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Old June 22nd, 2004, 05:03 AM   #161
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Cathay hopping mad over Virgin's ticket plan
Keith Wallis, HK Standard

A dogfight has broken out between Cathay Pacific Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways over plans by the British carrier to launch flights between Hong Kong and Australia in December.

Virgin said tickets for the Hong Kong-Sydney flights would go on sale this summer before daily services start on December 7.

The services would complete the Kangaroo Route between London and Australia.

Aircraft would stay on the ground for 90 minutes at Hong Kong International Airport to allow passengers to embark and disembark, cargo movements, refuelling and for new supplies to be brought on board.

The flights would carry the same flight codes - VS201 and VS200 - as the existing Hong Kong-London services.

Regional general manager Mackenzie Grant said the launch of the Hong Kong-Australia services would create 110 new jobs.

"We are going to recruit 60 in Hong Kong and 50 in Australia - both ground staff and cabin crew.''

But Cathay Pacific said the European Union has yet to give the green light to allow Virgin Atlantic to operate the flights.

Consequently, it believed Virgin is wrong to offer tickets before the EU confirms it has no objection to the flights.

Andrew Pyne, Cathay Pacific general manager for international affairs, said: "What they are doing is verging on the illegal. They have no right to sell tickets. European Union scrutiny is unlikely to be completed until September. If passengers buy tickets, they could run afoul of the law. If ticket sales are ruled out of order, both Virgin Atlantic and passengers could have quite a problem.''

Cathay Pacific's opposition is thought to be linked to Virgin's refusal to hand over some of its landing slots at London's Heathrow airport to enable the Hong Kong airline to start trans-Atlantic services.

The wrangle comes seven months after British and Hong Kong government officials agreed on an air pact in November. The deal, which has to be confirmed by the EU, grants Virgin rights to Australia and Cathay Pacific approval to fly across the Atlantic between London and New York, in addition to wider access on the Hong Kong-UK route.

Grant acknowledged that Virgin has yet to decide whether it plans to review the designation clause, which currently limits Hong Kong-UK routes to carriers registered in the two jurisdictions. If a review is done, it could potentially open the route to other EU member states, a move that would be blocked by the Hong Kong government.

But he was confident the EU would not review the clause.

"If the designation clause is reviewed, then the European Union would have to review all the other air service agreements reach by all other member countries,'' he said. These include deals between Netherlands and China, and France and China.

"Our advice from the UK government is that we can go ahead. I wouldn't like to say there is no risk, but there is minimal risk,'' he said.

One aviation insider closely linked to the SAR government said there is a provisional understanding the EU will raise no objection to the Hong Kong-UK air pact.

"Whether in the future there is an EU review has still to be seen but for now the agreement is being applied provisionally,'' he said.

The source believed that if the EU planned to object there would have been a clear indication by now.

Pyne, meanwhile, confirmed that Cathay had asked the EU to take action against Virgin to persuade it to hand over to some of its trans-Atlantic landing slots at Heathrow.

Grant countered by saying that Virgin had written to Cathay, saying slots were becoming available from another airline. He said that while Virgin had spent 20 million (HK$286.61 million) buying additional slots from other airlines, landing slots "was not an EU issue''.

22 June 2004 / 02:10 AM
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Old June 23rd, 2004, 04:15 PM   #162
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Old June 23rd, 2004, 04:18 PM   #163
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Future of HK Hub - Sino-US pact opens the skies

From 2007, both nations' airlines will have the right to provide cargo services to third countries.

RUSSELL BARLING

Graphic from SCMP

23rd June 2004, South China Morning Post

China's new reciprocal air services agreement with the
United States will rewrite the aviation rule book in
Asia, and protectionist governments not up to the
challenge will watch the new era of open skies from
the ground.

According to a copy of the agreement seen by the South
China Morning Post, from 2007 both countries' airlines
will be granted so-called "Seventh Freedom" rights
allowing them to set up cargo hubs and serve
third-country destinations without having to return to
their home markets.

Express operators such as United Parcel Service will
be able to fly from a China hub to, for example, Tokyo
and back whenever it pleases. At present, such seventh
freedom rights are not available to foreign carriers
in most Asian countries including Hong Kong.

Three years after preset criteria for establishing a
hub have been met, operators will have almost complete
operational flexibility in terms of frequencies,
aircraft types, sales and marketing, trucking
distribution and self-handling. However, domestic
cargo will remain off limits to foreign carriers.

Regional negotiators already rendered breathless by
the dizzying pace of China's aviation reform are again
reaching for their oxygen masks.

"This is very close to an open agreement, especially
for express operators," an airline executive said
yesterday. "It is a very, very open agreement and will
impact on future air-service negotiations in Japan,
South Korea, Hong Kong - all across the region. Other
governments will have to react."

The Sino-US agreement could threaten Asian regional
hubs that are looking to mainland travellers and
cargoes for the lion's share of their revenues. New
mainland hubs could even begin to siphon off non-China
business from their regional rivals by 2007.

At particular risk are China-gateway ports such as
Hong Kong and Tokyo. Hong Kong, for example, relies on
China trade for 50 per cent of its imports by air and
70 per cent to 80 per cent of its exports.

With direct access to the mainland restricted, Sino-US
trade through Hong Kong has grown tremendously. In the
first quarter, for example, the value of goods moving
between the US and Hong Kong by air jumped a
comparative 23.2 per cent over the same period last
year to HK$295 billion.

But that could begin to change as soon as next month
when the Sino-US air services agreement is signed in
Beijing and the first new US cargo airline - expected
to be Polar Air Cargo - gets direct access to China in
August.

Asked if the new agreement would prompt his company to
reconsider the efficacy of its Hong Kong hub, a senior
executive for a US express operator said: "It all will
now depend on 2005", when US and Hong Kong aviation
officials open a new round of air services talks.

The air-services agreement also allows five new
carriers from each country to access the Sino-US
travel and air-cargo market by 2010. All cargo and
passenger operators will be allowed to serve any city,
whereas before US and mainland airlines were
restricted to five and 12 destinations respectively.

Cargo operators will be given 111 additional flights
per week by 2010 and passenger carriers 84. Before the
agreement, they had an aggregate of only 54 weekly
flights.

According to Ken Torok, Asia-Pacific president for
UPS, this represents a 500 per cent increase in
freight capacity between the two markets.

But even these impressive numbers pale in comparison
to the regulatory advances contained in the agreement,
particularly for cargo carriers.

Only four criteria must be met for a "point in the
territory of the other party" to be considered a hub.
An airline must serve it with 72 all-cargo aircraft
movements a week, employ dedicated cargo workers, use
dedicated cargo facilities at the airport and operate
a bonded facility under customs supervision.

Article 11b, Section C of the agreement reads:
"Airlines shall have the right to perform scheduled
international all-cargo services between the hub point
in the other party's territory and any point or points
in third countries, without serving the territory of
the designating party."

Section B of the same article sets out the post-2007
regulations for "change-of-gauge" operations, under
which carriers can fly into a hub with large aircraft
and redistribute cargo to smaller planes for shorter
regional connections.

It states: "[Carriers can] perform international air
services without any limitation as to change, at the
hub, in size, type or number of aircraft operated,
provided that only four flights may operate to another
point in that party's territory from the point of
change of gauge for each incoming aircraft"
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Old June 24th, 2004, 09:44 PM   #164
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Thursday June 24, 11:17 PM
HK's Cathay to add daily non-stop flight to Sydney

HONG KONG, June 24 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd will add an additional daily non-stop flight to Sydney from October 31, creating a thrice daily service to Sydney every day of the week.
The new service will bring the total number of flights to Sydney to 21 weekly, and the total number of flights to Australia to 43 per week.

The airline currently operates a twice-daily non-stop service between Hong Kong and Sydney. The new service will be operated by an Airbus A330-300 aircraft.

"Cathay Pacific now offers the most frequencies between Hong Kong and Sydney as well as Australia than any other airlines," the carrier said.

Its shares jumped 3.26 percent in Hong Kong on Thursday to end at HK$14.25 (US$1.83), before the latest announcement.
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Old June 26th, 2004, 07:19 AM   #165
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Disneyland Under Construction


Source : HKADB
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Old June 26th, 2004, 07:21 AM   #166
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Old June 26th, 2004, 11:03 PM   #167
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Helicopter firm to launch new airline

HK's fourth passenger carrier will target mid-size mainland cities and use small jets, executive says

JOSEPH LO
26 June 2004, South China Morning Post

Hong Kong-based helicopter operator has confirmed plans to launch a new passenger airline to be based at Chek Lap Kok.

The new airline, which will be Hong Kong's fourth passenger carrier, began its recruitment drive today, with an advertisement in the South China Morning Post calling for candidates for eight senior management positions. The head of Helicopters Hong Kong, Andrew Tse, plans to offer regular services to mid-sized cities on the mainland, using small jets seating 50 passengers.

The new airline is tentatively named Hong Kong Express, but Mr Tse said its name could be changed pending the completion of market research.

"We've reserved that name, but we'll do some market research first. It could be a variation of [Helicopters Hong Kong's] existing name," Mr Tse said.

The new airline is looking for people to fill the roles of marketing director, director of airports, interline sales manager, business analyst, director of maintenance, financial controller, revenue accounting supervisor and marketing communications manager.

It follows CR Airways, which flies 50-seat jets to the Philippines and Cambodia, as the latest airline to be established at Chek Lap Kok. The other passenger airlines based in Hong Kong are Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair.

"We're in no hurry to hire. The timing of the launch of our new airline will depend on the availability of aircraft ... which we plan to lease," Mr Tse said.

The launch of the airline also depends on successful negotiation of a new air services arrangement between local and mainland aviation authorities, which industry sources have said could be completed before the end of the summer.

No spare rights exist in the current arrangement for Hong Kong airlines to fly new mainland routes.

"I can't tell you where we plan to fly to, since the new deal has not been completed. But we are mainly looking at some cities in the mainland," Mr Tse said.

"We have made the decision to start hiring people now despite the lingering uncertainties, because we don't want to wait any longer. I hope the [deal] will be concluded as soon as possible," he said.

The air services talks, which have dragged on since early this year, have been a source of concern for Cathay, which is trying to gain the right for more flights to the mainland.
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Old June 28th, 2004, 09:12 PM   #168
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Hong Kong's Metrojet Expands Fleet, Acquires US$20 Million Gulfstream Executive Jet

Metrojet Limited, Asia's premier business aviation company, announced on 10 February 2004 that it has reached agreement with Gulfstream Aerospace, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, to purchase a US$20 million (HK$155.5 million) Gulfstream G200 large-cabin, mid-range business jet.

This is the third Gulfstream to be operated by Metrojet and the fourth executive jet that the company has introduced to Hong Kong since its establishment in 1995. This high performance executive jet will be delivered to Metrojet in the third quarter of 2004 and will be based at the Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre at the International Airport at Chek Lap Kok, where it will be operated and maintained by Metrojet for charter services.

Commenting on the acquisition, The Hon. Michael D. Kadoorie, Chairman of Metrojet Limited, said: "We are delighted to add another Gulfstream G200 aircraft to our expanding fleet. The demand for Metrojet's charter services in the Asia Pacific region is rapidly increasing, with a particular growth in demand for charter flights to and from China. This aircraft will provide us with extra capacity to offer to our expanding customer base and will further endorse our position as the premier business aviation company in Asia and the most experienced operator of non-scheduled flights into and within mainland China."

"Metrojet has been a pioneering force behind the region's development as a market for charter air travel," said Roger Sperry, Division Vice President, International Sales, Gulfstream Aerospace. "We are pleased the company has again chosen to expand its charter fleet by adding another G200 and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the company for many years."

The large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G200 can accommodate up to 10 passengers and offers outstanding performance with its excellent climb, high cruising altitude, high speed, and range of 3,600 nautical miles. Powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW306A engines, the G200 can operate at speeds up to Mach.85 and at altitudes up to 45,000 feet. The spacious cabin features low ambient sound levels, plenty of natural light from generous-sized windows and 100 percent fresh air circulation.

Also, the generous size of the G200 cabin serves both as a productive workspace for business travelers and a relaxing place for leisure travelers.

With its extensive experience and network of contacts, Metrojet is experiencing increasing demand for charter flights to all destinations within Asia and serves the major cities as well as the seldom-serviced secondary airports. In the last 12 months alone, Metrojet has experienced a 20% increase in the number of charter flight reservations for both business and leisure travel. The company specializes in flying to small cities and towns in China, a luxury not afforded to non-China registered aircraft. Metrojet draws on its unique operational experience and regional expertise to expedite the necessary overflight and landing permits, handle customs and immigration, clearances and baggage transfer.

Metrojet's services are the most flexible transportation option available, and Metrojet's Gulfstream aircraft are available 24 hours a day. Flying directly to customers' chosen destinations provides the fastest way to visit any number of metropolitan areas. Flight schedules are determined by customers' agendas - if plans change, so can flight times and destinations. If time is short or the location lacking, Metrojet's aircraft can serve as a private business centre where confidential meetings can be held on the ground or en route to the next destination.

Metrojet also unveiled plans today to launch an advantage card programme that will suit the requirements of individual and corporate charter customers. The Metrojet Insignia Card will be launched in the second quarter of 2004 and will allow charter air travelers to purchase trips on a Metrojet aircraft to zoned regional destinations in return for a range of benefits including discount rate flights, priority aircraft reservation, helicopter and limousine transfers, mileage rewards, and a dedicated concierge service.

On an annualized basis, business aviation flights in Hong Kong have experienced 15-20 per cent growth since the establishment of the Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre in 1988.
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Old June 29th, 2004, 01:52 AM   #169
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Golf all set to fly at Chek Lap Kok
Keith Wallis, Hong Kong Standard

The Airport Authority is expected to award a franchise for the development of a temporary golf course at Hong Kong International Airport by the end of August.

Hans Bakker, Airport Authority commercial director, said the deal will be awarded "within the next couple of months''.

MetroNews understands two groups are vying for the concession. The course, part of the 57 hectare SkyCity development in the north-east corner of Chek Lap Kok, is set to open in 2006-07.

Bakker was speaking after a Legislative Council economic services panel meeting yesterday morning when there was widespread support for the plan from lawmakers including the Democratic and Liberal parties.

David Pang, Airport Authority chief executive, said while the nine-hole course would generate HK$32 million in economic benefits, mainly additional spending by passengers and users, up to 2013, it would also create between 50 and 55 jobs. Allowing the private sector to develop the golf course will save the Airport Authority HK$20 million in initial landscaping costs plus more in on-going maintenance.

With such a relatively low economic return, Chan Kam-lam, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, questioned whether the Airport Authority was making the best use of the site.

Pang replied saying a study showed a golf course was the most viable option.

He said about 1.2 million transfer passengers had to wait in the airport for more than four hours. A survey showed 24 per cent had a high level of interest in playing golf at the airport.

He said 350 people a day will be able to play on the course, which will be open to other airport users. These include exhibitors attending events at the international exhibition centre, guests at the two planned airport hotels plus airport workers such as airline executives.

The Airport Authority envisages a 10-year concession for the 12 hectare site, which is earmarked for a business centre in the long-term.

Pang said the contract will include a clause that will allow the Airport Authority to terminate the franchise early, but conceded it may have to pay a penalty to the operator.

29 June 2004 / 02:48 AM
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Old June 29th, 2004, 02:04 AM   #170
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Old June 29th, 2004, 06:09 AM   #171
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Transmile to list forwarding unit
June 28, 2004, South China Morning Post

Transmile Group is to list its freight forwarding arm, Cen Worldwide, as the Kuala Lumpur-based air cargo company expands its presence in the lucrative China market and beyond in co-operation with Hong Kong's Kerry Logistics Group.

Transmile, which is controlled by Robert Kuok, was the surprise beneficiary of an air services agreement negotiated between Hong Kong and Malaysia in March, when it received fifth-freedom rights to fly beyond Hong Kong to destinations in the United States.
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Old June 29th, 2004, 04:41 PM   #172
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29 June 2004
Cathay Pacific signs new code-share agreement with Iberia



Cathay Pacific Airways and its oneworld alliance partner Iberia, Spain’s national carrier, today announced the launch of their first code-share agreement, which will offer customers better connections between Hong Kong, Madrid and Barcelona.

Under the agreement, which comes into effect on 2 July, Cathay Pacific will place its ‘CX’ code on Iberia flights between Amsterdam and Madrid, and Amsterdam and Barcelona. Iberia will, in turn, place its ‘IB’ code on all Cathay Pacific’s flights between Hong Kong and Amsterdam. Tickets went on sale today.

This is Cathay Pacific’s fourth code-share agreement with a oneworld partner and reinforces the alliance’s aim of strengthening co-operation between member airlines. Cathay Pacific already code shares with American Airlines, British Airways and Qantas.

Cathay Pacific Director Corporate Development Tony Tyler said: “We are delighted to add two new destinations and a new country to our network through our first code-share with Iberia, our Spanish oneworld partner. We will continue to work closely with other alliance partners to bring benefits to all our customers and strengthen Hong Kong as a global hub.”

Iberia Senior Vice President Alliances and International Relations Elvira Herrero said, "We are pleased to announce Hong Kong as a new Far East destination in Iberia's network, made possible through this code-share cooperation with Cathay Pacific. This also is a further strengthening of ties between oneworld carriers."

Cathay Pacific and Iberia are both members of oneworld, the leading global airline alliance, together with Aer Lingus, American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Qantas, and LAN. As part of a range of oneworld benefits, passengers on alliance carriers can earn and redeem frequent flyer rewards across each other's networks, and gain access to more partner airline lounges.
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Old June 29th, 2004, 09:31 PM   #173
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Old June 30th, 2004, 05:59 PM   #174
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FedEx Trade Networks Offers Year-Round Solution with Bi-weekly Air Charter Service from Hong Kong to the US

MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 29, 2004--

New Charter Flight Provides Increased Capacity to Serve Both Year-Round and Peak Season Needs

FedEx Trade Networks, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), announced today the addition of an MD-11 charter to its existing international air cargo distribution service from Hong Kong to the US. Now offering two scheduled flights each week with Thursday and Saturday departures, FedEx Trade Networks China Connect(SM) provides year-round air charter service from Hong Kong to Chicago and onto New York, with ground service throughout the US and Canada.

This service supplements FedEx Trade Networks' existing cargo capacity on commercial flights from the same region. The additional charter provides augmented air capacity, reliable transit times, dedicated space to importers moving air freight and secure lift throughout the entire year, including critical capacity times such as peak season.

"FedEx Trade Networks is responding to customer demand by adding another chartered FedEx Express MD-11 to our China Connect service," said Ed Clark, president and CEO of FedEx Trade Networks. "We are providing our customers with consistent and dependable year-round service, unlike other providers that only offer additional lift during peak season."

The additional MD-11 doubles the charter capacity offered by FedEx Trade Networks China Connect, providing 180,000 pounds of increased capacity each week. The extra freighter also allows for main deck cargo storage, offering increased height capacity (up to 26 upper deck pallet positions). Customers will also benefit from:

- Augmented space throughout the entire year, including critical capacity times
- Eliminated risk of freight being bumped by items such as passenger baggage or mail
- Consistent flight schedule
- End-to-end, dependable FedEx service

FedEx Trade Networks China Connect serves a variety of industries including garments, high-tech, automotive and finished consumer goods. Cities that can be serviced from Chicago through FedEx Trade Networks China Connect include Detroit, Columbus, Atlanta, Memphis, Nashville, Toronto and Milwaukee. Cities served from New York include Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston and Montreal.

For Christopher & Banks Corporation, a specialty retailer of women's apparel based in Minneapolis, the additional lift is critical to getting their product to market faster and more cost effectively. Currently operating over 500 stores in 42 states, Christopher & Banks imports their products from Hong Kong to Chicago and onto Minneapolis, via ground transportation.

"We see several advantages in using this service, including a higher frequency of charter flights and additional cargo space," said Dawn Stattman, Accounting Manager of Christopher & Banks. "Now we can get products to our stores quickly and hassle free. With FedEx Trade Networks China Connect we know there's a flight coming from Hong Kong when we need it."

About FedEx Trade Networks

FedEx Trade Networks, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., is a provider of customs brokerage, global ocean and air cargo distribution, Trade and Customs Advisory Services, information technology, and trade facilitation solutions. With over five million entries filed annually, FedEx Trade Networks is the largest-volume customs entry filer in North America. Through its product FedEx Trade Networks WorldTariff(SM) (known as Eurotariff in Europe), FedEx Trade Networks is recognized as a leading source of multi-country Customs duty and tax information. More information about FedEx Trade Networks can be found at ftn.fedex.com.

About FedEx Corporation

FedEx Corp. provides customers and businesses worldwide with the broadest portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $25 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brands. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 240,000 employees and contractors to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities.
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Old July 1st, 2004, 12:37 AM   #175
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Wednesday June 30, 11:08 PM
Hong Kong's airport profits plummet 23 percent due to SARS in 2003

(AP) Hong Kong's airport profits plunged 23 percent in 2003 as revenue dwindled when airlines scaled back services to the territory during an outbreak of SARS, the airport operator said Wednesday.

The Airport Authority said its net profit for the fiscal year ending March 31 dropped from 502 million Hong Kong dollars (US$64.4 million) to HK$386 million (US$49.5 million) the previous year.

Its revenue declined from HK$5.42 billion (US$695 million) to HK$5.04 billion (US$646 million) over the same period.

The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome devastated Hong Kong's tourism industry and other tourism-driven businesses by keeping travelers away. Airlines canceled thousands of flights.

Hong Kong's airport was hit hard because it typically draws about 40 percent of its revenue from charges to airlines, including landing, parking and terminal fees, an airport authority spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity.

She said revenue was also hurt because of reduced sales at retail outlets in the airport, which pay a fixed percentage of their profits to the airport.

The airport spent HK$192 million (US$24 million) on relief and incentive measures, including landing fee discounts, to draw airlines and travelers back.

The Airport Authority said passenger traffic fell by 19 percent to 27.7 million people during the 2003-04 fiscal year.

The SARS epidemic infected 1,755 people in Hong Kong and killed 299. Worldwide, 774 people died and thousands were sickened.
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Old July 5th, 2004, 11:30 AM   #176
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Airports Council International relocates to Hong Kong


The Airports Council International (ACI), an association of the world's airports, has relocated its Pacific Regional Office from Vancouver to Hong Kong.

Speaking at the opening reception, the head of the Airport Authority, Dr David Pang, said Hong Kong was the ideal location for the office. Dr Pang was recently elected President of the regional board of the council.

"Half the world's population is within five hours' flying time from Hong Kong and air traffic in the Asia-Pacific region, in particular China, is forecast to grow at a higher rate over the next 20 years than other markets, offering vast growth opportunities," he said.

"The ACI Pacific Regional Office can serve as a platform for technology transfer, knowledge learning and experience sharing for airports in the region, helping each other to meet market demand and to grow their businesses."

The new office will be headed by the Regional Director, Mr Andrew Ma, who brings over 30 years of international trade promotion experience with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, where he headed the regional offices in New York and London.

"The fact that Hong Kong was chosen as the regional office is testament to its strategic location as well as its importance in terms of connectivity to such key markets as China," said Mr Ma.

The Associate Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, Mr Mark Michelson, said the presence of the new ACI office would further strengthen Hong Kong's position as a regional and international aviation hub.

ACI is a non-profit organisation, which aims to foster co-operation among its member airports and with other partners in world aviation, including governmental, airline and aircraft manufacturing organisations. It was established in 1991 and now has 535 members operating almost 1,500 airports in 165 countries and territories.

Ends/Friday, July 2 2004
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Old July 7th, 2004, 05:23 AM   #177
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Old July 7th, 2004, 06:56 AM   #178
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Old July 7th, 2004, 07:44 AM   #179
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06 July 2004
WEEKLY CHARTER SERVICE TO SENDAI SET TO TAKE OFF IN JULY



(HONG KONG) Dragonair is to operate a charter service to Sendai in Japan every Sunday between July 25 and August 29.

The flights have been chartered as part of two-city package tours organised by four Hong Kong travel agencies. Travellers will be able to fly to Sendai and return from Tokyo, or vice versa.

"Sendai is famous for its summer festivals as well as for hot springs, while Tokyo is an unforgettable cultural experience," said Andy Tung, Chief Operating Officer. "Summer is a great time to visit Japan, especially now that visas are not required for Hong Kong travellers holding SAR or BNO passports."

Full details of the packages are available from the four travel agencies chartering the flights: Wing On Travel (tel: 2928 8882); Sunflower (tel: 2732 2888); Hong Thai (tel: 2108 8888); or Package Tour (tel: 3443 0707).

Dragonair launched services to Tokyo on April 2 this year, and flies there seven times a week.


05 July 2004
DRAGONAIR TAKES DELIVERY OF FIFTH FREIGHTER, SEES GROWTH CONTINUING

(HONG KONG) Dragonair has taken delivery of a Boeing 747-200 with a capacity of 110 tonnes. It becomes the fourth purchased freighter in the airline's five-strong fleet, joining three B747-300s and a wet-leased Airbus 300B4.

"We've now added a freighter to our fleet every year since 2000, in a reflection of the growth of the air cargo market in the Mainland," said Chief Executive Officer Stanley Hui.

"China's airfreight market is booming as a result of the country's entry to the World Trade Organisation and its development into the manufacturing base for the world. In the first five months of this year we have seen a 22% increase in cargo volumes compared with the same period last year."

The B747-200 arrived in Hong Kong from Xiamen, where it underwent an extensive maintenance check.

"The addition of the freighter to our fleet will allow us to enhance Hong Kong's position as a cargo hub for the Mainland at a time when the market there is still at an early stage of development. We see even greater growth opportunities going forward," Mr. Hui said.

Dragonair has announced plans to add five B747-400 freighter aircraft to its fleet between 2006 and 2008.
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Old July 7th, 2004, 09:44 PM   #180
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Wednesday July 7, 7:50 PM
HK June air cargo volume rises 17.3 pct yr-on-yr

HONG KONG, July 7 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's main air cargo handler, Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd (HACTL), said on Wednesday its freight volume in June jumped sharply from a year earlier, fuelled by strong exports, particularly to Europe.
HACTL, which is 25 percent owned by Jardine Matheson Holdings and 20 percent by Swire Pacific Ltd , said air cargo volume in June totalled 183,374 tonnes, up 17.3 percent from a year earlier, HACTL said in a statement.

Air cargo throughput for the first six months this year jumped 16.4 percent to 1.07 million tonnes from a year ago.

HACTL attributed the increase to rising export volume, which grew 22.6 percent in June and 21.7 percent in the first six months respectively.

Hong Kong is the world's busiest international air cargo terminal.
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