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Old February 15th, 2006, 06:39 AM   #1461
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Old February 17th, 2006, 02:47 AM   #1462
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Wednesday February 15, 10:38 AM
HK PRESS:HK Carriers May Get OK To Fly Overseas Via China

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Hong Kong airlines may soon be allowed to fly to other countries via cities in mainland China, giving them access to the country's lucrative market for international flights, the Chinese-language Wen Wei Po reported Wednesday.

Citing an industry source, the report said the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China will soon introduce a number of "progressive liberalization measures," which include offering fifth-freedom rights to Hong Kong-based airlines in an unspecified number of mainland Chinese cities.

Fifth-freedom rights allow airlines to carry passengers to one country and then fly on to another, rather than having to return to the country of origin. Hong Kong is considered a separate jurisdiction from China under international aviation agreements.

Hong Kong airlines including Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (0293.HK) and Dragon Airlines Ltd. have applied to the Chinese authorities for fifth-freedom rights, the source said, according to the report.

The person said Cathay Pacific would be the first airline to be granted fifth-freedom rights for cargo flights. Rights for passenger services would be liberalized at a later stage, the report said.

Newspaper Web site: http://www.wenweipo.com
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Old February 17th, 2006, 04:55 PM   #1463
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HK Airport Authority In JV With Zhuhai Airport
17 February 2006

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Hong Kong's Airport Authority said Friday it received Chinese government approval to form a joint venture to operate the airport in the nearby Chinese city of Zhuhai, in a plan that could help Hong Kong fend off growing competition from lower-priced transport hubs in southern China.

Analysts said the proposed agreement could enhance Hong Kong airport's flexibility in handling an expected surge in air-cargo traffic amid booming trade growth in the Pearl River Delta, south China's industrial hub.

"We welcome the decision of the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China to approve the joint venture cooperation agreement (with Zhuhai airport)," an Airport Authority spokesman said.

However, he declined to provide further details of the agreement with Zhuhai Airport Group Corp., which operates Zhuhai airport. "We are working out the details and will issue more information in due course."

A spokesman for Zhuhai Airport Group declined to comment on the agreement, though another company official, who asked not to be named, confirmed that an agreement with Hong Kong's Airport Authority "will be completed shortly."

Hong Kong's Chinese-language Ming Pao newspaper reported Friday the Airport Authority will invest about CNY200 million for a 55% stake in a joint-venture company that will manage Zhuhai airport for a period of 20 years.

Citing sources, the report said Zhuhai Airport Group will hold the remaining 45% stake in the venture, which won't own any of the airport's assets nor take on the airport's outstanding loans.

"The joint venture will strengthen ties between Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta, benefiting both Hong Kong and Zhuhai," the Airport Authority's spokesman said. "Both cities will see greater economic benefits as both cargo and passenger traffic continues to grow in the region."

Analysts said Zhuhai's underutilized facility could complement Hong Kong's role as a major air-cargo hub in southern China.

"Zhuhai could help alleviate pressure on Chinese air-cargo traffic currently passing through Hong Kong," said Alan Lam, an analyst at Guotai Junan Securities.

"With strong growth in air cargo, Hong Kong's airport will eventually reach its handling capacity. Zhuhai could become a feeder airport for cargo traffic."

Hong Kong's airport handled 3.4 million tons of cargo last year, up 10% from 2004. The cargo facility had capacity of just 3.0 million tons per year when it opened in 1998, though expansion plans are underway. The Airport Authority expects cargo throughput to reach 4.3 million tons by 2010.

Lower handling charges in Zhuhai will also attract cargo carriers to use its facilities, given that adequate investment is committed to improve surrounding infrastructure.

"The major problem with Hong Kong is its high landing fees. Cargo airlines such as FedEx have set up bases in Guangzhou and elsewhere to take advantage of cheaper fees," said Karen Chan, a transport analyst at Credit Suisse in Hong Kong.

Chan said it may take considerable time for synergies in cargo to emerge due to a lack of convenient connections to the airport. More roads need to be built to facilitate access to the airport, she said.

For Hong Kong's Airport Authority, the deal could help boost the government-owned operator's profitability in the long term, analysts said.

If successful, the venture will be the Airport Authority's second acquisition in the mainland China airport market. In April, it bought a 35% stake in Hangzhou's Xiaoshan International Airport for CNY1.9 billion.

The Zhuhai airport, which is located to the west of the Pearl River Delta, stands to benefit greatly from the Chinese government's planned development of western Guangdong province, said Guotai Junan's Lam.

"Ultimately, both passenger and cargo traffic will see strong potential as the region develops. The area is still very underdeveloped compared with cities in the eastern part of PRD," said Lam.

Opened in 1995, Zhuhai's airport has struggled to attract airline traffic amid intense competition with nearby airports in the Pearl River Delta.

According to its Web site, the airport handled 13,705 tons of cargo in 2004 and just 753,900 passengers in that year, the last year for which figures are provided, making it the least busy of the five airports in the region. It is also the only airport in the Pearl River Delta that doesn't offer scheduled international flights.

By contrast, Hong Kong's airport handled 38 million passengers in the same year, making it the busiest airport for both passengers and cargo in the Pearl River Delta.

Apart from Hong Kong and Zhuhai, the region's other airports are located in the cities of Macau, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
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Old February 17th, 2006, 06:57 PM   #1464
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Hong Kong’s days of dominance may be over
Guangdong facilities vie for volumes, writes Keith Wallis
17 February 2006
Lloyd's List

HONG Kong, for so long the gateway into and out of southern China, is having its position as a logistics hub gradually threatened by rival facilities across the boundary in China’s Guangdong province.

Last year, Hong Kong lost out to Singapore for the first time in seven years as the world’s biggest container port, after it handled 22.43m teu compared to the lion state’s 23.19m teu.

But the position of these cities as major box ports is being challenged by the pace of growth in two Chinese cities — Shanghai and Shenzhen — where container volumes rose by about 20%. Consequently, analysts believe it can only be a matter of years before the two Chinese ports take the top two spots from Singapore and Hong Kong.

In air cargo, Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok international airport is facing no less of a challenge from the new Baiyun international airport which opened last year on the outskirts of Guangzhou, about 125 km north-west of Hong Kong.

While Baiyun’s international cargo connections are still at a fledgling stage, they will receive a significant boost in 2008 when Federal Express moves its Asia-Pacific to the airport from its existing facility at Subic Bay in the Philippines.

But Hong Kong is also fighting back. DHL, the air express subsidiary of Deutsche World Post, recently announced an US$110m expansion of its existing hub at Hong Kong airport that will nearly double the size of the complex from 18,200 sq m to 35,000 sq m. This follows a surge in business, from 22m shipments in 2004 to 30m packages last year, after it took a 40% stake in Air Hong Kong and launched overnight express cargo services to a raft of Asian cities. The Tradeport company, which operates a US$64m 41,000 sq m logistics complex at Chek Lap Kok airport, is planning to add an extra floor to its three-storey facility to cope with increased demand. The firm, whose shareholders include Fraport, the Frankfurt airport operator, and Schiphol, the Dutch airport group, is also supporting the development of a US$1.3bn 72 ha logistics park the Hong Kong government is planning to 5km from the airport.

Airport Authority chief executive David Pang says the facility will handle time-sensitive consignments such as electronics, computer equipment, aerospace components and other high-value products.

The Hong Kong is also working on several initiatives to enhance the logistics industry. These include the creation of a Digital Trade and Transportation Network that will facilitate the electronic transfer of data and information between companies in the supply chain. The DTTN company has already been created but local legislators are balking at the government’s plan to spend HK$31.5m (US$4m) to take a stake in the company. The government and lobby groups believe the investment is crucial if the system’s neutrality and confidentiality.

Hong Kong officials have also agreed with their counterparts in neighbouring Guangdong province to ease restrictions on the movement of trucks and containers between factories in southern China and Hong Kong port. The move would increase efficiency and help reduce the cost of trucking containers across the boundary.

The relatively high cost of moving containers between Hong Kong and southern China is seen as contributing to the high throughput volumes at the nearby Shenzhen ports to the detriment of Hong Kong. But it remains to be seen whether these and other measures are viable in the long-term, or even supported by the authorities in southern China. Industry observers have questioned why China customs, for example, would be willing to make concessions that would only benefit Hong Kong logistics operators.
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Old February 17th, 2006, 08:27 PM   #1465
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Old February 18th, 2006, 05:37 AM   #1466
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Hong Kong Express Strengthens Sales
Corporate Press Release

Hong Kong, February 1st 2006 … Hong Kong Express Airways has appointed Simon Sin to the newly created role of General Manager for Sales. Reflecting the airline’s successful achievement of its first phase launch and growth objectives, Simon’s promotion from Revenue Manager to General Manager for Sales ushers in a new chapter in Hong Kong Express’ strategic business development.

With immediate effect, Simon will assume responsibility for all Hong Kong Express sales activities, as well as matters relating to revenue management and distribution. Since starting his career in 1979 with Cathay Pacific where he remained for some 19 years before joining Dragonair where he was most recently responsible for revenue planning and systems, Simon has worked extensively in revenue management and is well placed to drive forthcoming route expansion.

Commenting on this latest appointment, Dr James Yeung, Hong Kong Express Airways Commercial Director said, “Simon’s background in revenue and distribution management made him the natural choice for this new position. I am confident that under his expert leadership, our sales division will flourish and I wish him every success in his new role.”

Mr Sin is a graduate of the University of Hong Kong from where he obtained his Masters in Business Administration in 1997.
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Old February 19th, 2006, 08:13 AM   #1467
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HK air passengers up 16 pct from yr ago, cargo up

HONG KONG, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Passenger traffic through Hong Kong's international airport jumped 15.9 percent in January from the same period a year ago and continued growth in exports and transhipment of air cargo drove up cargo throughput, the territory's Airport Authority said.

The airport handled 3.5 million passengers in January, with growth fuelled by robust passenger traffic during the Lunar New Year holidays, the authority said in a statement.

The airport, the home base of Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. , handled 273,000 tonnes of cargo in January, up 10.5 percent from the same month in 2005.

The authority said the strong growth in air traffic would boost demand for aviation fuel by at least 7 percent in 2006.

The average consumption of aviation fuel was at 14.7 million litres per day in 2005, it added. (US$=HK$7.8)
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Old February 19th, 2006, 08:15 AM   #1468
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Old February 19th, 2006, 12:44 PM   #1469
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CNY Holiday boosts passenger flow at HKIA

(Hong Kong, 19 February 2006) -Overseas travel during Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday boosted January's passenger throughput at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) to a total of 3.5 millions, a 15.9% increase over the same month last year.

Fuelled by the robust passenger traffic, aircraft movements surged 13.7% to 23, 100 and set a record of 853 movements on January 27, which was a Friday immediately before the start of the CNY holiday.

Around 500 additional passenger flights were added over CNY holiday period from January 24 to February 9, with Taipei, Bangkok, Seoul and Sapporo being the most popular destinations. Average daily passenger throughput within the period increased by 9% over the same period last year to 127, 000.

Air cargo continued to experience healthy growth in the month with the total throughput rising by 10.5% over last January to 273, 000 tonnes.

The robust air traffic growth has stimulated demand for aviation fuel, resulting in continuous growth in its consumption at HKIA. Airport Authority Hong Kong's Commercial Director Hans Bakker said, "The average consumption of aviation fuel has reached 14,700,000 litres per day in 2005, up 44% over the past seven years. It is estimated that the demand for aviation fuel will increase by at least 7% in 2006."

He added, "It is crucial for us to have sufficient and timely supply of aviation fuel to sustain the growth of the airport and Hong Kong."

All three air traffic categories witnessed encouraging growth over a rolling 12-month period. Both passenger throughput and aircraft movements recorded more than 10% year-on-year growth, amounting to around 41 millions and 266, 000 movements respectively. The air cargo figure also grew 9% to about 3.4 millions.

http://www.hongkongairport.com/eng/pr/pr_822.html
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Old February 20th, 2006, 06:45 AM   #1470
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There is a more information in this article :

HK Intl Airport Jan Passenger Traffic +15.9%;Cargo +10.5%
19 February 2006

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Passenger traffic at Hong Kong International Airport rose 15.9% in January from a year earlier, boosted by Chinese New Year holiday travel, the city's airport authority said.

Passenger throughput rose to 3.51 million in January, from 3.03 million, Airport Authority Hong Kong said in a statement dated late Sunday.

The authority said around 500 additional passenger flights were added between Jan. 24 and Feb. 9 for the Chinese New Year holiday.

Last year Chinese New Year fell in February.

Average daily passenger throughput in January rose 9% to 127,000.

Aircraft movements increased 13.7% to 23,100 in January, from 20,340 in January 2005, on 'robust passenger traffic' it said.

Cargo traffic rose 10.5% on year to 273,000 metric tons, from 247,115 tons in January last year.

The strong growth in air traffic stimulated demand for aviation fuel, said Hans Bakker, commercial director of Airport Authority Hong Kong.

He estimated the average daily consumption of aviation fuel will rise by at least 7% this year, from 14.7 million liters last year.

Bakker said in the statement the airport's daily fuel consumption rose 44% over the past seven years.

'It is crucial for us to have sufficient and timely supply of aviation fuel to sustain the growth of the airport and Hong Kong,' said Bakker.

Airport Authority said late last month it plans to spend HK$4.5 billion over the next four years to boost its handling capacity.

Opened in 1998, Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok airport operates 5,000 flights a week, with a capacity to handle 45 million passengers a year. The Hong Kong government owns 100% of the airport authority, but has plans to sell part of its interest. Executives have said a stock market listing is likely in 2006.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 06:53 PM   #1471
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Dragonair Jan Passengers Up 17.6%, Cargo Up 5.3%
20 February 2006

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Hong Kong's Dragon Airlines Ltd. said Monday its passenger traffic in January rose 17.6% from the year-earlier month, on an increase in travelers over Chinese New Year.

Hong Kong's second-biggest airline by revenue, after Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (0293.HK), carried 398,463 passengers in Jan, up from 338,903 in the year-earlier month.

In December, its passenger traffic rose 6.8% from the year-earlier month. Its cargo volume in January rose 5.3% to 31,341 tons.

'The increase was mainly attributable to greater capacity compared with last year,' said Dragonair CEO Stanley Hui. 'Month-on-month the figure was lower, as expected, given that the start of the year is always quieter following the end of-the-year peak.'

For full-year 2005, Dragonair carried a record 5.03 million passengers, up 9.9% from the previous record of 4.58 million in 2004. Its cargo volume last year rose 12.5% to 385,000 tons from 342,413 tons.

From Hong Kong, Dragonair flies to more than 30 destinations across the Asia-Pacific region, while its cargo network connects Europe, the Middle East, Japan, Taiwan and China.

The unlisted company's major shareholders are China National Aviation Co. (1110.HK), which holds a 43.3% stake; CITIC Pacific Ltd. (0267.HK), with 29.4%; Cathay Pacific, with 17.8%; and Swire Pacific Ltd. (0019.HK), which holds 7.7%.
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 12:04 PM   #1472
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I have trouble to see most of the pics on this page, for some reason. Could it be some filter here in China that is blocking the host sites or something?

Very nice updates by the way. I love this thread.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 01:57 AM   #1473
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Air and sea ports make impact
23 February 2006
South China Morning Post

The Pearl River Delta is serviced by five airports - Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Macau, Zhuhai and Shenzhen - each with their own airspace procedures. Pilots approaching from the north must navigate through each airspace before landing at Hong Kong's International Airport, which means extra flight time - and more fuel being burned.

Captain Russell Davie, airline operations manager for Cathay Pacific, says these restrictions result in an extra 25,000 tonnes of fuel burned each year by Cathay flights alone.

Giovanni Bisignani, director-general of the International Air Transport Association (Iata), priced the inefficiency at US$400 million, reported earlier by trade magazine Orient Aviation. "This unnecessary cost to airlines and the environment is not acceptable. Iata is working closely with all parties to rationalise the situation."

Given the high altitude at which jet fuel burns and its relatively high quality, the impact of this inefficiency on Hong Kong's air pollution is tenuous at best. The carbon dioxide emitted as a result, however, does have implications on global warming.

There is also increasing attention paid to the pollution that shipping generates, given 172,080 vessels arrived in the city in the first nine months of last year. Under present international regulations, the sulphur content of bunker fuel could be as high as 4.5 per cent. Hong Kong's diesel for road vehicles has a sulphur content of 0.005 per cent.

Government statistics for 2003 showed "navigation" accounted for just 4 per cent of sulphur dioxide emissions and 15.7 per cent of nitrogen oxide emissions. But environmental groups say the toxic fumes are emitted close to ground level, and pollutants blow directly into heavily populated areas.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 12:46 PM   #1474
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From news.gov.hk:
HK develops pioneering air safety system
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 05:12 PM   #1475
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Fast-rising Qatar Airways talks new planes, new routes

SINGAPORE, Feb 23, 2006 (AFP) - Fast-rising Middle East carrier Qatar Airways was talking new planes and new routes Thursday, announcing plans for major new destinations and saying it is in negotiations to buy 20 new aircraft.

The airline said it was in talks with both European manufacturer Airbus and US rival Boeing for the aircraft orders, while planning route expansion to New York, Hong Kong and Australia this year.

Chief executive Akbar Al-Baker said the airline expects to make a decision by the end of March on its choice between the Boeing 777 or the Airbus A340 family.

"We are at the moment talking to both aircraft manufacturers for the additional order for 20 aircraft to see us through the end of this decade," Al-Baker told the Foreign Correspondents Association.

Qatar Airways currently has an all-Airbus fleet of 44 planes and is a launch customer of the double-decker A380, the world's biggest passenger liner, which the carrier will start to operate in early 2009.

Asked why the carrier was talking to Boeing when it already has an all-Airbus fleet, Al-Baker said it was because the US aerospace giant "makes very nice airplanes too."

Al-Baker said he had held meetings with Boeing and Airbus executives on the sidelines of Asian Aerospace, the world's third-largest airshow which ends here on Sunday.

He said the planned orders will be on top of the 60 "firm orders" for the new-generation A350 aircraft from the European manufacturer.

The fleet build-up is underway as the airline announced a major global expansion drive that aims to add 10 new destinations a year.

"Our global expansion plan is huge," said Al-Baker, adding this is part of an overall vision to transform Qatar into a tourism hub in the Middle East with the construction of a new state-of-the-art airport in the capital Doha.

Qatar Airways currently flies to 69 destinations including Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India and Asia, which Al-Baker described as "the centre of economic development over the next decade."

It plans to add 10 more destinations this year, including New York, Hong Kong and Australia, he said, declining to name the seven other routes.

The airline has been flying to cities which many of its competitors are avoiding including Yangon, the main city in military-ruled Myanmar, Alexandria in Egypt and Cape Town in South Africa.

"Of course people must be thinking that we were crazy when we launched Yangon. They said, 'who is going to go to Yangon?' But I'm really proud to say that... we are offloading passengers on our Yangon flights," he said.

He said almost 70 percent of available seats to Yangon are taken.

Al-Baker said the airline plans to have a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2015, including four of the giant 555-seat double-decker Airbus A380 -- which it will start operating from 2009 -- and 60 long-range A350 aircraft.

"These 60 are firm orders," Al-Baker said.

Qatar Airways will also be the first airline in the world to operate the long-haul A340-600, which Al-Baker said has been especially developed by the European aircraft-maker for Qatar Airways.

The A340-600 "will give us the capability to operate from our hub in Doha directly to Australia and directly to several cities on the eastern seaboard of the United States," he said.

Al-Baker said the airline considered Boeing's 787 Dreamliner but went for the A350 instead because Airbus gave it a "very good deal."

With its major fleet build-up, Qatar Airways hopes to add around 10 new destinations every year from 2005. By 2010 or 2011, it expects to be flying to between 100 and 115 destinations worldwide.

Relaunched in 1997, Qatar Airways has received several accolades, including four in November last year at the World Travel Awards in London. One of the awards was for best inflight service.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 08:30 PM   #1476
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UPS to increase number of flights and employees as demand soars
24 February 2006
South China Morning Post

United Parcel Service will increase flights to the United States to three times a day this summer and is expanding its workforce in Hong Kong to keep up with strong demand for high-value products manufactured in the Pearl River Delta.

Asia's No3 express company by volume has boosted its monthly payroll in Hong Kong by about $500,000 since December, increasing the local ranks about 15 per cent to 750 employees to service a booming export-driven express business.

"We are very comfortable about the future of Hong Kong," said Leung Kwok-kei, the general manager for Hong Kong and Macau. "The 100 people we have hired are permanent employees."

UPS will increase the outbound flights to its US hub through Anchorage by August at the latest, maybe sooner, offering south China's exporters 240 tonnes of capacity a day.

Two of the flights will be scheduled through its Asia-Pacific hub at Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, near Manila. The new service transits Alaska.

"The launch of the new flight will be geared to the timing of the peak season and our ability to make the necessary flight and crew adjustments to capitalise on that," Mr Leung said.

The increased services to the US will complement a daily flight to its European hub in Liege, Belgium, and another daily service directly from Guangzhou. The carrier will also begin flying daily to Europe out of Shanghai in the spring.

It plans to go 24 hours with its local pick-up service from Monday and has recently introduced a dedicated trucking service from Guangdong for shippers who want to simplify the export process.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 07:24 AM   #1477
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LCQ7: Aircraft routes between Hong Kong and the Mainland
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Government Press Release

Following is the question by the Hon SIN Chung-kai and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Development and Labour, Mr Stephen Ip, in the Legislative Council today (February 22):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the current number of aircraft routes between Hong Kong and the Mainland, as well as the cities involved;

(b) of the respective numbers of passengers travelling by air from Hong Kong to the Mainland and vice versa in each of the past three years and, among them, the respective numbers of those who transited from Hong Kong to the Mainland and to overseas cities; and

(c) whether it plans to discuss with the relevant departments of the Mainland authorities the increase in the number of aircraft routes between Hong Kong and the Mainland; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply

Madam President,

(a) The existing Mainland/HKSAR Air Services Arrangement provides for scheduled air services between Hong Kong and 45 cities in the Mainland. Currently, airlines of both sides operate on 40 of such routes, namely -

Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Huangshan, Kunming, Lanzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shantou, Shenyang, Taiyuan, Tianjin, Xiamen, Xian, Changchun, Changsha, Guilin, Guiyang, Haikou, Harbin, Hefei, Jinan, Meixian, Nanchang, Nanjing, Nanning, Wenzhou, Wuhan, Yantai, Zhanjiang, Zhengzhou, Sanya, Shijiazhuang, Wuyishan and Urumqi.

The other five points not being served by scheduled services are Shenzhen, Lijiang, Beihai, Luoyang and Zhangjiajie.

(b) Numbers of passengers travelling by air between Hong Kong and the Mainland in the last three years, please refer to the attached annex.

(c) The HKSAR Government and the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China regularly review all aspects of the Mainland/HKSAR Air Services Arrangement, including the number of routes under the Arrangement. Our main objective is to seek to increase the number of routes and capacity for airlines of both sides to develop their businesses and to respond to market needs.
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Old February 26th, 2006, 08:49 AM   #1478
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Airport Authority Enthusiastic About Setting up Gold Depository at HKIA
Corporate Press Release
http://www.hongkongairport.com/eng/pr/pr_823.html


(Hong Kong, 22 February 2006) - The Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) welcomes the Government's initiative to consider providing a concession in trade declaration charges for gold, which will greatly facilitate the joint efforts by AA and the industry to establish a centralized gold depository at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).

Demand for gold and other precious metals is expected to grow significantly following the opening up of the gold market in the Chinese Mainland. It is anticipated that China will experience the fastest growth in gold trading worldwide over the coming decades.

"With its efficient financial and aviation infrastructure, Hong Kong has a unique advantage in serving the rapidly growing precious metal markets of East Asia," said AA's Chairman, Dr Victor Fung, adding "The centralised gold depository will strengthen Hong Kong's position as one of the premier financial and logistics centres of the world."

The gold depository aims to provide a centralised and secure storage facility to traders, institutional investors, producers and other end-users of precious metals. It will also serve as a common, physical settlement platform for trades made at metal exchanges such as the Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange and Shanghai Gold Exchange.

The depository will target to provide same day settlement of precious metal trading executed in Asian time zones. By directly depositing precious metals into the gold depository at the HKIA, gold dealers and merchants will be able to achieve considerable savings in transport and insurance costs.

"We will continue our discussion with the industry on a detailed plan to set up the gold depository in Hong Kong, and look forward to realising the plan within the earliest possible time," said Dr. Fung.
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Old February 28th, 2006, 02:46 AM   #1479
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I doubt a Hong Kong aviation forum would be on the no-go list in China. I can view the pictures on my end.

By Bowen Chau from HKADB :

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Old February 28th, 2006, 02:52 AM   #1480
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Roissy, 20 February 2006
Corporate Press Release Extract
The Air France 2006 Schedule Summer

For the summer 2006 season, the Air France Group will pursue its profitable growth strategy. Seat capacity (available seat-km) will grow by 5.6% compared with summer 2005 with a 6% increase on the long-haul network, a 6.3% increase on the international medium-haul network and a 1.1% increase on domestic routes.

The long-haul schedule

This summer, Air France will continue to expand capacity on its most buoyant markets, in particular Asia (up 11.4%), Latin America (up 5.5 %) and the Middle East (up 19.7%). Air France will also be developing its presence in Africa (up 11%) and on its oil, gas and mining routes.

These increases in capacity are a result of additional frequencies and the introduction of larger aircraft.

On routes to China, the Air France KLM Group will be offering a fifth destination, Chengdu, operated twice weekly by KLM from Amsterdam. Capacity will increase on flights to Beijing with the arrival of the three-class B777-300ER. There will be a second daily flight to Hong Kong** subject to obtaining traffic rights and Shanghai (ten weekly frequencies to both these destinations), with services to Shanghai supplemented by China Eastern´s daily flight. The Paris - Guangzhou service will be reorganized, with Air France and China Southern both offering three weekly flights to this destination. This summer Air France will be operating 47 weekly services between Paris and China.

Since this winter the Group has been offering customers five destinations in India with the launch of five weekly flights to Bangalore from Paris and three weekly flights to Hyderabad from Amsterdam. These are in addition to the daily services to Mumbai, Delhi and Madras.

Air France KLM now offers 36 weekly flights to India.

On routes to South Africa and Brazil, Air France will be continuing its twice-daily services launched this winter to Johannesburg and Sao Paulo (ten weekly flights).

On our Gulf routes, which are mostly used by our oil and gas industry customers, many new initiatives will be launched.

Air France will be starting a second daily flight to Houston.

There will be daily flights to Teheran, and we hope to obtain traffic rights to also have a daily service to Riyadh. Frequencies will also be increased to Dubai (13/7) and our Dedicate network routes: Malabo (4/7), Nouakchott (6/7) and N´Djamena (5/7).
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