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View Poll Results: Scale from 1 to 10, 10 being SUPER and 1 being BAD, what would you rate the Airport??
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 06:45 AM   #1721
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Yeah, but even if they destroy the control tower, just keep the runway. There haven't been any major accidents in Kai Tak even with the 47 degree turn.

But it's good that Lantau island is being developed.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 06:49 PM   #1722
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RTHK news:
New CEO appointed for Dragonair 2006-08-23 HKT 19:07

Cathay Pacific has appointed an executive from Swire Pacific's Taiwan subsidiary, Kenny Tang, as the Chief Executive Officer of Dragonair. This came shortly after Stanley Hui announced that he had resigned. The airline will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cathay once a proposed share reform is formalised. Mr Tang said he would focus on maximising the synergies and opportunities arising from Dragonair's mainland services and Cathay's international network.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 04:54 AM   #1723
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BA bans crew from Hong Kong bar after date-rape claims
Sat Aug 19, 11:38 PM ET

HONG KONG, China (AFP) - British Airways has banned its staff from drinking at a popular Hong Kong bar after stewardesses were slipped a date-rape drug while drinking there, a media report says.

The ban follows a warning to the British flag-carrier's 13,000 staff in November about the threat of drinks being spiked with the tranquilliser Rohypnol while drinking off-duty in unsavoury bars.

Hong Kong's Sunday Morning Post, citing sources, said BA was concerned about one popular unnamed bar in the seedy Wan Chai district following complaints from four stewardesses that they felt unwell after visiting it in the past year.

"We are undertaking an investigation following a number of reports of crew feeling unwell after visiting the bar," BA told the Post from London. "We have advised our crew to avoid visiting the bar."

Sources told the Post the four had found they'd been drugged with Rohypnol, a tranquilliser prescribed to insomniacs but which has often been used by rapists to snare their victims.

The infamous Wan Chai harbourside district was Hong Kong's centre of vice and crime when it was a major docking area for British and later US naval port calls during the Korean and Vietnam wars.

While the government has since tried to clean the area up, its handful of remaining go-go bars remain a reminder of its seamier past.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 06:35 PM   #1724
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From news.gov.hk:
Cathay Pacific thrives on its own efforts: CS
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Old August 31st, 2006, 06:18 AM   #1725
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Rising fuel costs plunge Dragonair into the red
Hong Kong Standard
Thursday, August 31, 2006

Higher fuel prices dragged Hong Kong- based Dragonair into the red during the first half, with the carrier incurring a loss of HK$43.3 million compared to a profit of HK$95.2 million recorded during the same period last year.

China National Aviation, or CNAC (1110), which currently holds 43.29 percent of Dragonair, said fuel prices had jumped 32 percent in the first six months of the year.

Fuel accounted for 29 percent of Dragonair's total operating costs in the first half, up 5.9 percent year on year, said CNAC chairman Kong Dong.

The Standard reported Tuesday that Dragonair is planning to lay off a significant number of support staff when its ownership passes to Cathay Pacific Airways (0293).

In June, CNAC sold its entire stake in Dragonair to Cathay Pacific, which agreed to buy out all other Dragonair shareholders, including China National Aviation, Air China and CITIC Pacific, in an HK$8.2 billion deal.

Peter Drolet, an analyst at UOB Kay Hian, is bullish about Cathay and Dragonair's future under the bigger carrier.

"Since Dragonair is currently operating at a loss, Cathay's job will be to turn it around for profitability. In order to do that, Cathay is going to have to cut costs," he said.

"Cutting staff is always unfortunate for the staff, but it's good for Cathay Pacific, since they have an obligation to their shareholders."

Drolet added that another option Cathay might explore would be cutting out some of the more unprofitable routes that Dragonair flies, and expanding flights on the more profitable ones or even adding new routes.

Dragonair flew 2.6 million passengers in the first half, with passenger revenues increasing 8.5 percent from last year to HK$2.97 billion, due to increased capacity on China routes. It carried 188,000 tons of cargo in the first half, with cargo revenue at HK$1.99 billion, up 7.5 percent on the same period last year.

Cathay Pacific chairman Christopher Pratt said last week that Dragonair should begin to see positive contributions from the merger next year.

As a result of the merger, CNAC and parent Air China will hold a combined 17.5 percent in Cathay Pacific, while the latter will pay HK$4.07 billion to widen its stake in Air China from 10 percent to 20 percent. Shareholders from Cathay, Air China, CNAC and CITIC Pacific granted approval last Tuesday to the complex deal, which will facilitate the takeover of Dragonair.
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Old September 1st, 2006, 03:35 PM   #1726
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Philippine Airlines Eyes Davao Routes to Japan, Korea, HK

DAVAO CITY, Sept 1 Asia Pulse - Philippine Airlines (PAL) is set to establish new Davao air routes to Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong, Atty. Domingo Duerme, PAL senior assistant vice president for Mindanao, said.

"Of the three destinations, PAL sees heavy traffic in the Korea market. If plans push through, PAL will create a direct Davao-Hong Kong flight and Davao-Japan and Davao-Korea flight via Manila," he said.

Duerme said data in terms of travel frequency from travel agents, air transportation industry data, and historical figures, are significant factors to consider in pursuing the proposed new routes.

PAL should create three flights a day for the proposed new destinations to sustain the market, Duerme added.

PAL identifies Korea as a potential market with the increasing number of Korea nationals visiting Davao, Japan for its still sprouting japayukis, while Hong Kong for its famous Disneyland, Duerme said.

He said PAL has ordered a number of air crafts as part of its expansion plans.
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Old September 1st, 2006, 06:56 PM   #1727
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RTHK news:
Beijing approves share deal between Air China & Cathay Pacific 2006-09-01 HKT 07:08

Beijing has approved a share transaction between Air China and Cathay Pacific, which will make Dragonair a wholly-owned subsidary of Cathay. The chairman of Air China, Li Jiaxiang, said he was waiting for the State Council to complete the paperwork on the restructuring. He said Air China planned to increase fuel hedging and surcharges to counter rising fuel costs. The airline posted a 23 percent fall in first half profit to 458 million yuan.
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 12:45 AM   #1728
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Reverend blessed with an entrepreneurial touch
3 September 2006
South China Morning Post

There probably couldn't be a worse time to start a long-haul, low-fare airline. Aviation fuel prices are rocketing, competition is keen and every week seems to bring a new terrorist threat.

But none of this concerns the Reverend Raymond Lee Cho-min, founder and chairman of Hong Kong's newest airline, Oasis Hong Kong Airlines, which will provide direct flights to London-Gatwick in October for fares as low as HK$1,000 one way.

"I'm a contrarian investor,'' he said. "The last two years have seen 40 per cent wiped off the accumulated profits of the US airline industry, but what I saw was an unprecedented opportunity."

In may take a miracle to get this bird flying, but Mr Lee, 51, has a history of taking flight off a trough. During a slump in US real estate prices in the early 1990s, he bought buildings in Boston whose value had crashed by 90 per cent, launching his property empire there called Oasis Development Enterprises, which he estimates now has holdings worth up to US$500 million.

Thereby hangs a singular tale. A bona fide man of the Protestant cloth, Mr Lee, born in Ithaca, New York, to a Hong Kong father and a Shanghai mother, has divided his life between here and the US since then. In 1992 he added a tie to his dog collar, and together with his wife, Priscilla Huang Lee, whom he met in Bible study class, plunged into the Boston property business.

Dean of Chapel at nearby Gordon College at the time and coming from a well-heeled Hong Kong property family, Mr Lee saw the Boston commercial sector being throttled by greedy management companies collecting fees of 15 per cent for doing often-unnecessary maintenance work.

"I saw meaningless, wasteful spending, which meant no money was being made," he said.

Mr and Mrs Lee cashed in their stocks and bonds, pulled together funds from family and friends, raising US$8 million to buy their first Boston building. They dispensed with the management companies and took over the maintenance.

The results were dramatic. "We made close to 30 per cent returns, even in down times. Occupancies rose from 65 per cent to 95 per cent. That pushed the value of buildings up seven times, so I got into bigger and bigger deals," Mr Lee said.

And no, he does not think God and big business make uneasy bedfellows: "There is no dichotomy. Having money and helping people is not mutually exclusive."

Many of the staff he paid to paint, fix, and manage his buildings were young Cambodians - former gangsters whom his church helped train in artisan skills.

His fortune made, Mr Lee looked heavenwards again, and saw struggling legacy airlines, choked byantiquated working practices and network agreements. He saw carriers hamstrung by missed and late connections beyond their control. This, he noted, kept long-haul average utilisation down to 16 hours a day, when planes were designed to do 17. He was sure he could do better.

"I knew I could make money with point-to-point long-haul flights averaging 17 hours a day usage," he said. Unfettered by network connections, he was sure he could eliminate the cost of missed slots.

Saying only that most of the airline comes from his own funding, he gave the Hong Kong government a commitment that his company would have US$100 million in order to get the requisite licence, and bring in as partners VTech's Allan Wong, who now holds 15 per cent of the venture, and Richard K Lee of Trinity Textiles, with just under 10 per cent. But objections from Cathay Pacific and other carriers delayed his plans, thwarting his schedule to lease of five aircraft, and forced him instead to later buy two "middle-aged" 1989 Boeing-747-400s for US$40 million apiece, paid for with the aid of unspecified banks loan. Modern 747s would be only 8 per cent cheaper to run, he insists, "but our capital costs are much lower than legacy carriers so their age doesn't matter".

As other budget leaders like Ireland's RyanAir and the US's Southwest, Oasis also cut costs by seeking licences for his initial six routes from mostly secondary airports: Gatwick, Oakland in California, Chicago, Cologne, Milan and Berlin. "Costs have been pared by using ... locally hired London pilots and hi-tech ticketing," he said.

He is less upfront about the price of the tickets. The bulk of the economy fares are not actually that cheap. When pushed, Mr Lee admits only 10 per cent of the tickets to London will be HK$1,000. He's cagey about the price for the rest of the tickets, but in these competitive times, it seems likely he will have to undercut the major players, including Cathay Pacific and British Airways, with their 10 direct daily flights to London, never mind the "one-plus-one" market of Eva, Thai, Malaysian and Singapore airlines, which fly to London via their respective hubs.

Where he could win is at the front of the plane. Mr Lee calculates that most corporate business travel budgets no longer stretch to Cathay Pacific's HK$44,000-plus round trip fare to London.

"I know that Morgan Stanley's business class budget for Hong Kong-London is only HK$28,000," he explains. "We plan to offer business class for HK$10,000 one way. It's a necessity for a businessman to arrive in tip-top shape and for that you need affordable business class." For that alone, many passengers might say hallelujah.
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 03:29 AM   #1729
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Tibet direct flights on the cards
Carrie Chan in Lhasa and Jonathan Cheng
Hong Kong Standard
Thursday, August 31, 2006

After 60 days of operation, the Qinghai- Tibet railroad to Lhasa has made travel to the Roof of the World more accessible than ever for the outside world.

But Hong Kong tourists looking for a taste of Tibet may find themselves on a faster track, with the China Aviation Bureau currently considering the possibility of direct flights between Hong Kong and Lhasa.

The news, revealed Wednesday by Yang Haibin, vice chairman of the People's Government of Tibet Autonomous Region, is lacking in detail since the arrangement has not been approved.

But Yang confirmed that plans had been submitted to the bureau and would likely be limited to package tour groups.

Speaking to journalists on a media tour to Tibet using the newly opened railroad, Yang also introduced a new airport that will be opening in a few days in Linzhi - a tourist spot whose natural beauty has been compared with Sichuan province's Jiuzhaigou.

The civil airport in Linzhi, Tibet's third, is reported to be able to handle more than 100,000 passengers a year, and will see its first flights tomorrow, Yang said.

Direct flights will arrive there from Chengdu, the capital of neighboring Sichuan province.

Put together, plans like these are expected to further accelerate the massive changes already being wrought in Tibet by Beijing's attempts to open up this pristine region to development.

So far, Yang said, the new railroad from Qinghai has brought in 2.6 million tourists in July and August - almost twice as many as the 1.5 million tourists who arrived in Tibet during the same period last year.

"This is going to give a strong push to the economic and social development of Tibet," Yang said.

The rail link adds a third option to the two existing modes of entry to Tibet - roads and airplanes.

But the railway is only expected to strengthen the aviation industry's foothold in the region, Yang said, since the majority of tourists are planning "circular itineraries" that combine a train ticket into or out of Tibet with a one- way plane ticket in the opposite direction.

Already, Yang said, the aviation industry has seen a jump in traffic, with authorities reporting 47 percent growth in July.

Among the five biggest airlines, the daily 13 flights has already been increased to 25 flights, and projections for 2006 estimate tourist traffic at 1.1 million to Tibet - up from 800,000 last year.

Meanwhile, planned railway links to Nepal, India, Yunnan province and Xinjiang will create what Yang calls a "composite transportation link in the region." He added: "Tibet is going to be more open. People will get smarter, and when you get smarter, you develop faster."

In addition to increased tourism, Yang is also expecting massive growth in logistics and import-export, now that the train link is open.

Transportation costs to and from Tibet, which make up a significant portion of production costs, will fall to about 0.12 yuan (HK$0.11) per kilometer for goods sent by train, compared with current costs of about 0.30 yuan to 0.40 yuan per kilometer for goods sent by highway.

Yang is throwing open the door for Hong Kong investors interested in getting in on the Tibet boom. He said a "free financing policy" would encourage investment in the region, adding there was a need for more hotels - many of which were already seeing 90 percent room occupancy, year-round.

Yang also promised that some of the benefits would trickle down to the region's people. The government was planning its first subsidies to farmers, so they can build their own homes. He also said the authorities would expand Tibet's electricity network.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 07:27 AM   #1730
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甘泉航空頂爛市 愈早訂位價愈平
$1000單程直飛倫敦

05/09/2006



「一晚酒店價錢就可以直飛歐洲!」一間本港新成立的航空公司,將於下月底開啟由香港往來倫敦的直航路線,為打響頭炮,該公司在開業初期推出超平機票,經濟客位單程票價低至一千元,還包括正規的「飛機餐」。

甘泉香港航空 ( 甘泉 ) 為首間本地以經營廉價長途航空為主的公司,專注來往香港及歐洲的直航航班,昨日起接受訂位。由香港直飛倫敦的航班將於十月二十五日啟航,甘泉首席行政總裁苗禮士表示,將計劃開闢其他航線,目的地包括三藩市區的奧克蘭,科隆、米蘭、柏林和芝加哥等歐洲及北美洲城市。該公司表示其經營成本為業內最低,有信心能提供廉價優質服務,幫助七百萬港人及珠三角同胞以廉價環遊世界。

料下月獲航空許可證
甘泉商務總監卓德健表示,甘泉的票價政策是「愈早訂票愈平」,市民最早可於七個月前訂位,以購得最平價的機票,一成的經濟客位將以單程票價一千元出售,商務客位亦低至六千六百元,單程燃油附加費為四百八十一元。卓德健稱,其餘經濟客位單程票價平均由一千五百元至三千五百元,商務客位則由六千六百元至二萬元。

甘泉主席李卓民表示,平價機票全賴低成本經營:「我們經營點到點長途航線,能節省航機上落及停站的油費,選擇降落的國際機場都是優越但沒那麼繁忙的,航機降落不用繞道,節省油費及時間,航班增減富彈性,能提升航機使用率;我們的機師可留在自己國家居住,我們不用重金禮聘,能增強員工士氣。」

甘泉的飛機改裝自新加坡航空的波音747-400航機,機齡平均十七歲。被問及用「二手機」會否有損安全,李卓民表示:「一般航空公司的機齡都有二十七、二十八歲,十七年機齡絕對不成問題,而且香港民航處達世界標準,收到航空許可證就能保證航班安全。」雖然甘泉航空已開始售票,但至今仍未得到民航處的許可證,但甘泉稱預計於十月取得航空許可證。
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Old September 6th, 2006, 04:56 PM   #1731
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Oasis Airlines is now booking flights to London!!
http://www.oasishongkong.com/intro.aspx?p=111
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Old September 7th, 2006, 04:27 PM   #1732
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Thursday September 7, 1:40 PM
Dragonair cancels Hong Kong-Bangkok services

HONG KONG (AFP) - Hong Kong airline Dragonair, which is being taken over by flag carrier Cathay Pacific, has said it will cancel its Bangkok-bound service this month as the flights have been underperforming.

"Hong Kong-Bangkok is a very busy, competitive route, and it has not been performing to expectations for some time," group chief executive Kenny Tang said in a statement.

"That is why we have taken the decision to cancel the service," effective from September 27, he said.

The airline currently flies to the Thailand's capital once a day.

A Dragonair spokesman said the decision was made purely for commercial reasons and is not related to Cathay Pacific's takeover, which has been approved by shareholders and the Chinese government.

He would not reveal any financial details of the services.
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Old September 8th, 2006, 05:29 AM   #1733
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Outdated rules threaten HK's coveted role as global air cargo hub
8 September 2006
South China Morning Post

In realtors' parlance, it would be easy to attribute Hong Kong's rise to being the world's busiest hub for international air cargo to three things: location, location, location.

The potential benefits of living next door to the world's emerging factory surfaced as early as 1980 when the National People's Congress created the Guangdong Provincial Special Economic Zones. They were cast in stone 12 years later when Deng Xiaoping, visiting Shenzhen, quelled growing controversy over the success of such zones by declaring them instruments of socialism, not capitalism.

If location was the sole reason for our success, Shenzhen or Guangzhou would have had equal opportunity to develop the region's primary air trade hub. They, of course, did not.

The flexible customs and trade regulations that sped Hong Kong's development as a "free port" played an equally big role as location, which is why it seems odd that a handful of those rules are now impediments to the airport's fastest-growing trade sector: transshipment cargo.

Transshipment goods - those relayed through Hong Kong on their way from the point of origin to final destination - made up 85 per cent of the 3.4 million tonnes of cargo handled at Chek Lap Kok last year.

Only 504,000 tonnes was imported here for consumption or made here for export.

The segment known as "air-to-air transshipment" - cargo moving from aircraft to aircraft - was about 20 per cent of last year's volume or 677,000 tonnes.

Relay cargo originating or destined for the mainland has been the fastest-growing part of that sub-sector, rising from a low base at an average annual growth rate of 44 per cent from 2002.

Transshipments are unique in that facilitating their smooth transition through any airport requires modern infrastructure and equally modern customs and regulatory regimes.

The latter is where Hong Kong has begun to fall behind vis-a-vis its regional rivals outside the mainland, according to consultants GHK.

The value of Hong Kong's air-to-air transshipments reached about HK$314 billion last year or 6.84 per cent of our total trade by value, according to the Airport Authority.

In its latest report, GHK said growth in some higher-value sectors of our transshipment trade is being restricted by regulations whose origins date back to the 1970s when Hong Kong was obliged to stop a wide range of "sensitive" materials from entering China, then a closed society.

The report cites several examples of how antiquated rules divert cargo from Hong Kong airport, chief among them is our Import-Export Ordinance (IEO).

The IEO, created when trade was virtually all export or import, requires licences for a dizzying array of "controlled goods", most of which face no such formality in the jurisdictions of rival hubs.

Moreover, the regulations are confusing and licences take two to five days to obtain, a non-starter in an industry where a premium is paid for transit times measured in hours.

The result, the report says, is that high-value goods such as medical supplies and pharmaceuticals are routinely diverted to hubs such as Singapore where modern regulations recognise the time constraints of today's supply chain. And so are all goods consolidated with them.

"In terms of [the airport's] total throughput, the volume of cargo falling foul of these restrictive regulations may be relatively small," the report said.

"However, this ignores the volumes of cargo traffic that avoids HKIA all together and routes through competing locations that operate a more appropriate regime."

The report also takes aim at our Trade Declaration Charge, which it says is at odds with Hong Kong's "free port" status, labelling it little more than a "transshipment tax". Ostensibly, the tax - which raised HK$1.17 billion last year - was created to fund the Trade Development Council. Whatever good the council has done has been at least in part undone as cargo owners look to avoid the same tax that fills its coffers.

In a nutshell, the report shows some of the cracks forming on Hong Kong's air cargo pedestal.

Government officials will likely struggle to take the report's warnings seriously, given Hong Kong's booming air cargo industry for the past few years. Those who lack the incentive to pay attention to early warning signs need only look to the fate of our once invincible port for inspiration.
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Old September 8th, 2006, 10:30 PM   #1734
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Hong Kong air cargo up 3.1 pct in August-HACTL

HONG KONG, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's main air cargo terminal handled 3.1 percent more cargo in August compared to the same period last year, below the growth rate of 4.7 percent for total cargo in the first eight months of 2006. Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd. (HACTL), which is 25 percent owned by Jardine Matheson Holdings and 20 percent by Swire Pacific Ltd. said on Friday it had moved 210,426 tonnes of cargo last month.

Export volume was up 3.5 percent at 119,109 tonnes from August 2005, the firm said in a statement, while import volume grew 2.6 percent to 35,180.

Trans-shipment volume increased 2.6 percent to 35,180.

HACTL handled 1,612,960 tonnes of cargo from January to August.
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Old September 9th, 2006, 09:06 AM   #1735
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RTHK news:
HAECO in joint venture to repair aircraft on mainland 2006-09-09 HKT 07:15

The Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company will form a 42-million dollar joint venture with Cathay Pacific and four other companies to repair aircraft landing gear on the mainland. The companies will build a centre in Xiamen. It's set for completion by the middle of 2008.
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Old September 11th, 2006, 12:27 PM   #1736
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From news.gov.hk:
Airport cities conference opens
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Old September 11th, 2006, 06:18 PM   #1737
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Sun Hung Kai lines up bid for air cargo hub
Alman Loong
Hong Kong Standard
Monday, September 11, 2006

Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016), Hong Kong's largest developer by market capitalization, plans to bid for the proposed third air cargo terminal in Hong Kong, according to a source.

Peter Lui, a former general manager of Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited, has been invited to be consultant at the company's subsidiary, Airport Freight Forwarding Centre, as it prepares to bid for the facility planned by the Airport Authority. The company has not ruled out forming a consortium for the bid, according to the source.

HACTL and Singapore-based Asia Airfreight Terminal control about 90 percent of air cargo movements at Hong Kong International Airport.

AFFC, wholly owned by Sun Hung Kai, acts as a second-tier air freight handler at Chek Lap Kok, mainly collecting cargo and sending it to the two air cargo terminals as well as the DHL-owned Express Cargo Terminal.

"AFFC has operated for a long time but it is still loss-making. It is only a second-tier cargo terminal, and Sun Hung Kai plans to consolidate its logistics business," the source said.

Given the high terminal fees, Sun Hung Kai plans to capture the strong growth in cargo aiming to turn its logistics business around.

HACTL now charges logistics companies HK$1.47 per kilogram, while Guangzhou Baiyun Airport levies 30 HK cents to 50 HK cents per kilogram.

Ron Mathison, Cathay Pacific Airways (0293) director for cargo, said in May the airline paid HACTL nearly three times what it pays at comparable locations such as Singapore. In July, the Airport Authority decided to consult existing cargo facility operators after Cathay announced plans to build its own air cargo terminal at Chek Lap Kok with the first stage scheduled for opening 2009.

Cathay said it will be the world's biggest, and capable of handling four to five million tonnes of freight a year.

The authority is expected to end consultations in mid-October and then proceed to the next stage.

Cathay 's controlling shareholder, Swire Group (0019), directly owns 20 percent of HACTL and holds 10 percent through Cathay. Jardine Pacific owns 25 percent. Wharf (0004) and Hutchison Whampoa (0013) each owns 12.5 percent of HACTL, and China National Aviation (1110) and CITIC Pacific (267) each holds 10 percent.

HACTL said in July it handled 1.19 million tonnes in the first six months, up 5.8 percent from the same period a year ago. Corporate development director Warren Bishop said the compound annual growth is estimated at 5.3 percent from 2008 to 2015.

However, Mathison disagreed, saying HACTL will be at full capacity by 2009. He said Cathay carried nearly 1.12 million tonnes of cargo last year, and experienced 10.5 percent growth in the first six months of this year.

He has projected that Cathay's annual growth in cargo will be between 8 and 9 percent in the next few years.

The authority's "Master Plan 2020," forecasts a compound annual growth rate for cargo of 5.8 percent for the next 14 years, by which time volume is expected to reach 6.9 million tonnes.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 06:49 AM   #1738
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Deals near for Airport Authority
Alman Loong
Hong Kong Standard
Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Airport Authority Hong Kong is on target to finalize deals to manage the Zhuhai Airport and Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport before the end of this year, a senior executive said.

Chief executive David Pang said Monday approvals from government bodies have been obtained and the process is "at pretty much the final stage."

The Hong Kong International Airport operator has received approval from the central government and the SAR government.

"We are doing all the preparatory work and hope to start operations within a few months," Pang said.

The authority also reiterated that a proposed cargo facility is necessary to improve capacity at Chek Lap Kok.

Consultations with other cargo terminal operators are under way.

Discussions are set to conclude at the end of next month.

"We need more capacity and need to expand," Pang said.

As for Zhuhai Airport in the western Pearl River Delta, which the authority plans to manage for 20 years, the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China gave approval to the joint venture in February. The authority will hold a 55 percent stake in the joint-venture company, Zhuhai-Hong Kong Airport Management, which is valued at 360 million yuan (HK$352.3 million).

Pang said the Xiaoshan International Airport deal is at the final stage.

In April last year, the authority paid 1.99 billion yuan for a 35 percent stake in the airport.

"We got approval from the National Development and Reform Commission, and the next step is to get approval from the Ministry of Commerce," Pang said.

The authority hopes to seal the two agreements within the next few months. "I expect the deals will be finalized before I leave," Pang said.

His contract with the authority ends next month, when his second three-year tenure ends.

The Standard reported Monday that developer Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) plans to bid for the proposed air cargo terminal at Chek Lap Kok.

Asked if SHKP had expressed interest, Pang said the authority is continuing consultations with business partners. "We welcome all capable, good potential partners," Pang said.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 06:51 AM   #1739
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Passenger's miscarriage diverts U.S.-bound plane to Beijing
10 September 2006

BEIJING (AP) - A passenger suffered a miscarriage on a flight from Hong Kong to Chicago, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Beijing, state media said Monday.

The United Airlines flight made the emergency stop Saturday afternoon just two hours after take-off when an expectant American woman began hemorrhaging, the official China Daily newspaper said.

The woman and her husband, who was traveling with her, were taken to the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing, it said. The report did not say how far along the woman had been or give any other personal details.

The flight departed Beijing an hour after the couple was taken off the plane, it said.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 02:15 AM   #1740
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