub in Hong Kong via a direct flight between Hong Kong and Shanghai operated by Dragonair.

The four times weekly Beijing service will operate on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday inbound to DHL's Central Asia Hub in Hong Kong, one of DHL's two major hubs in the Asia Pacific. The outbound service from Hong Kong to Beijing will operate on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Besides Beijing, DHL also offers direct connections to Shanghai from Hong Kong and connects Guangzhou and Shenzhen by road to Hong Kong.

The overnight service will operate according to the following schedule:

Depart from Departure Time (Local) Arrive at Arrival Time (Local) Beijing 2100 Hong Kong 0030 Hong Kong 0325 Beijing 0635

The addition of these two new services brings to 27 the total number of destinations served by DHL's dedicated air network. The aircraft utilised for the two new services increases the number of aircraft serving DHL's existing dedicated air operations in the region to over 20. This allows capital cities and other major business centres to be interconnected through DHL's regional hubs and gateways, providing DHL's customers with overnight services across Asia Pacific.

The new services follow the recent addition of a new dedicated overnight express service between Nagoya and DHL's Central Asia Hub in Hong Kong.

About DHL

With annual revenues of over *24 billion euro in 2004, DHL is the global market leader of the international express and logistics industry, specialising in providing innovative and customised solutions from a single source.

DHL offers expertise in express, air and ocean freight, overland transport and logistics solutions, combined with worldwide coverage and an in-depth understanding of local markets. DHL's international network links more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. Over 170,000 employees are dedicated to providing fast and reliable services that exceed customers' expectations.

DHL is 100% owned by Deutsche Post World Net
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Old May 13th, 2005, 08:19 PM   #973
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Passenger growth attributed to April holidays
Airport Authority Press Release

(Hong Kong, 15 May 2005) - The number of passengers traveling through Hong Kong International Airport last month was 7.5 per cent higher than the same period last year, reaching 3,327,000.

The increase could be attributed partly to the overflow of some Easter effect into early April and the linking of Ching Ming holiday on the 5 April, said Mrs. Heidi Kwan, Chief Communication Officer at Airport Authority Hong Kong.

Air cargo throughput grew 14.7 per cent as compared to the same period last year reaching 285,000 tonnes, driven mainly by the growth of demand from the US and European market.

Air traffic movement was also showing a healthy growth of 7.5 per cent when compared with the same period in 2004.

- Air Traffic statistics : http://www.hongkongairport.com/eng/a...s/ms200504.pdf
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Old May 14th, 2005, 07:25 PM   #974
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Dragonair, Air China Add Code-Share Service Routes
11 May 2005

BEIJING, May 11, SinoCast -- A source from Dragonair, an airline operator in Hong Kong, said that it was to extend code-share services agreement with Air China Ltd., one of the largest airline carrier in Mainland China, to two additional points in Mainland China, Hangzhou and Wuhan, from May 15, 2005.

The agreement will get both sides to have seven cold-share routes between Hong Kong and Mainland China.

Dragonair now provides three flights a day to Hangzhou and will have four flights after the agreement takes effect. Air China does not fly between Hong Kong and Wuhan presently, but its partner can help it provide two flights between Hong Kong and Wuhan each week after May 15.

Dragonair currently has code-share agreements with Air China on flights from Hong Kong to Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian and Tianjin. It also has reached a code-share agreement with China Southern Airlines in the routes between Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 07:29 PM   #975
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By mayday @ HKADB :











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Old May 14th, 2005, 09:35 PM   #976
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Metrojet expands its G200 fleet
10 May 2005
Flight International

Hong Kong-based business jet company Metrojet has taken delivery of a third Gulfstream G200 and is negotiating to add a further two by year-end.

The additional aircraft will be managed on behalf of a group of owners, but will be available for charter part-time.

"We're focusing on aircraft management," says Metrojet business development manager Jolie Chung Howard. "It's very risky to buy large aircraft and just do charter operations."

Metrojet placed into service its first G200 super mid-size business jet in early 2004. This aircraft, which is owned by the manufacturer, replaced a larger Gulfstream IV that Gulfstream and Metrojet used to launch a charter operation in early 2001. A second G200 was delivered last year and is owned by Metrojet along with a group of Hong Kong-based businessmen.

Another group of Hong Kong-based businesses have teamed up to purchase the third G200, this time without any ownership from Metrojet. Two more groups are now discussing acquiring G200s for delivery this year, with Metrojet again acting as operator and maintenance provider. Metrojet specialises in offering VIP services from a business jet facility at Chek Lap Kok airport, with 60% of its flights heading to mainland China.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 04:01 AM   #977
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Plane Spotting at HKIA
Source : HKIA Website

Plane spotting was a popular pastime with enthusiasts at the old Kai Tak airport and now it is catching on at Chek Lap Kok. But with a difference. Visitors to the airport will have noticed that there is a small hill next to the airport's entrance corridor. This remnant of the original island has been left in its natural state and from the top one commands a splendid panoramic view of the South Runway. Photographers in particular flock to the spot because a small pagoda affords weather protection.

To get there, take any 'E' bus and alight at the first bus stop immediately after the bridge that links Tung Chung new town with the airport island. From the bus stop, it is easy to identify which direction to take because the headland is the most prominent feature. For those who wish to drive their own vehicles, please note that there are no parking facilities near by.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 04:02 AM   #978
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Horizons expand for more budget carriers
The public is getting used to cheap fares but a travel industry chief warns prices in the chaotic market might double in the high season
14 May 2005
South China Morning Post

NO ONE KNOWS how long they will last or how many destinations they will eventually reach, but the arrival of budget airlines in Hong Kong has certainly heralded some extraordinary bargains.

Aboard Orient Thai and Thai Sky, round-trip fares to Bangkok from Hong Kong are as low as $700.

A return fare to Singapore with Valuair's twice-daily service is $1,250.

Out of Macau, Malaysian carrier AirAsia offers similar bargain-basement fares to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.

But this is just the beginning of a new era of cut-price fares as Hong Kong follows Macau's example and opens its skies.

By the end of this year, Oasis Hong Kong Airlines hopes to launch long-haul, non-stop flights, initially to Europe and later to North America, at budget prices targeting cost-conscious travellers.

Hong Kong Express, headed by Helicopters Hong Kong chief Andrew Tse, is also in the running to open commuter routes to the mainland this summer with 76-seater Embraer-170s.

By next year, Macau will probably have at least three new carriers basing operations there. Leading candidate WOW! Macau is targeting Asian, European and Middle Eastern routes.

Two other Macau start-ups, Golden Dragon and a subsidiary of the Patrick Group, which owns Virgin Blue in Australia, are reportedly keen to target the mainland market.

Ronnie Ho, chairman of the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong, said: "The skies have basically opened. It's great for consumers with fares more competitive and more sales opportunities for travel agents. But the market is quite chaotic. The public is getting used to cheap fares, but in the high seasons they can double."

Mr Ho is also cautious about whether all the start-ups can survive. "From a business perspective I don't see how they can make money," he said.

The Airport Authority Hong Kong has offered discounted landing packages for quick turnarounds "but Hong Kong is still comparatively expensive".

Oasis chief executive Steve Miller said there was a "huge contrast" in the regulatory climate for start-up airlines since he helped launch Dragonair nearly 20 years ago.

"Back then, Asian countries were very protectionist," he said.

"Now what we want to do is to be well received, not only by the travel industry and travelling public but also the Hong Kong government."

With budget airlines having broken the regulatory shackles on regional routes, he said, "the mood seems to be right at this time for a long-haul budget airline in Hong Kong". Oasis plans to launch with a fleet of three aircraft and will probably be following the budget airline trend by flying to "secondary" airports.

The only frills will be meals. Passengers will be charged for alcohol and in-flight entertainment.

Do not expect a frequent flier programme, either. Mr Miller said: "Staff will come from Hong Kong as a first priority. If we cannot find suitably qualified people here then we'll obviously have to go further afield, but we are very much a Hong Kong airline for Hong Kong people."

Another new airline already off the ground and bringing more jobs to the market is CR Airways. But it is not a budget carrier.

Having started out as a helicopter charter outfit, it now flies two 50-seater jets to China's secondary cities, such as Jinan and Nanning, holiday packages to Laoag and Clark in the Philippines, and charters to Phuket, Langkawi, Danang and Siem Reap. The carrier prefers the label "low operating cost" carrier offering "value for money" fares to destinations that would otherwise require passengers to catch two flights through major hubs.

A spokeswoman for the company said: "We are following the model of West Jet and East Jet in Canada. It's a direct point-to-point service to cities in China."

Running at a healthy 80 per cent capacity, CR Airways is already looking to expand, acquiring 70-seater aircraft to cope with demand and extending its network to mainland cities including Zhejiang, Changsha, Chongqing, Guilin, Haikou, Hangzhou, Kunming, Nanjing, Sanya, Tianjin and Wuhan.

Though in a niche market, the new airlines do offer an alternative to Hong Kong's two established carriers - Cathay Pacific and Dragonair.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 06:10 AM   #979
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Opening Hong Kong Skies
ED MCKENNA - ASSOCIATE EDITOR
13 May 2005
Traffic World

The United States is pushing for American cargo carriers to have more freedom to connect growing Asia business through Hong Kong, a key and potential contentious issue as the two sides start new aviation talks this month.

The United States is pursuing liberalization of cargo and passenger services, including a 150 percent increase in the number of so-called fifth freedom frequencies, and an elimination of the caps on the number of cities carriers can serve on those fifth freedom flights.

Fifth freedom rights give carriers the right to pick up and carry traffic between two countries outside an airline's home country. That right is highly prized by airlines seeking to piece together service between secondary points and the United States, including points within China that make better financial sense if carriers can ferry traffic to Hong Kong rather than directly across the Pacific.

But Cathay Pacific is working hard to protect its cargo position at its Hong Kong hub, which Cathay now connects to mainland China.

"Hong Kong should have an entirely open aviation regime, rather than granting incremental rights over time," said Michael Ducker, executive vice president of international at FedEx Express. "An open skies agreement would ensure that air transportation services facilitate, rather than restrict, bilateral economic growth."

The negotiations "are going to be very tough. … They always are with Hong Kong," said John R. Byerly, the State Department's deputy assistant secretary for transportation affairs. "Despite its extraordinary commitment to open markets, the special economic area within China … has a very restrictive approach to aviation -- they call it progressive liberalization."

Under the existing agreement, all-cargo carriers can operate 64 frequencies between Hong Kong and third countries with some limitations on the points they serve.

Cargo operations are likely to be a bigger issue than passenger services in the talks, Byerly said. "And unfortunately they seem to be inclined to demand cabotage."

The United States pressed an open skies agreement during discussions in April, but Hong Kong officials were reluctant to commit to such an arrangement, a Department of Transportation spokesman said.

Meantime, Cathay will up its 747-400 freighter service to the United States in November with thrice weekly service to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

The service will boost DFW's international cargo traffic, which grew by almost 28 percent in 2004. Asian freighters accounted for more than 60 percent of the 245,000 metric ton of international freight handled at the airport.

Another Hong Kong carrier, Dragonair Cargo, is launching its first U.S. freighter service with three-time-weekly 747-400 service to New York's Kennedy International Airport.

Separately, the United States extended its patchwork of open skies pacts when Paraguay and the Maldives signed separate treaties this month. Those accords permit all-cargo carriers to fly between each country and third countries without directly connecting to their homeland.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 11:53 AM   #980
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cool pictures... Gulf Air's liveries are just truly exquisite! for lack of a better word...
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