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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 16th, 2005, 07:26 AM   #981
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SIR MICHAEL Bishop's bmi could take on BA on routes to Hong Kong, Sydney and...
13 May 2005
The Evening Standard

SIR MICHAEL Bishop's bmi could take on BA on routes to Hong Kong, Sydney and South Africa, after pledging to introduce new long-haul services out of Heathrow.

The former British Midland launches its inaugural Heathrow long-haul route tomorrow to the fast-growing Indian financial centre of Mumbai. With plans for the service to go daily, going head-to-head with BA, Bishop is also aiming to launch Heathrow-Riyadh flights in the autumn after BA pulled the Saudi route, citing security fears.

Bmi is blocked from running Heathrow services to the US but Bishop says there are plenty of other routes on which bmi can attack BA and Virgin Atlantic on price.
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Old May 16th, 2005, 07:26 PM   #982
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HK airport still Asia's top business and leisure transit hub
Airport Authority keen to lift revenue from budget airlines to boost value before partial privatisation

Russell Barling
16 May 2005
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong International Airport remained Asia's top transit point for business and leisure passengers last month as travel demand was piqued by Easter and Ching Ming holidays.

However, the pace of liberalisation in mainland air services - China has virtually thrown open its doors to direct flights for foreign carriers in the past year - appears to have had little impact on Chek Lap Kok.

More than 3.27 million travellers last month passed through the airport, up a comparative 7.5 per cent.

Even with robust business growth, the Airport Authority said it was keen to tap new revenue streams - such as the budget traveller market - to boost the value of its partial privatisation, which may come as early as next year.

The budget or "low fare" market, as the authority labelled it, generated about 2 per cent of the airport's passenger volumes.

The authority would like to see that grow to 15 per cent before 2010, which would require it to double the number of budget carriers calling at Chek Lap Kok.

Any success would likely come at the expense of Macau, which in the past year has positioned itself as budget-friendly to attract airlines such as Tiger Airways and Air Asia.

When Macau aviation authorities last month ended Air Macau's right to be the city's only carrier, they turned to airlines such as Virgin Blue, WOW!Macau and Golden Dragon rather than the region's legacy carriers.

Virgin Blue dropped out of talks last week, leading to speculation Macau may search for a replacement before finalising deals with the last two carriers.

However, such a move would not sit well with WOW!Macau chief executive Andrew Pyne.

Mr Pyne, whose airline may fly as many as six B767 aircraft from Macau if it can launch services by the end of the year, has yet to secure route rights from the enclave's authorities and said time was a factor.

"We could not accept a situation in which there would be further delay so that other carriers can be considered," Mr Pyne said yesterday.

"Macau is crying out for additional air services. There is already pent-up demand which is seeing traffic spill over to Hong Kong. Both sides should be acutely aware of the time pressures."

He said his airline chose Macau over Hong Kong for its potential as a tourism destination and because the airport's lower user costs made sense for a start-up.

However, Mr Pyne said he had never totally ruled out Hong Kong.

"To launch services this year will require a resolution within the next two or three weeks," he said.

"If we don't get a resolution, Macau will be the loser, not WOW!Macau."
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Old May 16th, 2005, 11:41 PM   #983
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By mayday from HKADB :



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Old May 17th, 2005, 07:21 AM   #984
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機場擬設跨境碼頭方便遊客[17:20]
2005/05/16
http://www.mpinews.com/content.cfm?n...161720ea11720a

為配合迪土尼樂園於九月開幕帶來的跨境人流,機管局計劃投資一億港元,把機場的海天碼頭改建成跨境碼頭。

機管局發言人表示,當局已計劃斥資一億港元,將機場的海天碼頭改建成永久跨境碼頭。若獲得香港政府定案,將於今年第三季動工興建,預計二零零七年落成啟用,屆時跨境碼頭會有獨立的出入境大廳、海關櫃台,亦有獨立警崗及購物商場。

發言人說,為了發展一個連貫海陸空的概念,現時國際機場客運大樓內使用的無人駕駛捷運系統,也將會延伸至碼頭之內,旅客可選擇出境或乘搭無人駕駛的列車前往轉機,可同時發揮轉機及出入境的功效。

發言人又說,機管局已與香港主要兩家船務公司珠江船務及信德船務簽訂意向書,待港府正式拍板落實海天碼頭發展計劃後,便會全面提升船班次數,估計經珠三角及廣東省一帶乘船來港的旅客將數以倍增。

拓展海天碼頭成為永久性跨境碼頭,機管局將會承擔整個碼頭的運作費用,港府則須調配人手,包括入境、海關及警務人員等駐守,應付出入境旅客的需要。

鑑於香港迪士尼樂園與國際機場都設在大嶼山,機場的跨境碼頭啟用後,可以吸引珠江三角洲及廣東省居民乘船來港參觀迪士尼樂園,以及方便在珠三角及廣東投資的台商利用香港機場轉機。
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Old May 17th, 2005, 06:50 PM   #985
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Hong Kong Airport April Passengers Up 8% On Yr To 3.33M
17 May 2005

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Passenger traffic through the Hong Kong International Airport rose 8% on year in April, Hong Kong's Airport Authority said.

The rise in passenger numbers was due to the Easter and Ching Ming holidays, said Airport Authority Chief Communication Officer Heidi Kwan.

The authority said the Hong Kong airport served 3.33 million passengers in April, up from 3.09 million in April 2004.

Air cargo throughput rose 15% to 285,000 metric tons in April, driven mainly by the growth of demand from the U.S. and European market.

Aircraft takeoffs and landings increased 8% on year.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 07:34 PM   #986
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Hong Kong urged to delay airport sale
By JUSTINE LAU
16 April 2005
Financial Times

The International Air Transport Association yesterday urged Hong Kong to delay the proposed airport privatisation, fearing it would lead to higher airport charges and damage the territory's competitiveness.

Giovanni Bisignani, director general of IATA which represents 265 airlines, said "there is no emergency" for the privatisation after Hong Kong reported in March its first surplus since 1999-2000 in the consolidated budget, which includes funds raised through bond issues and securitisation of government assets.

"Do we need a privatisation now? Is it better we have this privatisation in three, four years' time when the airport has become more profitable?" Mr Bisignani said.

Hong Kong announced plans to privatise the Airport Authority, operator of Chek Lap Kok airport, in 2003 to reduce its soaring budget deficit.

An initial public offering is expected to take place in the first half of 2006 following a public consultation which ends in May.

In the consultation paper, the government says the AA will need to lift its return to shareholders by raising airport charges, including landing, parking and terminal tariffs which account for 45 per cent of its revenue.

AA's return on equity was less than 2 per cent in 2002-03, compared with the worldwide average of close to 7 per cent, although IATA expects the Hong Kong figure to rise to 4 per cent in 2004-05.

Mr Bisignani said yesterday he was "disturbed" by the claim that airport charges would need to rise and argued that Hong Kong should instead lower tariffs ahead of an IPO to increase hub traffic, which accounts for about 30 per cent of Chek Lap Kok's traffic.

"You have Macao vying for low cost traffic on the other side of the Delta. And only a short distance away is Guangzhou with its brand new and very impressive airport. Both are eager to get some of Hong Kong's traffic," he said.

Although landing charges in Tokyo and China are 2.5 times and 1.5 times that of Hong Kong, Mr Bisignani said Narita was expected to cut tariffs by 20 per cent soon, while some airports in China, including Guangzhou, were considering similar moves. Landing charges in Seoul, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur are 15, 45, 65 and 80 per cent lower than Hong Kong's.

Separately, the AA said yesterday it had agreed to pay Rmb1.99bn (Dollars 241m) for a 35 per cent stake in Hangzhou Xiaoshan airport in its first strategic investment outside Hong Kong.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 07:35 PM   #987
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By K.H. Ng from HKADB :

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Old May 19th, 2005, 05:16 AM   #988
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Rolls-Royce, Dragonair extend maintenance deal covering Trent 700 engines
18 May 2005

LONDON (AFX) - Rolls Royce Group PLC and Dragonair have signed an 11-year TotalCare maintenance contract covering the fleet of Trent 700 engines which will power 11 Airbus A330 aircraft on lease to Dragonair from ILFC.

In a statement today, Rolls-Royce said this agreement is in addition to an existing TotalCare contract that Dragonair has for its five purchased A330 aircraft. This new contract means all of Dragonair's A330 fleet in service and on order will be covered under TotalCare service agreements.

Maintenance of Dragonair's engines will be carried out at Hong Kong Aero Engine Services Ltd (HAESL), a joint venture involving Rolls-Royce, Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Ltd (HAECO) and Singapore International Airlines Engineering Company.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 04:45 PM   #989
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Thursday May 19, 7:12 PM
Hong Kong's Dragonair says April passenger numbers rose 13.2 percent on year

AP - Dragonair, Hong Kong's second-biggest carrier, said Thursday that passenger numbers rose 13.2 percent in April compared to the same month in 2004.

"April is a busy month for trade shows and meetings in mainland China, driving business traffic from Hong Kong to Beijing and Shanghai," said Stanley Hui, the airline's chief executive officer.

The carrier _ also known as Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Ltd. _ said it flew 431,860 passengers last month, 50,274 more than one year ago. April's figure was also 7.3 percent higher than March's.

Dragonair's largest shareholder is Hong Kong-listed China National Aviation Co., a state-controlled airline holding company. Conglomerates CITIC Pacific Ltd., Swire Pacific Ltd. and Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. also hold stakes.

Dragonair flys to 30 destinations across the Asia-Pacific region.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 08:12 AM   #990
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Northwest Seeks Rights To Add Hong Kong-Manila Flights
Angela Kim
20 May 2005
Aviation Daily

Northwest this week returned its Hong Kong-Seoul all-cargo, fifth-freedom frequency, asking the U.S. Transportation Dept. instead for rights to expand its fifth-freedom service from Hong Kong to Manila.

The carrier wants two of five unallocated U.S.-Hong fifth-freedom frequencies to add two more roundtrip flights between Hong Kong and Manila. Northwest already operates the service four times a week with Boeing 747 freighters that can each carry 115 short tons of cargo.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 08:19 AM   #991
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Airport courts more budget carriers
Authority seeks to double the number of small regional airlines calling at Chek Lap Kok in five years
Russell Barling
24 May 2005
South China Morning Post

The Hong Kong Airport Authority wants to double the number of budget carriers calling at Chek Lap Kok as it looks to add to the list of destinations it serves by as much as 30 per cent within five years.

Chief executive David Pang Ding-jung said that the authority's objective was to increase the proportion of overall passenger traffic brought by budget carriers such as Orient Thai and Valuair to 15 per cent by 2010, from just 2 per cent last year.

"We have seven low-fare airlines calling at the airport right now. We would like to see that reach about 18," Mr Pang told an audience hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce yesterday.

"We have no low-fare carriers connecting Hong Kong to the mainland, but in the future, I think that will change."

Mr Pang said the authority would not offer budget carriers lower user costs than it did premium carriers such as Cathay Pacific Airways, but there were other ways Hong Kong could make itself attractive to the low-fare sector. "We are trying to help them reduce their turnaround times," he said.

Malaysia's AirAsia, Thailand's Nok Air and Phuket Airways, Indonesia's Lion Air, Cambodia's Kampuchea Airlines and local start-ups Hong Kong Express and Oasis Airlines are some of the carriers the authority is targeting.

The authority would like to see airlines serving Hong Kong fly to about 180 destinations within five years, against the 140 cities they offer today. "To do that, we need more carriers," Mr Pang said.

The authority, which said revenue might reach $6.37 billion this financial year, last month finalised a $1.9 billion deal to acquire 35 per cent of Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, which Mr Pang called the first "air bridge" to the mainland's passenger market.

"The goal is not to stop [at Hangzhou]. Our goal is to become a real member of China's airport system," Mr Pang said. With Hong Kong technically outside an international border, it is losing its traditional role as the gateway to the world for Chinese travellers.

In 1999, about 33 per cent of business and leisure travellers leaving the mainland transited Hong Kong. Last year, that proportion dropped to 24 per cent.

While Mr Pang and his colleagues can take solace that Chinese citizens still make up a greater proportion of Hong Kong airport's overall traffic - 49 per cent or 19.3 million passengers last year against 41 per cent or 12.5 million in 1999 - penetrating the mainland market remains imperative.

They are trying to convince mainland authorities to set up a customs post in Hong Kong to pre-clear mainland-bound travellers.

"Our greatest competitive disadvantage remains that invisible wall [the border]," Mr Pang said.

"The best scenario would be to see it removed. Failing that, we need to keep drilling holes in it.

"The next big hole should be pre-clearance. That would allow us to be an airport for China, which is what we need to be competitive."
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Old May 24th, 2005, 11:58 PM   #992
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China to JFK, via Hong Kong
BY JOSEPH BONNEY
23 May 2005
Journal of Commerce

Hong Kong-based Dragonair has launched a new air freighter service to the U.S., and is counting on the booming China market to make it work.

The service, which began operation last month, operates three times a week between Hong Kong and New York's Kennedy Airport. Stanley Hui, chief executive of Dragonair, said the service was established to take advantage of growth in Chinese imports and exports via the carrier's Hong Kong hub.

"Clearly, the driver behind our growth is the strength of the Mainland economy and China's role as a manufacturing base for the world," Hui said at a meeting with reporters in New York. He cited predictions that China's economy will expand at an annual rate of about 8 percent through the rest of the decade.

The new Hong Kong-New York service "connects the world's biggest manufacturing base with the world's largest airfreight market," Hui said. The new service "will also help to enhance the role of Hong Kong as a major transshipment center for cargo from the Mainland."

Dragonair, established in 1985 as a passenger airline, now has passenger services to 21 cities in China and nine others elsewhere in Asia. The carrier entered the airfreight business five years ago with a leased B747-200 plane. Dragonair now owns four freighters and leases two others. It is scheduled to take delivery of five converted 747-400 freighters during the next three years. "By the end of 2008, the number of freighters Dragonair operates will be at least 10," Hui said.

Until Dragonair was able to find a plane to lease, it appeared that a shortage of available freighters would delay the start of the New York service for at least another year, Hui said. "Freighters are in demand," he said. "All of a sudden, the world is short of freighter aircraft. Finding one is very difficult."

As the converted 747s enter service, Dragonair hopes to expand service to additional U.S. cities. Los Angeles and Chicago are atop the list. Hui said all-cargo routes to those cities could begin late next year or in early 2007.

Dragonair takes air cargo seriously. The airline now generates 43 percent of its revenue and one-third of its profit from freight shipments. During the first quarter of this year, Dragonair's cargo volume was up 22 percent from the previous year, Hui said. With the expansion of service to New York, Dragonair now has all-cargo flights to 11 cities in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Japan, Taiwan and China.

"With China developing its trade so rapidly, we'd be foolish not to be looking at cargo," Hui said.

Dragonair has 16 freighter flights and 16 passenger flights a week between Hong Kong and Shanghai. Hui said those regions encompass the heart of China's manufacturing base. "The two major manufacturing and economic development regions are very well connected through our network," he said. In addition to its air network, Dragonair has established trucking services in China to feed cargo.

Dragonair's principal owners are China National Aviation Co., with a 43.29 percent share; CITIC Pacific, 28.5 percent; Cathay Pacific Airlines, 17.79 percent; and Swire Pacific, 7.71 percent. Hui said Dragonair plans to keep its hub in Hong Kong, although he acknowledged that China's Guangzhou airport is presenting stiffer competition.

He said Hong Kong still has an edge in its proximity to China's Pearl River Delta, but that the competition will require Hong Kong cargo interests to improve their efficiency. "What we in Hong Kong Inc. need to do is to make sure we improve in these areas," Hui said.

He emphasized his confidence in the continued growth of China's economy, for imports as well as exports. "China is changing very, very rapidly," Hui said. "You have to believe in that. You have to believe in that."
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Old May 25th, 2005, 06:33 AM   #993
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Pilots At Hong Kong's Dragonair Start Job Action - Paper
22 May 2005

HONG KONG (AP)--Pilots at Hong Kong airline Dragonair have launched labor action to demand higher pay and protest alleged violations of flight-time restrictions and inadequate staffing, a newspaper reported Sunday.

The pilots have been refusing to cover for colleagues on holiday or sick leave, the South China Morning Post reported. The pilots want to bring their salaries in line with those at competitor Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (0293.HK), which are generally 15% higher, the report said.

The report said Dragonair's 300-plus pilots haven't received a pay raise in four years.

The Post also quoted an unidentified pilot as saying pilots, especially the 50 Great Britain-based freighter pilots, are overworked because management is reluctant to boost staffing. 'Some of the guys are really tired when they fly and this is not safe,' the pilot reportedly said. 'An accident is not in anybody's interests.'

The pilots decided to take action after talks with management broke down, the report said.

Another unidentified pilot claimed the labor action has already led to flight cancellations, but Dragonair denied the claim, the Post reported.

Calls to Dragonair, whose formal name is Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Ltd., went unanswered. Dragonair Pilots Association didn't immediately respond to a reporter's e-mail.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 08:59 AM   #994
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Emergency landing for cargo plane
Nick Gentle
20 May 2005
South China Morning Post

Fire and ambulance crews went on full alert at Chek Lap Kok airport when a cargo plane made an emergency landing yesterday. The pilot of the fully laden Boeing 747 reported a suspected burst tyre after taking off from Shanghai to fly to Astana in Kazakhstan.

Twenty-five fire engines, seven ambulances and four fire boats were put on standby for the Polar Air freighter's landing at 10.30am.

The emergency landing, the second this year at Chek Lap Kok, passed off without incident.

Seven flights - five departures and two arrivals - were disrupted during the incident, with delays lasting about 15 minutes.

Air traffic controllers received a call from Polar Air's head office in the United States informing them that Flight PO723 would make an emergency landing in Hong Kong.

The pilot decided to divert to Chek Lap Kok, rather than land at a mainland airport, because Hong Kong is a hub for the airline.

"That decision is made by the pilot and we respect his decision," a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Department said. "When we are told a pilot requires an emergency landing, what we do is get things prepared for that."

The plane, which suffered some damage to the undercarriage when the tyre blew, will depart today.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 03:53 AM   #995
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By "RB222" from HKADB :

















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Old May 27th, 2005, 09:07 AM   #996
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HK Govt Reappoints Fung As Airport Authority Chairman
26 May 2005

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--The Hong Kong government said Thursday it has reappointed Victor Fung as chairman of the Airport Authority for three years, effective June 1.

The government said it also appointed five new members to the Authority's board. They are Wilfred Wong, Edmund Leung, Legislative Council member Vincent Fang, and Executive Council members Andrew Liao and Jasper Tsang.

They will replace Peter Wong, John Strickland, Executive Council member Selina Chow, solicitor Daniel Fung, and pro-Beijing politician Maria Tam.

The Hong Kong government is planning to privatize the Airport Authority, which runs the city's airport, built in 1998.

Victor Fung is the group chairman of the Li & Fung group of companies, which includes Hong Kong-listed Li & Fung Ltd. (0494.HK), Integrated Distribution Services Group Ltd. (2387.HK) and Convenience Retail Asia Ltd. (8052.HK).

He is also the chairman of the Greater Pearl River Delta Business Council and the Hong Kong University Council.
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Old May 27th, 2005, 03:54 PM   #997
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Hong Kong Approves Airline Ticket Increases
Friday May 27, 3:05 am ET

HONG KONG (AP) -- Hong Kong said on Friday it has approved applications by 13 airlines to raise their ticket prices to cover the rising cost of jet fuel.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Hong Kong's largest airline, will be allowed to increase its surcharge to 86 Hong Kong dollars (US$11; euro9) from HK$42 for each leg of short-haul flights, Hong Kong's Civil Aviation Department said.

For long-haul flights, Cathay will raise the surcharge to HK$250 (US$32; euro26), up from HK$118.

China Eastern Airlines Corp., China Southern Airlines Co., Air China Ltd., and Hong Kong No. 2 airline, Dragonair, will increase their surcharges to HK$86 from HK$42 for each leg of a flight.

Other airlines using the Hong Kong international airport will hike surcharges, including Singapore Airlines, Air Canada and Northwest Airlines.

Hong Kong airlines are required to secure the approval of the Civil Aviation Department to levy fuel surcharges on passenger flights.

The current surcharges are due to expire May 31 and the new levies will take effect from June 1 to July 31.

The department said the authority has also approved another 9 airlines to extend their fuel surcharges to July 31. Their surcharges will be unchanged.

Four more applications from airlines are pending approval.
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Old May 28th, 2005, 06:31 PM   #998
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HK throws lifeline to troubled Zhuhai airport
Authority spreads its wings by sealing second deal in mainland aviation sector

Leu Siew Ying in Zhuhai and Russell Barling
27 May 2005
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong's Airport Authority has stepped in to salvage Zhuhai's "white elephant" international airport by striking a provisional deal to support the struggling facility.

This is the second foothold the authority has forged into the lucrative mainland aviation market in as many months.

Authorities in Hong Kong and Zhuhai had agreed on a framework for commercial co-operation and would submit the plan to the State Council for approval, Zhuhai Executive Vice-Mayor Xian Wen told the South China Morning Post.

"The terms and conditions and the mode of the co-operation have already been agreed upon. We will soon submit the plan for approval," Mr Xian said.

He said the Ministry of Commerce and General Administration of Civil Aviation of China had influenced the shape of the agreement.

"The [Hong Kong Airport Authority] will be the main manager of Zhuhai airport under Phase I and we will sell them stocks in Phase II," Mr Xian said, declining to disclose the size of the stake.

With the deal yet to begin its journey through the mainland's multi-level approvals process, the Hong Kong authority remained cautious yesterday, also declining to provide further details.

"Talks are ongoing. We cannot disclose details before an agreement is reached and approved by relevant governments," a spokesman said. But with Zhuhai airport hugely underused - it has the unwelcome label of southern China's white elephant - it is believed that mainland officials on any level would be unlikely to block a deal that would put Zhuhai authorities on the path to recovering the state's US$900 million investment.

Liang Peizhong , vice-director of Zhuhai's development and planning bureau, said he expected the deal to be signed within three months.

Airlines fly from Zhuhai to just 18 domestic destinations during peak season, with the airport handling 753,000 passengers last year and just 13,000 tonnes of cargo.

It is designed to serve 12 million passengers a year.

The Airport Authority, which is keeping one eye firmly on a potential listing on the exchange, last month finalised a $1.9 billion deal to acquire 35 per cent of Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, about a three-hour drive from Shanghai.

Chief executive David Pang Ding-jung last week called the deal the authority's first "air bridge" to the mainland's market, and tipped there were more deals in the pipeline.

"The goal is not to stop [at Hangzhou]. Our goal is to become a real member of China's airport system," Mr Pang said at an American Chamber of Commerce luncheon. "We need to build more 'air bridges' to penetrate the mainland market."

Under the Zhuhai agreement, the authority will guarantee a fixed business volume and annual earnings, and will help train airport management.

The government yesterday appointed five new members to the executive board of the Airport Authority, in the first shake-up of the board since its formation in 1998.

New appointees are: Tsang Yok-sing, the founding chairman of the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong, Andrew Liao Cheung-sing, executive councillor and former deputy judge of the High Court, Vincent Fang Kang, former Polytechnic University council member, Wilfred Wong Ying-wai and Edmund Leung Kwong-ho.

The move was seen to be in line with the administration's policy of assuring no one serves on a government body for more than six years.
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Old May 29th, 2005, 05:12 AM   #999
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Flash storm causes road and airport mayhem
Martin Wong
28 May 2005
South China Morning Post

Air and road transport was plunged into chaos last night as a violent thunderstorm swept the city, bringing torrential rain and powerful wind gusts.

Thousands of people were stranded at the airport with almost 50 flights delayed and holdups in baggage handling.

At the height of the storm - which brought falls of up to 70mm in some areas and wind gusts of 100 km/h offshore - a man was killed and four people injured in two simultaneous accidents at almost the same spot in Tsuen Wan.

At one point during the airport chaos about 2,500 people crammed the baggage claim area waiting up to three hours to get their bags. The Airport Express was out of service for several hours, and special buses laid on, after the weather caused a train to break down as it reached Chek Lap Kok.

The amber rainstorm warning was hoisted as the storm roared in at 6.35pm. About the same time a Tsuen Wan-bound DHL delivery van rammed into the rear of a truck in Shing Mun Tunnel Road, killing the 35-year-old van driver and injuring three others.

In the opposite lane, a truck driver was injured when he lost control and hit the road divider.

There was heavy disruption to traffic on northern Hong Kong Island, with the queue stretching from Central almost to Quarry Bay at one point.

At Chek Lap Kok, where wind gusts reached 70km/h, the Airport Authority said 48 flights were delayed and baggage handling disrupted from 32 flights.

"After a 12-hour flight from London, I just wanted to get home," one traveller said. "But it took me three hours just to get my luggage."

Airport staff distributed free bottled water and cakes to affected people. The amber warning was lifted at 8.35pm.
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Old May 29th, 2005, 06:20 PM   #1000
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Sunday May 29, 7:43 PM
Air traffic tower at Hong Kong airport briefly unmanned due to false fire warning

AP - The air traffic control tower at Hong Kong's airport was unmanned for 10 minutes Sunday afternoon when traffic controllers evacuated the building due to a false fire warning, the government said.

Eight landing flights were delayed as a result, government spokesman Leung Ming-kei said. He said it wasn't immediately clear how many departing flights were put off.
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