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Old July 2nd, 2006, 07:54 AM   #1661
hkskyline
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Hactl voted Air Cargo Terminal of the Year at the China Logistics Awards 2006
HACTL Press Release

(30th June 2006, Hong Kong): Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) has been named "Air Cargo Terminal of the Year" at the China Logistics Awards 2006. An award presentation ceremony was held last night at the China World Hotel in Beijing.

The inaugural China Logistics Awards was organised by Freight Transport Buyer Asia, one of the leading trade publications in the region, and the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing to recognise standards of excellence in the logistics industry in China. Over 30,000 readers of Freight Transport Buyer Asia cast their votes to select the top three finalists in each of the eleven award categories.

A panel of seven independent judges comprised of professionals in the trade from Mainland China gave Hactl the top overall rating based on the criteria including overall efficiency, mishandling rate, sophistication of facilities, handling charges, use of I.T. services as well as availability of value-adding services.

"We are pleased to receive the "Air Cargo Terminal of the Year" title. This is an excellent gift for each and every staff member at Hactl as we are celebrating our 30th anniversary," said Anthony Wong, Hactl's Managing Director.

"Hactl has been playing a significant role in the economic success of Hong Kong as the logistics hub by providing a level of efficiency, reliability, as well as handling capacity that is unmatched worldwide. We also drive efficiency gain along the logistics chain by developing seamless intermodal services between Hong Kong and the burgeoning manufacturing base in the Pearl River Delta, facilitating air cargo trade through Hong Kong. We take the award as the industry recognition of all these efforts. The award also highlights the fact that Hong Kong remains as the preferred gateway to the dynamic markets in Mainland China. I would like to thank all voters, our customers, as well as business partners for their support," Mr. Wong continued.

The award is the latest to add to Hactl's string of accolades. The Company was voted "Air Cargo Terminal of the Year" for a four consecutive year since 2002 at the Asia Logistics Awards. It was also named "Best Air Cargo Terminal - Asia" at the 2005 Asian Freight & Supply Chain Awards.
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 07:21 AM   #1662
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Hong Kong Express Airways Launches Flights to Chiang Mai
Corporate Press Release

Hong Kong, June 22nd, 2006…With the successful landing of its new 76-seat Embraer 170 aircraft at Chiang Mai International Airport this afternoon, Hong Kong Express Airways has become the only airline to currently offer direct, scheduled flights between its Hong Kong home and the popular Thai leisure destination. Operating two return flights per week - every Thursday and Sunday, passengers can now enjoy uninterrupted direct flights to and from Northern Thailand’s premier hot spot scheduled perfectly to enable both weekend and extended getaways.

“We are particularly pleased to launch this new route to such a fantastic leisure destination. Being the only airline to currently offer flights on this route places us firmly on the map for travellers looking for a convenient, hassle-free break away,” says Hong Kong Express Airways General Manager Sales, Simon Sin. “As significant as the Taichung charter service we launched earlier this month was for us, today’s Chiang Mai route launch is giant step forward in our expansion beyond mainland China.”

Located in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has long been a popular getaway destination, which thanks to a flourishing spa industry and growth in eco-tourism has recently become one of the hottest destinations in SE Asia. Set amidst lush tropical landscape, Chiang Mai offers a wide variety of activities, sights and attractions for travellers of all ages and interests.

Hong Kong Express Airways currently operates six scheduled flights each day between Hong Kong and three cities in Mainland China – Hangzhou, Ningbo and Nanjing. The airline will launch scheduled flights between Hong Kong and Chongqing on July 31st 2006.
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 07:22 AM   #1663
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Virgin Airline hiring 50% more flight attendants for expansion
Apple Daily News
3 July 2006

Virgin Airlines is hiring over 100 flight attendants in Hong Kong. The hiring is done to accompany Virgin's move to launch more flights in November and early next year.

With over three years of working experience, a flight attendant joining Virgin can expect a monthly salary and fringe benefit of HK$14,000. At present, Virgin has 180 flight attendants in Hong Kong. In November 2006, Virgin will be flying three more weekly flights from Hong Kong to London, up from seven weekly flights now. In February 2007, Virgin will add more, flying 14 weekly flights from Hong Kong to London.
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 01:25 PM   #1664
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From news.gov.hk:
HK, Mainland air routes to grow
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 07:02 PM   #1665
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Hong Kong-China air liberalisation pact welcomed

HONG KONG, July 3, 2006 (AFP) - Hong Kong and China will sign an aviation liberalisation pact that will see more routes open between the two and a relaxation of limits on passenger and cargo, a government statement said Monday.

The move has been welcomed by Hong Kong's flag carrier Cathay Pacific, which is expected to win rights to fly the coveted Hong Kong-Shanghai route it was forced to relinquish 16 years ago.

A joint statement from the Economic Development and Labour Bureau in Hong Kong and the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China said talks on renewing the pair's Air Service Arrangement had been concluded.

Hong Kong economic development secretary Stephen Ip hailed the deal as a boost for the city.

"The new arrangement would not only strengthen the aviation links between Hong Kong and the mainland, it will also enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong International Airport and strengthen Hong Kong's status as an international and regional aviation centre," he said in the statement.

Under the terms of the pact, from winter next year each side will be able to designate three airlines to operate passenger and cargo flights between Hong Kong and Chinese cities. Another airline will be able to operate all-cargo flights.

It will also see the expansion of the arrangement, which presently covers 45 routes, to a further 11.

Capacity constraints will be relaxed on 35 of the routes between winter 2006 and summer 2007, while capacity for the remaining routes will be substantially increased.

Although the new routes are being kept confidential, a source close to the deal said it would include the Tibetan capital of Lhasa and XiXuang in Yunnan province.

Among those to see capacity restrictions scrapped will be the lucrative Hong Kong-Shanghai route. As Cathay is Hong Kong's only major airline it is all but assured of winning back the marquee route.

"Cathay welcomes the outcome of the latest discussions ... which provides for an expansion of the air services arrangements, and the opportunity for the airline to resume passenger services to Shanghai after an absence of 16 years," the airline said in a statement.

Shanghai accounts for more than a third of all traffic into the mainland and Cathay has been tirelessly campaigning to win back the route since it had to relinquish the service to rival Dragonair in a share restructuring move in 1990.

Dragonair, which was recently bought out by Cathay in an 8 billion Hong Kong dollar deal, also welcomed the move.

"It will offer more opportunities to airlines and provide us with greater growth potential in the mainland market," said Dragonair chief executive Stanley Hui.
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Old July 4th, 2006, 06:12 PM   #1666
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03 July 2006
DRAGONAIR WELCOMES NEW AIR SERVICES ARRANGEMENT WITH MAINLAND
Dragonair Press Release

(HONG KONG) Dragonair, recently voted the Best Airline - China for a fifth consecutive year in the Skytrax traveller survey, has welcomed the air services arrangement announced today between the Economic Development and Labour Bureau and the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China.

"We welcome the arrangement to liberalise further air services between Hong Kong SAR and the China Mainland as it will offer more opportunities to airlines and provide us with greater growth potential in the Mainland market," said Dragonair CEO Stanley Hui. "In addition, the new arrangement ensures Hong Kong will maintain its position as the pre-eminent aviation gateway to the growing Mainland travel market.

"As the Best Airline on which to fly to and from the Mainland, Dragonair is well-positioned to take advantage of the new arrangement, and we look forward to exploring the opportunities for growth that it presents."

Dragonair currently operates almost 400 flights a week between Hong Kong and 23 cities in the China Mainland.
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Old July 4th, 2006, 06:12 PM   #1667
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New low-cost airline to offer 75.00 stg one-way fare to Hong Kong
4 July 2006

LONDON (AFX) - A new low-cost airline that will fly passengers from London to Hong Kong for just 75.00 stg one-way is due to commence trading soon in a move that will put further pressure on the major national carriers and other long-haul operators.

Oasis Hong Kong Airlines, which will mix low fares with personalised options and high-quality service, will begin flying from London's Gatwick airport to Hong Kong in October this year.

Travellers are set to pay lower prices than offered by competitor airlines and tickets will go on sale in the near future with one-way flights starting from 75.00 stg -- plus tax. The airline plans five flights a week with further routes to be announced in the coming months.

'We are pleased to announce the first ever low-fare, high-quality long-haul flights from London to the Far East and we look forward to launching flights to more destinations in the future,' said Steve Miller, chief executive officer of Oasis Hong Kong Airlines.

'Business travellers as well as consumers are increasingly price conscious and I believe we have an individual business proposition that not only delivers on price, but offers passengers a flexible and high quality service... a term not often associated with low-fare travel,' he added.

The group's Boeing 747-400 planes will also offer 81 luxury business class seats and 278 spacious economy seats. A range of personalised options, such as advance seat reservation, lounge passes or upgrading to gourmet menus, will also be available.

The low-cost airline sector is continuing to grow, with recent research suggesting passenger traffic on low-fare flights will increase by at least 30 pct per annum over the next two years.
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Old July 4th, 2006, 06:22 PM   #1668
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By jzs from HKADB :

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Old July 5th, 2006, 03:28 AM   #1669
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Zhuhai air proposal ridiculed
Alman Loong
Hong Kong Standard
Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Hong Kong's de facto flag carrier Cathay Pacific has ridiculed an initiative by the Hong Kong Airport Authority to position Zhuhai Airport as a "third runway" for the SAR, following its investment in the aviation facility.

Cathay Pacific Airways chief operating officer Tony Tyler says in the the carrier's internal publication CX World that he cannot fathom the logic of Hong Kong International Airport's bid to promote Zhuhai airport in the mainland, as a "third runway" for Hong Kong.

The Airport Authority and Zhuhai Airport signed a deal in February to take a 55 per cent and 45 percent interest, respectively.

According to reports at the time, the authority planned to invest 200 million yuan (HK$194.26 million) in the joint venture to operate the Zhuhai airport, lying to the west of Hong Kong.

It principally serves domestic destinations.

The authority said the joint venture would strengthen relations between Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta, generating economic benefits through cargo and passenger traffic growth.

Despite what has been promised for the future, Cathay sees things from a different perspective. Tyler complained that "Zhuhai cannot possibly operate as Hong Kong's third runway."

"Zhuhai has no base airline and Hong Kong has no traffic rights from there.

"What passenger would want to fly into Hong Kong, collect their bags, pass through customs, find a ferry or bus to Zhuhai, pass through customs, find a ferry or bus to Zhuhai, pass through border immigration, check in, pass through security again and wait for another flight? It does not make sense."

Tyler argues that "the Airport Authority making a purely financial investment in other airports is one thing. The government is well represented on the Airport Authority board and can decide whether that is an appropriate way to invest taxpayers' money."

An authority spokesperson refused to be drawn on Tyler's observations.

Tyler said: "There has to be an answer to capacity limitations at Hong Kong International Airport. But Zhuhai is not it."
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Old July 5th, 2006, 03:23 PM   #1670
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Airport Authority Announces Record Profit of HK$1.6 Billion
Industry Outlook Remains Robust Driven by Strong Demand


HKIA Press Release


(HONG KONG, 5 July 2006) - The Airport Authority Hong Kong today announced an all-time-high profit attributable to shareholder of HK$1,615 million for the year ended 31 March 2006, up 33% from the same period last year (FY2004/05 after restatement: $1,214 million). Turnover grew 10% to $7,076 million (FY2004/05 after restatement: $6,460 million). The Board declared a final dividend of $1,300 million (FY2004/05: $1,000 million) to the Government, a 30% increase over last year.

The financial results reflected the Airport Authority's adoption of the new and revised Hong Kong Financial Reporting Standards including the Hong Kong Accounting Standards (HKASs) and Interpretations (HK-Ints). Results of the FY2004/05 have been restated accordingly in order to comply with the revised standards. The Airport Authority's underlying business and cash flow position are unaffected by the adoption of the revised and new accounting standards.

The record-breaking operational performance in passenger and cargo throughput underpinned the encouraging financial results of the Airport Authority. A total of 41.6 million passengers and cargo of 3.5 million tonnes passed through Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), a year-on-year increment of 9% and 10%, respectively. HKIA's growth fared favourably with global average growth in passenger throughput of 5% and cargo volume of 3% during the same period under review.

Commenting on HKIA's financial and operational performances, Chief Executive Officer of the Airport Authority Dr David J Pang said, "While HKIA benefited from the strong market for air transport, it takes a safe, secure and consistently well-run operation to fully exploit the potential of the robust market environment."

Despite the healthy growth in turnover, the Airport Authority's operating expenses increased less than 1% from $2,803 million in FY2004/05 to $2,820 million in FY2005/06, boosting earning before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to a record $4,256 million, a 16% rise over the previous year. Operating expenses have remained consistently flat over the last five years despite strong annual growth in revenue close to 8%, reflecting well on the Airport Authority's ability to effectively control expenses.

"HKIA remains the world's fifth busiest airport in terms of international traveller throughput, and have been the busiest international cargo airport for the last decade. During the year under review, we also welcomed eight new scheduled carriers to our network. HKIA now offers flights from about 80 airlines servicing more than 140 destinations worldwide," added Dr Pang.

The Airport Authority has also been improving its return on equity (ROE) over the years. "With stronger earnings, a more efficient capital structure and improved asset utilization, ROE in FY2005/06 rose to 4.9%, a level approaching that of similar infrastructure businesses in Hong Kong," said Mr Raymond Lai, Finance Director of the Airport Authority.

According to Dr Pang, the Airport Authority is undergoing a wide-ranging study to re-examine HKIA's growth strategies by critically assessing the demand, supply and competition/co-operation dynamics that the airport will face over the next two decades. Target for completion in the fourth quarter of the year, Master Plan 2025 will articulate the strategy to position HKIA to ensure a sustainable growth for the future.

Looking forward, Dr Pang remains positive on the outlook as HKIA would continue to benefit from the exponential growth in the Chinese Mainland's burgeoning economy and air traffic. The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) expected that the country's air passenger traffic will grow at an annual rate of 11%, outpacing the Airports Council International's forecast of 4% annual growth of global passenger traffic until 2020.

"I am confident that China's ever-growing aviation market will provide HKIA with enormous growth momentum for the years to come. We will continue to explore new opportunities and bring added value to Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland by strengthening the competitiveness of HKIA and integrating with airports on the mainland," said Dr Pang. "A key focus will be to ensure the provision of sufficient supply to meet the growing demand for aviation services."

One of the planned efforts to enhance HKIA's competitive facilities and services is Terminal 2, scheduled for soft opening before the end of 2006. Equipped with check-in counters, immigration, customs and excise and quarantine facilities, Terminal 2 will also house a cross-boundary coach station and an extended Automated People Mover System that links to the existing passenger terminal (Terminal 1). Terminal 2 will provide additional handling capacity to cope with the increasing passenger volumes and further strengthen HKIA's role as a fusion point for multimodal transport, linking Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland. Adjacent to Terminal 1, Terminal 2 will also feature SkyPlaza - a 35,000-square-metre of facilities embracing retail, catering and entertainment all under one roof.

Terminal 2 is part of a larger HKIA development called SkyCity under which new facilities being developed include a permanent terminal for ferries service the Pearl River Delta, two office towers, a hotel and a nine-hole golf course.



- To view the AA's Annual Report http://www.hongkongairport.com/eng/aboutus/report.html
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Old July 6th, 2006, 05:36 AM   #1671
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Everyone misses that scary/fun/exciting approch along Kolowoon
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Old July 6th, 2006, 06:06 AM   #1672
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Air HK eyes new aircraft as mainland routes expand
05 July 2006
South China Morning Post

Air Hong Kong, the only all-cargo airline in the city, may buy between two and four aircraft, probably Airbus A300s, after winning the right to start serving the mainland next summer.

The airline leases one A300-600F from Cathay Pacific - which owns a 60 per cent stake in the carrier - that it uses to serve Shanghai five times a week.

Under an air services accord between Beijing and the Hong Kong government unveiled on Monday, Air Hong Kong also won the right to serve secondary cities in China so long as the routes included a stopover in either Beijing or Shanghai.

"Combination routes allow us to collect goods from more than one mainland city, enabling us to develop secondary cities," said David Saechiu, chief operating officer of Air Hong Kong.

Such an arrangement is vital to cargo airlines launching service in secondary markets where the cargo volume is insufficient to justify point-to-point service.

Air Hong Kong has applied for the right to serve 21 mainland cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Qingdao and Urumqi in Xinjiang, and plans to begin flights to eight to 10 destinations initially.

Air Hong Kong has a fleet of eight A300-600Fs. Mr Saechiu said the carrier would prefer to expand services using the same model to keep maintenance costs down.

However, shortly after Air Hong Kong declined in March to take up the last two options on its original order of A300Fs, Airbus closed its production line.

The closure was prompted by pressure on Airbus resources as it increased production of the A380 and development of the A350. This will force Air Hong Kong to look for used passenger jets it can convert.
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Old July 6th, 2006, 01:55 PM   #1673
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Not the people on planes that went into the harbor and whose engines scraped the runway!
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Old July 7th, 2006, 06:04 AM   #1674
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London for $1,600? Not for long, say the experts
7 July 2006
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong's first budget airline, Oasis Hong Kong Airlines, plans to undercut its rivals savagely with a one-way fare to London of £75 ($1,066) plus tax when it launches the service in October.

The fare, just 40 per cent of the cost of a comparable ticket with competitors, will cover an economy seat on a Boeing 747-400 and include a basic meal.

Including taxes and surcharges, the fare will be $1,600, as opposed to $4,070 and $3,790 offered by Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic respectively.

The budget carrier will run just five flights a week against Cathay's four daily flights on the same route.

Industry sources predict Oasis' price-cutting strategy will have little impact on its rivals.

A disadvantage for the airline is that it will serve only Gatwick Airport, 30 minutes by rail from central London's Victoria Station.

With the operating cost of a flight from Hong Kong to London running at around $1.1 million, analysts said they did not expect the airline to be able to maintain the cheap fares. To break even, it would have to fill all 278 economy seats on the 359-seat B747-400 and sell the remaining luxury seats for $10,000 each.

"It's an impossible task for a start-up airline," an industry source said.

Making it even more difficult is the fact that the airline plans to launch during the shoulder season - the period between high and low seasons - in October.

A spokesman for Oasis said introductory prices and the fare sales structure had yet to be finalised and more details would be released closer to the launch.

A spokesman for Cathay Pacific said the Hong Kong carrier had little to fear from the rival start-up, saying Cathay's fare structure was already competitive enough.

Oasis, formed by husband-and-wife team Raymond and Priscilla Lee, received its air operator's certificate at the end of last year after competitors dropped a lawsuit alleging the aviation authority had fast-tracked the process.

Hong Kong has been slow to enter the budget airline industry, giving foreign budget carriers a head start in the growing global market for cut-price air travel.
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Old July 9th, 2006, 06:12 PM   #1675
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New Boeing 747 enables AirBridge Cargo to double Japan frequencies and launch Hong Kong services

MOSCOW, July 7 /PRRussia/ - Hong Kong will become the latest destination to join AirBridge Cargo's (ABC) growing network in July when Russia's first scheduled all-cargo airline takes delivery of its fourth Boeing 747 freighter.

The arrival of the aircraft, acquired from Nippon Cargo Airlines, will also enable ABC to double its frequencies between Japan, Russia and Europe to four flights a week. The addition of Hong Kong to the network is possible by combining ABC's two additional Nagoya flights with Hong Kong, where it enjoys full traffic rights.

Announcing the extra aircraft, Stan Wraight, Vice President of Volga-Dnepr Group, ABC's parent company, also confirmed that two more 747-200Fs will be joining the airline's fleet in 2007. At the end of 2007 and in early 2008, AirBridge will also take delivery of two new- build Boeing 747-400ERF freighters with a list price of $450 million. He said: "The fourth aircraft will allow us to offer even greater reliability, more balanced schedules and added frequencies and destinations. Our operations in Asia will increase further when two more 747-200s join our fleet in January and March 2007."

The B747-200 aircraft joining ABC in July is a nose and side door loading freighter. This configuration makes the aircraft perfectly suited to the major commodities carried by ABC, such as oil and gas equipment and project cargoes in Russia as well as for general freight traffic. All the new aircraft are powered by GE engines, identical to the rest of ABC's current fleet and the new aircraft in the pipeline.

With the introduction of the fourth aircraft, ABC will offer 10 flights a week ex Frankfurt and four per week ex Amsterdam to Russia, providing daily and twice daily services to Moscow (SVO and DME) and five flights a week to Krasnoyarsk. As well as its current two flights a week to and from Japan, ABC also operates seven services a week to and from Shanghai and four flights a week to and from Beijing in China.

Source: Volga-Dnepr Group press service

About Volga-Dnepr Group

Volga-Dnepr is an international group consisting of aviation, trucking and insurance businesses. Its offices are located in Russia, the USA, UK, China, Ireland and the UAE. Volga-Dnepr Group is the market leader in the global movement of heavyweight and outsized air cargo, controlling 50% of the global market. Volga-Dnepr has a fleet of ten An-124-100s, two IL-76s and five YAK-40s. Its scheduled cargo airline business, Airbridge Cargo, also operates two Boeing 747-200s. Volga-Dnepr Group employs more than 1,300 people of 20 nationalities.
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Old July 9th, 2006, 06:14 PM   #1676
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SkyPlaza the gateway to another dimension
Asia's largest 4D cinema will be one of the anchor attractions at Chek Lap Kok's new transport, business and entertainment hub [/b]
Scarlet Ma
6 July 2006
South China Morning Post

THE HONG KONG International Airport is celebrating its eighth anniversary and will significantly expand later this year with the opening of SkyPlaza, which will incorporate a second passenger terminal and a coach station for cross-border routes.

SkyPlaza is the centrepiece of the airport's SkyCity development and a part of the first phase plan, which also incorporates AsiaWorld-Expo (opened in December), SkyPier and a nine-hole golf course. Future phases will consist of a business park, hotels, and leisure and entertainment facilities.

SkyPlaza is a transport, business and entertainment hub. It extends from the passenger terminal building and connects to the Airport Express railway station. It is expected to entertain 40 million passengers, 13 million meeters and greeters, 1.5 million exhibition visitors, 1.5 million SkyPier passengers and more than 300,000 nearby residents.

Hans Bakker, commercial director at Airport Authority Hong Kong, said SkyPlaza would be a gateway development in more ways than one.

"SkyPlaza will be the 'door' to SkyCity, a major commercial development planned for the northeast area of the airport," Mr Bakker said.

"It will integrate multiple forms of transport and cater for a wide range of users from Hong Kong and abroad. SkyPlaza will be a dynamic place that attracts more value-added activities to Hong Kong, providing better service to business and leisure travellers.

"This is a further illustration that Hong Kong International Airport is more than an airport and offers a competitive edge over other airports in the region," he said.

One of the anchor attractions of SkyPlaza will be a four-dimensional (4D) cinema, said to be Asia's largest. It is a joint project by the Airport Authority, Multiplex Cinema and SimEx-Iworks. The 4D Extreme Screen is 19.5 metres wide and 13.4 metres high.

"This attraction will provide an entertainment venue for many of our transfer passengers with a long dwelling time and for leisure visitors using our multimodal transport facilities.

"This 330-seat cinema venue can be used to complement the new exhibition venture during its peak season and can also be used by many airport partners."

Multiplex Cinema general manager Grace Wong said the 4D Extreme Screen would use the latest F/X special visual and audio effects to produce three-dimensional images while simultaneously allowing the audience to experience sensory thrills, such as wading through drifting snow, splashing in water and breathing in scents.

"Cinematic experience has begun to evolve to a new dimension, exhibited by exotic theme park attractions such as Terminator 2 in 3D and Spiderman and Shrek in 4D at Universal Studio. Given sophisticated digital systems and film technologies, we would like to take the challenge and be the pioneer to enter into a new dimension of 4D," she said.

The new cinema can screen 2D, 3D and 4D films in 35mm and 70mm formats. It also has large-scale conference facilities.

Other entertainment concepts include the Aviation Discovery Centre, which simulates landing at Kai Tak behind a flight cockpit; the Edutainment Zone, which pays homage to Bruce Lee, and Sports and Health, which offers virtual reality games ranging from golf and football to white water rafting.

Another first for SkyPlaza is the Travelex Finance and Travel Service Centre, which provides travel planning, insurance and money exchange in one location.

The concept grew out of an ACNielsen survey which showed that financial and travel services topped the list of services people wanted in SkyPlaza.

Travelex Asia head of retail Claudia Cheung said: "The centre is unprecedented in its concept and has not been executed elsewhere in any of our bureaus in 104 airports around the world.

"We feel that SkyPlaza, given its very unique positioning, is a one of a kind that implements this integrated financial and travel services concept."

The centre will have video conference kiosks through which customers can talk to qualified agents from AIU to buy insurance products.

Travelex is also working with the Airport Authority to promote tours for north Lantau sightseeing and SkyPlaza shopping, dining and entertainment for transit passengers before their arrival at the airport.

SkyPlaza will have a Gourmet Garden comprising 23 restaurants - many of them new outlets unique to the airport.

Select Service Partner Hong Kong general manager Eddie Liu Ming-sang said the Airport Authority was strict in choosing the right catering units for SkyPlaza.

"The [Airport Authority] wanted to introduce new food concepts. We presented more than 20 proposals and five were approved," Mr Liu said.

Select Service Partner has 19 catering units in the Passenger Terminal Building, which account for 40 per cent of the airport's catering services.

The five outlets for SkyPlaza include award-winning New York-style pizza house Famous Famiglia's first outlet in Hong Kong, Tian Xia Dumplings (northern Chinese dumplings), Green Cottage (Vietnamese cuisine), Heineken Bar which will be the only bar in SkyPlaza, and a Burger King.

"Lantau is fast developing into a tourist area. We have confidence in the Airport Authority that SkyPlaza can draw even more tourists. Tsing Yi and Tung Chung residents will also have a new mall nearby where they can spend at least half a day," Mr Liu said.

SkyPlaza will also have two office towers with a total floor space of 30,000 square metres, to be developed in two phases.

Grade-A office space will be added to the Airport Authority headquarters and there will be space for airlines and airport-related businesses, and firms needing close access to the Pearl River Delta and the airport.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 05:45 PM   #1677
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Air New Zealand cuts Singapore, Los Angeles flights, aims at China, North Asia
12 July 2006

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - Air New Zealand said Wednesday its halting daily flights to Singapore and not recommencing twice weekly summer season flights to Los Angeles to pursue new more profitable routes in China.

Chief Executive Rob Fyfe said the changes were the start of a "repositioning process" to benefit the airline. North Asian routes represented substantially greater growth prospects than Southeast Asia -- already well-served with international airline capacity, he said in a statement.

"We have the debut of our nonstop 777 service to Shanghai three times a week from Nov. 6," he said.

The airline is also planning a second daily service to London via Hong Kong from October, while the cargo market was driving the carrier's preference "for building North Asia capacity," he noted.

"The Singapore route suspension, which takes effect on Oct. 2, presents Air New Zealand with aircraft and resources to pursue new opportunities ... and for planning ... new international routes," Fyfe said.

The airline currently has less than a 30 percent capacity share in the Auckland-Singapore market, and Fyfe said it had suffered significant losses flying to Singapore in recent years.

Airline group general manager Ed Sims said most passengers traveling to Singapore were connecting with another service, heading to the northern hemisphere.

"Most of these destinations are served just as effectively via Hong Kong," he said.

Tourism New Zealand chief executive George Hickton said the Singapore route was quite well served by other carriers during the peak season.

"Singapore Airlines flies 21 times a week in the peak season between Singapore and New Zealand," he noted.

Hickton said the move would not have a significant effect on New Zealand markets generally.

"It may have an impact on the Singapore market itself but that's not a huge one for us," he said.

Fyfe said the current fuel price environment and soft demand meant the airline would be dropping its Christchurch to Los Angeles service from Oct. 29.

He was committed to seeing Air New Zealand grow profitably, he added.

The national carrier, 82 percent owned by the government after a near-bankruptcy in 2001, has been restructuring its operations for the past four years.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 04:29 PM   #1678
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Hong Kong air war looms
Geoff Easdown, WITH AGENCIES
12 July 2006
Herald-Sun

AUSTRALIANS will enjoy heavily discounted fares between Hong Kong and London when a new discount airline takes to the skies later this year.

Oasis Airlines, based in Hong Kong, will charge just under $185 (taxes and levies excluded) for a one-way fare between the former British colony and Gatwick airport.

Australians taking advantage of the offer, due to begin in October, will have to travel to Hong Kong with a major carrier before boarding their Oasis flight.

The new carrier, which has bought two Boeing 747-400 jets and plans to quickly expand to 25 aircraft, intends to emulate Australian discount carriers Virgin Blue and Jetstar by charging extra for onboard meals and drinks.

But no surcharge will apply to food carried on by passengers and consumed mid-flight.

Based on yesterday's advertised Web prices, a return Qantas Melbourne-Hong Kong fare (taxes included) can be bought for $1118 for travel between October and November.

Oasis has announced that it will charge pound stg. UK75 ($A184.60), plus levies and taxes for one-way travel between Hong Kong and London's Gatwick Airport.

Yesterday Qantas was charging $1915 for a heavily discounted Melbourne-London return economy fare (taxes and levies included) for travel between October and November. The standard Melbourne-London return flexi-fare, which includes the ability to claim refunds and cancel and change flight arrangements, costs $3061 for the same travel period.

Oasis is one of a number of carriers aiming to replicate the success of short-haul, low-cost discount airlines.

The business was founded a year ago by a husband-and-wife team of property investors Raymond Lee, and his wife, Priscilla.

The chief executive, Steve Miller, was founder and first chief executive of Hong Kong based Dragonair, which was recently bought by Cathay Pacific.

"The low-cost long-haul model has numerous advantages," said Mr Lee, a part-time clergyman millionaire who calls himself pastor.

Oasis recently won approval from Hong Kong's Air Transport Licensing Authority to operate scheduled flights to London, Milan, Cologne, Berlin, Oakland and Chicago.

Mr Lee said Oasis hoped to raise about HKD$10 billion ($A1.7 billion) in an initial public offering in mid-2007 to fund expansion.

On its London route, Oasis will compete with Cathay, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Qantas, all of which will offer more frequent flights.

The Lees, who own 60 per cent of Oasis, and others, have put up HKD$800 million ($A137 million).

Allan Wong, chief executive of Hong Kong consumer electronics maker Vtech Holdings holds a 15 per cent stake.

Oasis says it will operate five flights a week between Hong Kong and Gatwick.

Its two 747-400 aircraft are each fitted with 81 business-class seats and 278 economy-class seats, the airline said.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 10:38 PM   #1679
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Super great news for we HKers who study in London!
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Old July 15th, 2006, 04:57 PM   #1680
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11 July 2006
CEREMONY MARKS START OF MAJOR CONVERSION ON FIRST NEW B747-400 FREIGHTER
Dragonair Press Release



(HONG KONG) A ceremony to mark an important stage in the conversion of the first of five new Dragonair freighter aircraft was held on Saturday in Xiamen.

Attending the event were Dragonair CEO Stanley Hui, Toh Mun Wah, Vice President (Maintenance Operations), Singapore Airlines, P.K. Chan, Chairman of Taikoo (Xiamen) Aircraft Engineering Company and Roy Baerwolf, Boeing Site Manager of The Boeing Company as well as other representatives from these companies.

A 10-foot-wide opening had been made on the left hand side of the aircraft for the ceremony. The creation of the opening, for the cargo-loading door, marks the start of the major conversion work needed to transform the passenger/cargo aircraft into a dedicated freighter.

Work on this first freighter is scheduled to be completed in mid-October; it is then due to enter service in November. Four more B747-400 freighters are scheduled to be converted from passenger aircraft and added into the fleet by the end of 2008 – one in 2006, two in 2007 and one in 2008. Dragonair purchased the aircraft from Singapore Airlines in 2004.

The freighter fleet expansion enhances Dragonair's presence on the international cargo stage, and will help it facilitate trade between the China Mainland and its biggest trading partners.

The airline currently operates six freighters, and the new aircraft will take its all-cargo fleet to 11 by the end of 2008.
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