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Old July 25th, 2005, 04:38 PM   #1101
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Hong Kong airport expected to remain chief regional cargo hub
By JUSTINE LAU and JOE LEAHY
21 July 2005
Financial Times

Hong Kong airport is expected to retain its role as the Asia-Pacific's main air cargo centre even after US international delivery group FedEx shifts its regional hub to Guangzhou, across the border in southern mainland China.

The territory's larger number of landing rights and its economies of scale meant that nearby mainland Chinese airports could not easily emulate its success in air cargo, said Andy Tung, chief operating officer of Hong Kong-based airline Dragonair.

"If you look at gross number of flights, even with their (mainland China's) liberal opening up, Hong Kong wins hands down," said Mr Tung, whose airline flies from Hong Kong to 22 mainland destinations.

Speculation over Hong Kong's future as southern China's chief transport and logistics hub has grown in recent years with the rapid rise of cheaper mainland ports in Shenzhen, only a few hours from the territory across the border.

Hong Kong handled 10.75m containers in the first six months of the year, 1.3 per cent more than a year ago. This compares with 22 per cent growth in Shenzhen to 7.43m boxes.

Hong Kong's role as a hub for air-freighted cargo has become more important in recent years as manufacturing in China has grown in sophistication.

Last year, the volume of cargo handled at Hong Kong airport rose 17.4 per cent to 3.1m tonnes.

But there are fears this growth could be undermined by Guangzhou's new Baiyun Airport, which handled 632,000 tonnes of cargo in 2004, 16.2 per cent higher than a year earlier.

Baiyun received a vote of confidence last week from FedEx, which said it was closing its existing hub in Subic Bay in the Philippines and shifting it to Guangzhou by 2008.

However, Mr Tung, who managed his family shipping line business OOCL for five years, said it would be harder for Chinese cities to challenge Hong Kong's dominance in air cargo than its container ports. Air cargo customers would be more reluctant to change to a new facility because of their need for total reliability - their delivery deadlines were tight and the goods they were shipping more valuable.

Hong Kong also had the authority to negotiate landing rights with other countries while cities such as Guangzhou were reliant on the government to negotiate on their behalf.

This meant airlines working out of Hong Kong could fly to more destinations with greater frequency, giving the industry economies of scale not available elsewhere.

Mr Tung said it took Shenzhen five to six years to persuade customers to use its ports.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 05:28 PM   #1102
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Cathay among 22 carriers in HK to extend fuel charge

HONG KONG, July 25 (Reuters) - A total of 22 airlines have been allowed to extend fuel surcharges in Hong Kong on passenger tickets in response to high oil prices, the city's Civil Aviation Department said on Monday.

Some of them, including Hong Kong's dominant carrier Cathay Pacific Airways , were granted permission to also increase fuel surcharges, department spokeswoman Stella Tse said.

Cathay will add a surcharge of HK$332 per passenger on each one-way long-haul ticket, up from HK$250, between August 1 and September 30. The airline will keep the surcharge for short-haul flights at HK$86 per passenger per flight.

The city's No. 2 carrier Dragonair, a regional operator that is 18 percent owned by Cathay and 43 percent held by China National Aviation Corp. , also received approval to extend its surcharge and will keep it unchanged at HK$86 per person per trip.

A total of 50 airlines flying from Hong Kong were allowed to impose fuel surcharges until July 31. Twenty-two of them, including EVA Air and Gulf Air, received approval to extend the surcharges, while some have been allowed to further raise surcharges. The government is currently handling 12 other requests for fuel surcharge extensions from airline carriers, Tse added. The government has not received applications for fuel surcharge extensions from the remaining 16 carriers.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 04:15 PM   #1103
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HKIA set to soar to greater heights


For the fifth year in a row, the Hong Kong International Airport has been recognised as the world's best. Rather than revelling in its success, the Airport Authority plans a shift into even higher gear so the airport can continue to grow, its Chief Executive Officer David Pang says.

Recently, Skytrax gave HKIA its fifth consecutive nod as World's Best Airport. And a 2004 AETRA survey measured passengers' experiences on the day they travelled at 48 participating airports. HKIA ranked first in overall passenger satisfaction among both business and leisure travellers - no small victory in today's intensely competitive aviation world.




Flying high: A smooth passenger flow (left) and attention to details, such as startling food art exhibits (right) help keep HKIA in the No 1 spot, Airport Authority CEO David Pang says.

Speaking to news.gov.hk inside the bustling departures hall, Mr Pang described two key trends that are ratcheting up competition. First, he said, "there are more people travelling, the economy is growing, people have to move around, to see each other, to conduct business. And more and more people can afford to take trips to see the world."

That means more people and goods are transiting through Hong Kong. In 2004/05, passenger traffic at HKIA reached a record 38.3 million, up more than 38% over the previous year. Annual cargo throughput reached 3.1 million tonnes, a 15% year-on-year increase. It also saw a record 242,000 aircraft movements during the year. The result was record-high revenues of $6.5 billion and net profit after tax of more than $1.4 billion.

That air travel is becoming an increasingly popular mode of transport - and that the aviation market is on a fast-growth track - presents great opportunity for the airport. But the number of airports continues to increase, around the world and in the region. That opens up ever more choices, turning air travel into a commodity.

"Today's customer has many choices. She can take a plane from one airport or another airport, the airplane from one airline or another airline. So that keeps us on our toes: We work harder, we think harder," he said.

Airport, airlines like a married couple

Of course, it helps to have excellent airlines serving your market, he added, acknowledging the commitment and effort of the airport's 70-plus airline partners.

"The airline and the airport are like a married couple under a roof. We live together, we cannot live without each other. But we can do better with each other if we can help each other. We are really pleased to have a home carrier like Cathay Pacific, and DragonAir also. They both won awards this year: Cathay Pacific is the best airline in the world, DragonAir is the best airline in China. With the best airport, that makes Hong Kong a natural aviation centre."

As the market grows more segmented - some travellers want low-cost carriers while others prefer to travel in luxury - the Airport Authority is reaching out to more carriers to satisfy different demands and provide more destinations and frequencies to better connect them with the rest of the world.
Already this year it has welcomed three new airlines to its gates: Thai Sky, Bangkok Airways and Sichuan Airlines.

Airports standardise, lose their 'individuality'

Airports around the globe are becoming more standardised, in their operations and facilities. Every passenger, for example, is subject to luggage and body checks. This reduces travellers' stress since every time they go to a new airport, the system and procedures will be similar, Mr Pang said.

That is a positive, but it also means airports are losing their individuality - and they are no longer simply infrastructure.

"An airport needs to provide good services. More than that, I think the trend today, is an airport is really a combination of very efficient facilities plus excellent service. On top of that, there are many, many details. An airport is an experience business. Our job is to provide our customers with that unique, memorable, enjoyable airport experience. And when they are coming through the airport, and they clear, it's a journey they really enjoy and they'd like to do it again," he said.

Creating that unique, memorable, enjoyable airport experience requires paying attention to details. That is why HKIA has many quiet corners, for the stressed out executive who just wants to unwind while she waits for her flight. There are many exotic plants in thriving gardens, too, to add a sense of calm to the environment. And the airport has art works on exhibit, to catch a traveller's eye - and imagination.

Simple flow, transparency make HKIA unique

Mr Pang, a frequent flier himself, cites two aspects of the airport that help it stand out from the rest: Its simplicity and transparency.

"In this airport, for example, if you're coming from Hong Kong, taking the Airport Express, after you get off I think it's a very simple flow. You don't even have to know the language, Chinese or English. Pretty much, just follow and walk through and you will get to your gate. I think our flow is as simple as that. You don't have to go upstairs, downstairs too many times, just follow the flow. I think that's very important," he said.

Many of the airport's walls and its roof are transparent, creating a sense of spaciousness. "This is one of the very few airports you can sit here and wait for the airplane and you can see the mountain, you can see the sea, you can see the airplanes landing," he added. "That makes you feel very relaxed."

Being tops in the world is no reason to go on automatic pilot, Mr Pang believes. His goal is to strengthen the airport's competitiveness, to maintain its regional and international hub status and sustain its growth. To do this, he plans to extend its home market to and beyond the Pearl River Delta, and to better connect its home market with the world.

Authority partners with Mainland airports

To ensure sustainable growth, HKIA began reaching out beyond Hong Kong to the source of Mainland traffic flows. It has strengthened its connections with the Pearl River Delta using different transportation services. During the past year, the number of passengers using its SkyPier cross-boundary ferry and coaches increased 77%.

Now it is planning to tap the fast-growing source of traffic flows coming from the Mainland's inner regions, by building "air bridges" between economic regions of Hong Kong and the Mainland, by forming strategic alliances between the HKIA and selected Mainland airports.

Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport is its first "air bridge" partner. It recently invested about RMB1.9 billion for a 35% stake in a new joint venture company with that airport.

"I'm very happy we have been growing since we opened, but we need to continue to grow. For an airport to grow you need a good source of the flow, a good source of your traffic. For the airport today, we are not sitting here just waiting the flow passing by. We have to reach out to the source of the flow, to the source of the catchment area, to the source of the market," Mr Pang said.

"We are very fortunate, we are very close to a big, big source, a very fast-growing market. That obviously is Mainland China. So, what we have been doing in the past years and what we need to continue to do is to reach out to the 1.3 billion potential customers there in China, with a very fast growing economy. So, this is the airport to serve that big market. So we will grow with that big market, and grow with China's economy."
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Old July 26th, 2005, 06:56 PM   #1104
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Hong Kong Express : First E-170 for Asia arrives
26 July 2005
Flight International

Hong Kong Express has become the first Asian carrier to take delivery of an Embraer 170, which is also the airline's first aircraft. The aircraft is the first of four E-170s the airline is leasing from GE Commercial Aviation Services. It plans to operate charters to Taichung, Taiwan, ahead of scheduled services to Guangzhou and Hangzhou in China.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 03:38 PM   #1105
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21 July 2005
Corporate Press Release
Dragonair Chartered to Fly to Phuket, Offers Attractive Packages

(HONG KONG) Dragonair has been chartered by six Hong Kong travel agents to operate a total of six flights to the holiday island of Phuket. The services will operate on July 23, 26 and 30 and August 2, 6, and 9.

"We're very pleased to be operating these non-stop charter services to Phuket, a destination we know so well," said Titus Diu, General Manager, Hong Kong and Southern China. "In support of the charters, Dragonair Holidays is offering a selection of attractive packages. These are ideal for those looking for a short, relaxing break this summer."

Travellers can choose between four-day, three-night and five-day, four-night packages, with accommodation at five-star hotels. The packages include breakfast, round-trip private transfer between the airport and hotel, as well as travel insurance. Prices start from HK$3,688. More information is available from Dragonair Holidays on 3193-3338.

Four- and five-day group tour and travel packages are also available from the six chartering agents: Hong Kong Wing On Travel Service Ltd (Tel: 2928-8882); Sunflower Travel Service Ltd (2722-2888); Wincastle Travel (HK) Ltd (2392-0101); Lotus Tours Ltd (2316-1600); Travel Expert Ltd (2845-3232); and Westminster Travel Ltd (2313-9800).
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Old July 27th, 2005, 09:32 PM   #1106
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By Mark Tang from HKADB :



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Old July 28th, 2005, 06:43 PM   #1107
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Thursday July 28, 4:38 PM
Some United Airlines staff strike in Hong Kong over pension



HONG KONG (AFP) - Dozens of United Airlines flight attendants in Hong Kong have gone on strike as part of a global action to protest against the termination of their pension plan.

Some 35 union members staged a strike without any warning at the city's Chep Lap Kok international airport, chanting slogans and handing out leaflets to travellers. The airline said their was no disruption to service.

"United Airlines is not willing to negotiate with us. We hope this will give some pressure to the management," said Jack Kande, vice president of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA).

He said the employees are set to lose up to 70 percent of what they planned to receive upon retiring.

Although Thursday's action did not disrupt flights, Kande warned of more and bigger-scale strikes if the airline continued to ignore their demand.

"We are warning them we can go on strike any time, anywhere, any duration, and it can cause delay and cancellation to any flights," he added.

The US airline last month terminated 6.6 billion dollars of retirement obligations to 119,000 current and former union employees after being given a court clearance.

It argued the move was essential to getting it out of bankruptcy.

"We want to negotiate a replacement pension plan for our flight attendants as we have with other employee groups, and we ask the union to come to the table," the company said in a statement.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 06:46 PM   #1108
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Photos from recent 777-200LR visit to Hong Kong by 253 from HKADB :









































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Old July 29th, 2005, 05:48 AM   #1109
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Source : http://www.pbase.com/davinci/





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Old July 29th, 2005, 06:03 AM   #1110
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A floating heliport 'still reclamation'
Winnie Yeung
26 July 2005
South China Morning Post

While still debating a plan to reclaim 25 hectares on the Wan Chai waterfront, the government said yesterday that a private-sector proposal for a heliport a hundredth that size looked like unjustified reclamation - even if it was floating.

The deputy secretary for economic development and labour, Wilson Fung Wing-yip, said the Hong Kong Regional Heliport Working Group's plan involved reclaiming 2,600 square metres that had no "overriding public need".

The Court of Final Appeal ruled in 2003 that any reclamation had to satisfy this principle.

"We value the harbour a great deal," Mr Fung said. "Since there is little support for reclamation for the heliport {hellip} we expect the proposal to face a lot of difficulty if it goes forward."

The group wants to build a four-pad heliport next to Golden Bauhinia Square on pillars or pontoons. The government has its own plan for a 2,700 square metre heliport near the ferry pier.

Legislator Raymond Ho Chung-tai said it was "a joke" to regard a pontoon as reclamation. "You're misleading us and it sounds as though you've already banned the group's proposal," he said.

Mr Fung said the government would not mind putting both plans up for public consultation.
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Old July 30th, 2005, 07:15 PM   #1111
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Outsider lands against the odds
With no interests in Asia and based in Warsaw, Barry Nassberg wins a fuel servicing contract at Chek Lap Kok

30 July 2005
South China Morning Post

Barry Nassberg thought he did not stand a chance when he took part in a tender for his first major Chek Lap Kok contract. Up for grabs was one of two aircraft fuel servicing contracts and as an Asia novice bidding from Warsaw, he was up against some of Kai Tak's most entrenched interests.

To his great surprise, he won. "I was amazed to have beaten all the established Hong Kong players," said the executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), which comes under the umbrella of Vinci, one of the world's largest construction and airport management companies. "All credit to the airport authority for being prepared to try someone new."

WFS had no existing interests in Asia but was looking for growth opportunities.

The fuel servicing was Mr Nassberg's first coup, however, and now, nearly a decade later, WFS has scores of other victories under its belt.

Mr Nassberg, 47, is a native of New York City. He was just 22 when he got his first station management post in Brussels with the now defunct charter airline, Capitol Airways, as it started a scheduled service within the US and Europe. He returned to the US in 1984 as general manager of its New York hub. When the company sank under the challenges of deregulation, he joined Ogden (now Menzies), then the world's biggest airport services company.

Then, the once mighty Pan Am recruited him to help develop its New York-Boston-Washington walk-on shuttle service. While still with Pan Am he set up ground operations services for the Marine Air Terminal, hub of the shuttle. This was a huge success, he says, developing baggage handling and walk-up ticketing systems.

He was rewarded with promotion to director for the Soviet Union. It was an exciting time, as throughout the Cold War, Pan Am served major Russian cities and the airline's Moscow office had foreign mission status. But being at the height of intelligence scandals, American bachelors were deemed unsuitable for Soviet postings. This, he smiles wryly, hastened his marriage plans to then-girlfriend Nancy, now his wife of 16 years.

As Pan Am's fortunes began to slide he moved to Poland, where AMR Services had been awarded the contract to manage and train 1,200 local staff to run the ground services at Warsaw Airport. Then, in 1996, his contract over, he was looking around for something to do.

"I knew Asia was the next big thing and we had nothing there, so I put a plan together and they said 'go do it.'"

From Warsaw, he launched a bid for the fuelling service operations at Chek Lap Kok, which would open two years later.

"I was told it was hopeless because of the entrenched oil companies but we beat six major contenders to win it," he says. "The company was shocked that our first attempt to enter the Asia market had succeeded."

In late 1996 he and Nancy headed for Hong Kong. He had 32 staff on the initial fuelling service contract, one of two franchised by Airport Authority Hong Kong.

The next coup was a contract with MTRC to provide support staff for the Airport Express, for baggage trolleys, platform attendants and eventually traffic management at the stations. The company also held the contract for baggage handling on the Airport Express train for seven years.

The services provided by WFS cover a wide range under the heading of airport services. "[It is] all the things passengers think the airport or the airlines are doing," he explains. "Often the airline is operating the aircraft, but not much else - they buy in all the other passenger handling services."

The biggest Chek Lap Kok contract WFS currently holds is the baggage handling. "We also do all ground support work for the ferry operation at SkyPier," he adds. WFS also operates the VIP service, baggage deliveries and the airport concierge service, which collects arriving passengers by golf cart from the aircraft gate and assists them through formalities.

Most recently his company won the MTRC contract to supply station support staff for the new train line from Disneyland to Sunny Bay. He now employs 600 people at Chek Lap Kok and Mr Nassberg has his eyes set on regional expansion.

His eyes are also trained on opportunities in India's expanding aviation market. Mr Nassberg runs operations in Asia and the Middle East, with management offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Delhi and Beirut. He has 650 staff reporting to him in Hong Kong alone and the opening of Bangkok's new facility, probably in the second quarter of 2006, will add another 2,000.

He attributes his success to finding the right people. "It's surprisingly easy to do in Hong Kong, there's a great pool of talent here," he says. "Their entrepreneurial spirit matches the essence of our company and my style which is all about people and very hands on." In future, he would like to see WFS's Asia activities rival those in Europe and North America, where it operates in 115 airports.

"Perhaps we can reach a dozen or so in the next five years here. Asia is in the process of opening up to independent airport services operators - we're in the right place at the right time."
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Old July 31st, 2005, 08:34 AM   #1112
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Old August 4th, 2005, 02:11 AM   #1113
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Hong Kong / Palau route enriches holidaymakers' choices
Airport Authority Press Release

(HONG KONG, 30 July 2005) - This Summer, holiday planners will have one more resort destination added to their choices with the launch of Palau Asia Pacific Air's service today at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).

Palau is a group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Philippines. This exotic destination is one of the world's most beautiful tropical paradise resorts and a heaven for diving aficionados with clear water, unspoiled reefs and a rich array of marine life.

"The Hong Kong/Palau route is the first service offered by Palau Asia Pacific. We are confident that, as the busiest hub in the region, HKIA will bring to our airline and Palau a diversified source of customers," said Mr Ho Wai Kong, President of Palau Asia Pacific Air at the inauguration ceremony.

Dr David J Pang, Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA)'s Chief Executive Officer, welcomed Palau Asia Pacific Air to the family of operators at HKIA. "We have great pleasure in learning that Palau Asia Pacific Air has chosen HKIA as the first step in launching its business. It has been a promising year with the carrier being the fifth new airline to operate from HKIA. We will continue to strengthen the airport's connectivity through enhancing the choices of destinations and frequencies."

Recently established, Palau Asia Pacific Air is Palau's new and only home-based carrier. Twice weekly services will be operated on Wednesdays and Saturdays between Hong Kong and Palau. Flights will depart Hong Kong and Palau at 2:10pm and 6:35pm respectively and the flying time is around 4 hours.
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Old August 5th, 2005, 03:33 AM   #1114
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CE officiates at HK Express Airways launch ceremony
Wednesday, August 3, 2005
Government Press Release

Following is a speech by the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, at the launch ceremony of Hong Kong Express Airways at Conrad Hotel, Admiralty, this evening (August 3):


Dr [Stanley] Ho, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to join you this evening to celebrate the launch of Hong Kong Express - a new Hong Kong-based airline that will provide multiple daily services between Hong Kong and various cities in the Mainland.

We all know that running an airline is a very capital-intensive undertaking. So, the launch of this new airline is a great vote of confidence in the future of our economy, and in the status of Hong Kong as a regional and international aviation hub.

Hong Kong's aviation policy encourages the entry of new players. Our highly regarded Hong Kong International Airport provides "best in the world" support for the efficient operation of airlines.

Today, Hong Kong Express adds a new element to the business of aviation in Hong Kong. By operating a fleet of small, 76-seat aircraft, Hong Kong Express is extremely well placed to operate economically viable and high frequency services to all its destinations, particularly those not well served by the larger carriers. The strategy to focus on mainland destinations will further strengthen Hong Kong's ability to provide seamless connections to our comprehensive international network. This in turn will strengthen our position as one of the most efficient gateways to the Mainland.

With strong economic growth and increasing travel demand, the Mainland is widely recognised as the dominant source of global air traffic growth over the next decade. As the Mainland continues to liberalise its aviation market, the Hong Kong - Mainland market has tremendous potential to provide significant opportunities for all Hong Kong-based airlines. I am sure that Hong Kong Express shares this view. More diversified services, more frequent flights and more convenience for travellers will undoubtedly enhance the very strong business ties between Hong Kong and the Mainland. Together with CEPA, Pan-PRD co-operation etc., these services reinforce Hong Kong's unrivalled position as the modern and leading gateway to the Mainland.

The launching of Hong Kong Express will bring new jobs to Hong Kong. Newly created jobs range from positions in management, flight crew, maintenance staff to cabin attendants and cleaners. These jobs will broaden employment opportunities for Hong Kong people, and help to consolidate the recovery of our job market.

Ladies and gentlemen, all that remains for me now is to wish Hong Kong Express all the best for a flying start in the aviation business. I certainly hope that you soar to new heights in the years ahead and, like Hong Kong, you continue to grow and prosper. Congratulations and happy flying!

Thank you.
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Old August 6th, 2005, 01:30 AM   #1115
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28 July 2005
DRAGONAIR ISSUES STATEMENT ON FAIRINGS
Corporate Press Release

(HONG KONG) Dragonair has issued a statement regarding reports about the absence of a flap track fairing on one of its Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The fairing, one of four on the underside of the aircraft's wing, has a purely aerodynamic function.

In the statement, Dragonair said: "One flap track fairing on two of our aircraft were removed during routine maintenance recently, as they were found to be slightly damaged. None of the fairings went missing during flight. Safety is a priority for Dragonair at all times, and the removal of the fairing in no way affected the safe operation of the aircraft. It is also in full accordance with maintenance and operational guidelines from the manufacturer, Airbus, for an aircraft to fly without the said fairing."

Dragonair's General Manager for Engineering, David Lui, also noted that it was not a safety issue.

"The aircraft is operating in accordance with all the safety requirements," said Mr. Lui. "Aircraft can operate normally without the fairing, which is purely designed to reduce aerodynamic drag. Replacement fairings are currently being readied, and we expect them to be fitted early next month."
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Old August 6th, 2005, 05:55 PM   #1116
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By AN888 @ HKADB :





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Old August 7th, 2005, 04:11 AM   #1117
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深圳航空公司下月将开通香港至南宁直航航线
08/05 香港《大公报》 实习记者曾静儿/南宁  

【本报四日电】继中国南方航空公司及香港中富航空公司后,深圳航空公司亦宣布开办香港——南宁直航定期班次服务。在南宁举办的“开航新闻发布会暨产品推介会”上,正式发表定于9月10日为首航日期,进一步为深航发展地区航线奠立基础。

香港——南宁航线计划一周三班,从9月10日起,每周二、周四及周六上午8:15从南宁起飞,9:25到达香港,从香港到南宁的时间为10:25,11:40抵南宁机场,深航将投入一架波音737-700型客机。 (flight number ZH791/792)

深圳航空公司商务部副经理于成吉表示,选择南宁作为第一条香港直飞航线的目的地,主要是看准当地的市场潜力。数字显示,自深航于02年在南宁建立基地后,南宁航空事业有长足发展,2002年、2003年及2004年的南宁机场旅客吞吐量分别为103万、122万及164万人次,逐年同比递增20%、 18.5%及34.4%,使在香港至南宁航线更占优势。

目前已有三家公司经营香港——南宁直飞航线,因此,于成吉称,良性竞争可发掘潜在旅客,有信心只要南宁持续开发景区,其旅游吸引力不能小觑。

此外,香港——黄山直飞航线有望年底开通,而香港——无锡直飞航线亦在洽谈中。
  
南宁市旅游局副局长甘向和则表示,期望是次直航班次开通,可为两地旅游及商务均带来裨益。据介绍,去年南宁的总入境旅客量为6万5千人次,今年上半年已录得旅客人数3万9千人次,其中,港人约占4800人,同比增长16%,来自港澳台的入境旅客增长更录得破纪录的42%。他指出,目前港人游广西首选桂林,但事实上有“中国绿城”及“民歌之乡”的南宁及其边境地区风光如画,四时不同,加上丰富的少数民族风情,足以成为旅游目的地。而南宁面向大西南的特点,亦可成为旅客集散地。

此外,甘向和亦期望可藉此机会吸引更多港商往南宁投资金融、保险及房地产等项目。据称,南宁是广西财务税收之冠,目前在南宁市中心拟建“香港街”,供港商建立办公室等,正在招标中。
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Old August 8th, 2005, 06:26 AM   #1118
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Shenzhen Airlines to launch direct flight between Nanning, HK
8 August 2005
Xinhua's China Economic Information Service

NANNING, August 8 (CEIS) -- Shenzhen Airlines has announced it will launch direct flight from Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and Hong Kong starting from Sept. 10.

Boeing 737-700 will fly the route three times a week, taking off from Nanning at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and arriving Hong Kong at 9:25 a.m. The return flight will leave Hong Kong at 10: 25 am and land at Nanning airport at 11:40 a.m.

The scheduled flight will hopefully enhance communication, cultural exchanges and trade Guangxi and Hong Kong, said Jia Yucheng, director of Nanning provincial tourism administration late last week.

Shenzhen Airlines, based in the southern boomtown Shenzhen, has launched more than 80 domestic routes and one international route linking Shenzhen and Kuala Lumpur.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 12:38 AM   #1119
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Why HK air taxes are sky-high
Post-9/11 security levies, airport tax and fuel surcharges can add 41 per cent to the cost of a ticket

Raymond Ma
7 August 2005
South China Morning Post

Jetting off to a sunny paradise or flying into town for business? Prepare to be hit in the pocket, as the hidden costs that do not show up on your airline ticket are soaring.

At the height of the summer holiday season extra charges can add as much as 41 per cent to the cost of a flight.

Air travellers have long been aware of the need to pay tax on top of their ticket, but the full extent of the surcharges can still be shocking: you may find you are not only paying taxes and duties, but surcharges for jet fuel, airport security and service, and even the cost of inspecting plants and animals - whether or not you are travelling with any.

By far the biggest chunk of surcharges relates to jet fuel, which grows more costly as world oil prices climb. On Monday, Cathay Pacific raised fuel surcharges for the fifth time since introducing them in 2004 to match rates charged by rivals.

It now charges US$42.60 per passenger - up from US$32 - on each long-haul flight for fuel. If you are flying to Europe or North America, you must pay an extra HK$660 on top of the basic ticket price just for fuel. The fuel charge on a short-haul trip to Northeast or Southeast Asia remains US$11.

Add in steadily increasing charges for security and immigration and passenger screening services in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and the extra fees on a long-haul return flight almost always tops HK$1,100. Those to nearby Asian cities usually range between HK$300 and HK$500.

The effect is more pronounced when flying to destinations on apparently cheaper connecting flights. For example, a Hong Kong passenger on a direct return flight to Sydney this September will pay about HK$5,800 for the basic ticket and about HK$1,300 in surcharges if flying with Cathay Pacific, according to travel agents.

The basic ticket price for the same trip with Singapore Airlines, including a change to a connecting flight at Singapore's international airport, is only HK$3,800, but taxes and charges total HK$1,560 - boosting the price by 41 per cent.

Passengers are hit with fuel surcharges for each of the four legs of the flight, rather than for two on the direct route.

Tommy Tam, convenor for the Travel Industry Council's ticketing committee, questioned whether the fuel surcharges were fair, given that most airlines can use financial markets to hedge against rising oil prices.

He expressed concern that airlines were exploiting oil prices for fatter profits. "A surcharge doesn't always cover the cost of rising oil prices, but sometimes I wonder whether some airlines have been able to benefit from it," Mr Tam said.

Cathay Pacific defended its fuel surcharges. A spokeswoman said they must be approved by the Civil Aviation Department and were in line with those charged by competitors.

Jet fuel had risen to 30 per cent of Cathay's operating costs, a spokeswoman said, compared with just 24 per cent last year. The fuel surcharge does not fully cover the cost of jet fuel.

Meanwhile, with a barrel of crude oil closing at over US$60 on Friday, analysts say it is unlikely the airlines will drop their high surcharges.

The Consumer Council has advised travellers to carefully check the extra fees and duties attached to plane tickets prior to purchase.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 12:41 AM   #1120
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HK's HACTL says July air cargo volume up 12.2 pct

HONG KONG, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's main air cargo terminal said on Monday that it handled 12.2 percent more cargo in July than the same month last year as strong growth momentum in the transhipment sector continued.

Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd. (HACTL), 25 percent owned by Jardine Matheson Holdings and 20 percent by Swire Pacific Ltd. , handled 207,287 tonnes of cargo in July, it said in a statement.

For the first seven months, it moved a total of 1.34 million tonnes, up 6.5 percent from the same period last year.

Export volume rose 14.9 percent to 116,354 tonnes but import volume fell 2.7 percent to 58,302 tonnes.

Growth in the transhipment sector remained strong in July, up 38.4 percent from the same month last year to 32,631 tonnes. (US$1=HK$7.8=8.11 yuan)
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