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Old January 22nd, 2005, 09:15 AM   #281
huaiwei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
The above piece was written before the European air services pact was signed. In fact, the UK agreement came in 2003 while the US agreement was signed in 2002, so naturally at that time Cathay would not be able to fly the transatlantic route. That's why the transatlantic route issue came up when the British deal was reached. Otherwise BMI and Singapore Airlines would not have voiced opposition to the deal if the New York - London route was not on the table. In fact, both airlines specifically referred to Cathay's approval to fly that transatlantic route in their petitions.

Analyze the sentence structure :
But it gives airlines from the US and Hong Kong direct rights to serve any city in the other’s territory, allows carriers to sell seats on partners’ flights, awards ‘beyond rights’ to third countries and substantially improves linkages for all-cargo airlines

The fifth freedom rights that allow beyond rights to third countries involve passenger services. The cargo implications are linked with a conjunction so that is separate.

In fact, Cathay's granting of the New York - London route is consistently talked about in the news media covering the UK-HK bilateral air services agreement, and is consistently being the source of complaints by rival airlines. If it is not the issue, why is there such a big reaction?
It is quite simple, really. Singapore Airlines already has the right to fly to the US from any destination, and the British knows it. That Singapore should be the most vocal against any other airline being given the right is fully understandable too, for afterall, the only thing preventing it from entering that market is the British authorities.

We do not need to further analyse the text in media articles. Show us the exact text in the actual agreement signed. I know what I am talking about, when I say that Cathay Pacific has not been given any rights from the United states to fly passengers to London, although they can fly cargo only.
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 09:38 AM   #282
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The transatlantic route is extremely lucrative, so it's quite surprising a reknowned international airline such as Cathay Pacific was granted rights to fly this route to compete with the established American and British carriers. Why ? Because there were major concessions that the British received for giving Hong Kong the route. This occurred despite Cathay being ranked higher than any of its competitors consistently on international quality surveys.

Airlines Exercising their 5th Freedom Rights

Air India
Mumbai - London - New York
Mumbai - London - Chicago

Kuwait Airways
Kuwait - London - New York (same flight number)
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 09:41 AM   #283
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Quote:
We do not need to further analyse the text in media articles. Show us the exact text in the actual agreement signed. I know what I am talking about, when I say that Cathay Pacific has not been given any rights from the United states to fly passengers to London, although they can fly cargo only.
So are you saying the Financial Times is inaccurate in its reporting? There are scores of other articles that say the exact same thing, which makes me wonder what is the basis of your point. Perhaps you should show the exact wording that forbids Cathay from flying passenger flights between New York and London.

In fact, nowhere in the articles does it say the fifth freedom rights apply to cargo only.
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 10:36 AM   #284
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
So are you saying the Financial Times is inaccurate in its reporting? There are scores of other articles that say the exact same thing, which makes me wonder what is the basis of your point. Perhaps you should show the exact wording that forbids Cathay from flying passenger flights between New York and London.

In fact, nowhere in the articles does it say the fifth freedom rights apply to cargo only.
No. The entire text there, plus the text from any other source pertaining to the US-HK aviation pact, says that only all-cargo flights enjoys fifth freedom rights. Nowhere does it say that passenger flights enjoy the same priviledge. I do find it amusing for you to actually misread this information!
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 10:54 AM   #285
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
The transatlantic route is extremely lucrative, so it's quite surprising a reknowned international airline such as Cathay Pacific was granted rights to fly this route to compete with the established American and British carriers. Why ? Because there were major concessions that the British received for giving Hong Kong the route. This occurred despite Cathay being ranked higher than any of its competitors consistently on international quality surveys.

Airlines Exercising their 5th Freedom Rights

Air India
Mumbai - London - New York
Mumbai - London - Chicago

Kuwait Airways
Kuwait - London - New York (same flight number)
Air India and Kuwait Airways, with Air India opeating 7 flights per week, and Kuwait Airways flying 3 times a week between Heathrow and JFK...geez. That must be really competitive, eh?

If the transatlantic route is that lucrative, and if Cathay has the relevant rights to fly the route, then when is it going to launch that flight?

Meanwhile, Cathay may have won awards for international quality surveys, but it dosent happen to be the only one, and neither is it neccesarily consistent. Singapore Airlines grapped the best airline skytrax award last year, for example.
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 01:01 PM   #286
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
This is in dispute, since other regional airports have successfully been chosen as stopover points for kangaroo flights. The biggest success story by far is Dubai, as Emirates wants to develop its own hub. Hong Kong and Bangkok have also been choices for stopovers. In fact, Virgin Atlantic was pushing very hard for the HK-UK air services agreement so they could fly to Australia through Hong Kong. So why would an airline 49% owned by SIA choose Hong Kong as the stopover point rather than codeshare through Singapore?
Of coz, they will be other alternative airports being used for transit points on the highly lucrative kangaroo route, but the amount of seats being used via the Singaporean hub continues to dominate the market, and by a huge % too. Qantas, for example, also flies to London via Bangkok and Hong Kong, but how many flights compared to the route via Singapore?

Direct flight pairs, one way only:

via Bangkok

British Airways: London - Bangkok: 7 flights per week
British Airways: Bangkok - Sydney: 7 flights per week
EVA Air: London - Bangkok: 5 flights per week
Phuket Air: London - Bangkok: 5 flights per week
Qantas Airways: London - Bangkok: 7 flights per week
Thai Airways: Bangkok - Brisbane: 4 flights per week
Thai Airways: Bangkok - Melbourne: 5 flights per week (7 via Sydney)
Thai Airways: Bangkok - Perth: 4 flights per week
Thai Airways: Bangkok - Sydney: 14 flights per week
Thai Airways: London - Bangkok: 14 flights per week

via Dubai

Biman Bangladesh: London - Dubai: 4 flights per week
British Airways: London - Dubai: 18 flights per week
Emirates: Birmingham - Dubai: 7 flights per week
Emirates: Dubai - Melbourne: 7 flights per week
Emirates: Dubai - Perth: 7 flights per week
Emirates: Dubai - Sydney: 7 flights per week (412)
Emirates: Glasgow - Dubai: 7 flights per week (25)
Emirates: London (Heathrow) - Dubai: 28 flights per week
Emirates: London (Gatwick) - Dubai: 21 flights per week
Emirates: Manchester - Dubai: 14 flights per week
Royal Burunei: London - Dubai: 7 flights per week

via Hong Kong

Australian Airlines: Hong Kong - Cairns: 3 flights per week
British Airways: London - Hong Kong: 17 flights per week
Cathay Pacific: London - Hong Kong: 21 flights per week
Cathay Pacific: Hong Kong - Brisbane: 5 flights per week
Cathay Pacific: Hong Kong - Cairns: 2 flights per week
Cathay Pacific: Hong Kong - Melbourne: 14 flights per week
Cathay Pacific: Hong Kong - Perth: 3 flights per week
Cathay Pacific: Hong Kong - Sydney: 21 flights per week
Qantas Airways: London - Hong Kong: 3 flights per week
Qantas Airways: Hong Kong - Brisbane: 4 flights per week
Qantas Airways: Hong Kong - Melbourne: 10 flights per week
Qantas Airways: Hong Kong - Perth: 3 flights per week
Qantas Airways: Hong Kong - Sydney: 14 flights per week
Virgin Atlantic: London - Hong Kong: 7 flights per week
Virgin Atlantic: Hong Kong - Sydney: 7 flights per week

via Singapore

Australian Airlines: Singapore - Cairns: 4 flights per week
Australian Airlines: Singapore - Darwin: 3 flights per week
Australian Airlines: Singapore - Melbourne: 2 flights per week
Austrian Airlines: Singapore - Melbourne: 3 flights per week
British Airways: London - Singapore: 14 flights per week
British Airways: Singapore - Melbourne: 7 flights per week
British Airways: Singapore - Sydney: 7 flights per week
Emirates: Singapore - Brisbane: 7 flights per week
Emirates: Singapore - Melbourne: 7 flights per week
Gulf Air: Singapore - Sydney: 7 flights per week
Qantas Airways: London - Singapore: 17 flights per week
Qantas Airways: Singapore - Brisbane: 7 flights per week
Qantas Airways: Singapore - Darwin: 3 flights per week
Qantas Airways: Singapore - Melbourne: 7 flights per week
Qantas Airways: Singapore - Perth: 14 flights per week
Qantas Airways: Singapore - Sydney: 14 flights per week
Singapore Airlines: London - Singapore: 21 flights per week
Singapore Airlines: Manchester - Singapore: 7 flights per week
Singapore Airlines: Singapore - Adelaide: 4 flights per week
Singapore Airlines: Singapore - Brisbane: 21 flights per week
Singapore Airlines: Singapore - Melbourne: 21 flights per week
Singapore Airlines: Singapore - Perth: 17 flights per week
Singapore Airlines: Singapore - Sydney: 21 flights per week
Valuair: Singapore - Perth: 7 flights per week

Total number of flights:

Total from UK - Bangkok: 33 flights per week
Total from UK - Dubai: 109 flights per week
Total from UK - Hong Kong: 48 flights per week
Total from UK - Singapore: 59 flights per week

Total from Bangkok - Australia: 34 flights per week
Total from Dubai - Australia: 21 flights per week
Total from Hong Kong - Australia: 86 flights per week
Total from Singapore - Australia: 183 flights per week

Total via Bangkok: 67 flights per week (minimum 33 UK - Australia)
Total via Dubai: 139 flights per week (minimum 21 UK - Australia)
Total via Hong Kong: 134 flights per week (minimum 48 UK - Australia)
Total via Singapore: 242 flights per week (minimum 59 UK - Australia)

Let the numbers speak for themselves. No surprise why Singapore Airlines chooses to use its A380 on the London-Singapore-Sydney route for its maiden launch!

Virgin is desperate to fly to Australia, because it wants to link up with its LCC startup there, as well as compete with its bitter competitor British Airways, plus her allies Qantas Airways and Cathay Pacific. That British Airways has yet to fly from Hong Kong to Australia is another plus for Virgin Atlantic in taking advantage of the lack in competition.

There has been talk about why Virgin does not fly to Singapore in airliners.net. and the most common speculation from there, was that there is little reason for Virgin Atlantic to compete directly with Singapore Airlines when the later owns 49% of the former (although Brenson does not discount the possibility of that in the future). In fact, both airlines are noted to be excellent partners, because they dont fly on the same route of each other in any sector!
Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Hong Kong's primary market is not transit flights.
Not quite. Andrew Pyne, Cathay Pacific's general manager for international affairs, was quoted as saying
Quote:
that about a third of all passenger traffic passing through Chek Lap Kok airport is mainland-related. Consequently, a more open deal with the mainland would make a huge difference to the ability of Hong Kong to develop its hub and China gateway potential.

"No agreement or a bad agreement could ruin prospects for Hong Kong's future," Pyne said in an interview in the latest issue of CX World, the airline's in-house magazine. "Ten years ago, international travellers seeking a gateway to the mainland automatically chose Hong Kong. If nothing is done now, in five years' time Hong Kong could be the worst location," he said
China has signed its very first open-skies pact with Thailand. It is strange, that it has yet to sign one with its own city of Hong Kong, by the resistance of the later!
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Last edited by huaiwei; January 22nd, 2005 at 03:29 PM.
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 02:57 PM   #287
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Emirates: Manchester - Dubai: 14 flights per week
Singapore Airlines: Manchester - Singapore: 7 flights per week
I was going though all those flights you have put up, I think its possible that the A380 first flight from Manchester will be from one those to flights. I know emirates are buying the A380 but are singapore buying them as well?
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 03:17 PM   #288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andysimo123
I know emirates are buying the A380 but are singapore buying them as well?
Sure.....in fact Singapore Airlines is the launch customer of A380......flying the A380 next year......
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 09:30 PM   #289
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How the Airbus A380 is helping British engineers
By Peter Marsh, Jonathan Guthrie and Lisa Urquhart
Published: January 21 2005 20:22 | Last updated: January 21 2005 20:22

A humdrum industrial estate on the outskirts of Bristol is a world away from the razzmatazz of this week's Airbus A380 launch in Toulouse.

But some of the excitement has rubbed off on Redcliffe Precision, a small engineering business making components for the mighty new airliner.

Kevin Sage, director of the company, says the A380 has been "a lifesaver". Just 18 months ago he was contemplating closing the family-owned business that his father set up 35 years ago.

Annual sales had slumped from £1m to £300,000 and staff numbers had fallen from 18 to 10 after Airbus, whose UK headquarters is at nearby Filton, cancelled an important programme.

Mr Sage, 33, "felt like a nail being hammered into the ground". But a pitch 16 months ago to Smiths, a big UK engineering company that is a large supplier to Airbus, won his company orders making aluminium parts such as brackets. He has been able to create four jobs and has bought four production machines at a cost of £160,000. Sales will be back above £1m in 2006, he hopes.

Mr Sage, like many in the aerospace business, says the period after the terrorist attacks in the US in 2001 - which greatly hit demand for air travel - was "a nightmare". But thanks partly to the A380, as well as several other big multinational aerospace projects, he says prospects in the sector are brightening.

Similar sentiments have been voiced all over the UK this week following the formal unveiling of the A380 - a 555-seat "superjumbo" that is the first full-length "double-decker" aircraft. The project marks a ratcheting up in the rivalry between Airbus and Boeing of the US and is regarded by many as the most potent symbol so far of European industrial co-operation.

While people in the UK commonly regard pan-European programmes with a hint of suspicion, the A380 has attracted almost universal admiration, including from Tony Blair - one of four government leaders to attend this week's launch.

Repayable launch aid from the UK taxpayer to support the A380, including engine development, has totalled £780m.

A key reason for the applause is that UK-based companies could end up among the main beneficiaries of the A380 project as full-scale production gets under way. The first commercial flight is expected in 2006, after which Airbus hopes manufacturing will build up to about 50 aircraft a year. According to industry estimates, UK-based companies could account for up to a third of the value of the work on the A380, putting about £1bn a year into the UK economy in the next 30 years and increasing by 50 to 100 per cent the amount of work that UK companies are doing under existing Airbus projects.

Companies benefiting from the project include large groups such as GKN, BAE Systems, Smiths and Rolls-Royce, as well as hundreds of smaller companies.

The wider ramifications have impressed Sir Digby Jones, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry. He says: "For every large company involved in this project, there are many small suppliers which are also benefiting by being exposed to new ideas in technology and boosting manufacturing efficiencies. The programme is getting the message across that engineering in Britain has a promising future."

The UK aerospace industry has about 3,000 companies with combined revenues of some £17bn a year, comprising up to 10 per cent of the UK's engineering sector and employing 120,000 people.

A further 150,000 people are employed in other engineering sub-contractors reliant on aerospace, for instance making specialised metal parts.

Calculations on how much the UK will benefit from the A380 are difficult because no one knows how the aircraft will perform commercially and hence the value of the manufacturing work.

Nor does anyone know how the work will be shared out.

Such is the global nature of the aerospace industry that the US will gain from many A380 contracts owing to companies such as GKN giving much of its A380-related manufacturing to plants that it runs outside Britain.

Graham Chisnall, director of strategy at GKN, says it hopes to gain roughly £1m for every aircraft built - but nearly half the work on this will benefit its factories in the US and Germany.

Techno Group is an example of a small company that has benefited from the trickle-down effect of the A380 project. It has two factories, in Hastings and Rugby, employing 38 people. With annual sales of £2.9m, it makes a range of precisely machined parts for a variety of industries.

Fred Moser, chief executive, says: "We've gained a tremendous amount through our involvement with Airbus and other aerospace programmes. As a result, we've been able to make parts with greater accuracy and this has helped us to win contracts in other fields such as medical products, opto-electronics and oil exploration."

Dean Scholes, director of business strategy at Hyde Group, a maker of specialised assembly fixtures and other components for the aerospace industry based in Manchester, says in the past two years that Airbus has given it £50m of A380-related contracts. All relate to special tooling systems to help in the construction of the aircraft wings.

The wing structures, fuel systems and parts of the landing gear are the main parts of the A380 with which UK companies are most heavily involved. "The work with Airbus has given a huge boost to our technological capabilities and has led to the creation of about 30 new jobs," says Mr Scholes.

Terry Twigger, chief executive of Meggitt, an aerospace company, says the challenge of producing ultra-powerful brakes for the A380 has been extremely taxing. The brakes stop the equivalent of 45 double-decker buses travelling at 200 mph in under 25 seconds. To make the brakes work effectively, Meggitt and its partner in the project - Honeywell of the US - had to devise light composite materials for the hardware that would help slow the aircraft without increasing its weight.

While Mr Twigger says work in this field of materials could benefit the company in other aerospace projects, other businesses involved with the A380 say their experiences in fields such as computer-aided design and machining of intricate parts could help them in a range of other industrial fields, including construction and automotive.

Another company that reckons it will gain from its involvement with the project is McBraida, based in Bristol, which has added five people to its payroll of 85 partly thanks to its work on the A380. It made parts for the Rolls-Royce engines that feature in the aircraft.

Andrew Cunliffe, director of the family-owned business, is cautiously optimistic, saying he expects the company's £8m annual sales to rise gradually in the next few years. He is also building an extension to the company's factory, creating extra space that should make production more efficient.

Mr Cunliffe feels Airbus could be owed an apology by critics who claimed it was a lumbering organisation that would never match its US rivals.

He says: "Airbus has proved itself to be a very capable organisation that can compete strongly on the world stage with businesses such as Boeing."

More pertinently from the point of view of the UK engineering industry, the Airbus programme promises to give a hard-pressed sector a new lease of life.
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 10:16 PM   #290
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Quote:
Of coz, they will be other alternative airports being used for transit points on the highly lucrative kangaroo route, but the amount of seats being used via the Singaporean hub continues to dominate the market, and by a huge % too. Qantas, for example, also flies to London via Bangkok and Hong Kong, but how many flights compared to the route via Singapore?
The point is there are many other options for the kangaroo stopover route now. Thailand is a logical choice because of its tourism draw, and Emirates is trying to make Dubai an international hub. At the same time, Hong Kong is using its air services agreements with the UK and Australia to attract kangaroo flights. The market has changed. It is no longer 1 dominant city, but a competition of many more.

What I'm interested in seeing is a market share distribution based on capacity (and possibly revenues) per city over time.

Just because a third of passenger traffic through HKG is mainland-related doesn't mean it is all transit traffic. In fact, millions of mainlanders visited Hong Kong for leisure, and tourism traffic drives the passenger numbers. These are point-to-point passengers rather than transit. As Chinese cities grow their international connections, there is less need for mainlanders to transit via Hong Kong, so transit passenger growth is not expected to move significantly from now on. With Baiyun's opening, more international airlines are offering point-to-point service from Guangzhou, and residents in the Pearl River Delta have one more choice to choose from when flying overseas.

It's highly unlikely residents far outside the Pearl River Delta (Wuhan, Shanghai, etc.) will need to fly to Hong Kong to go overseas. Beijing and Shanghai are both well-connected cities, which is why Hong Kong's mainland traffic is highly likely to be point-to-point.

Obviously, Cathay wants to use the transit passenger reason to gain mainland routes. Passengers can connect via Hong Kong to fly to Asia and beyond. However, why would mainlanders want to change planes when their largest cities are already offering nonstop direct services? That doesn't make any sense. However, Cathay will benefit significantly by capturing the millions of mainlanders coming to Hong Kong for leisure - point-to-point traffic.

And Cathay got its wish under the bilateral air services agreement with China. They are now flying to Beijing while services to Shanghai (cargo) and Xiamen will begin soon. Add to that Cathay joins Air India, Kuwait Airways and Air New Zealand with fifth freedom rights to fly across the Atlantic to New York.
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 10:35 PM   #291
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Quote:
No. The entire text there, plus the text from any other source pertaining to the US-HK aviation pact, says that only all-cargo flights enjoys fifth freedom rights. Nowhere does it say that passenger flights enjoy the same priviledge. I do find it amusing for you to actually misread this information!
Here is your error in logic, because the US-HK bilateral air services agreemnt was struck before the British signed one with Hong Kong. So back then, CX could not fly across the Atlantic. The British wouldn't let them. That is reflected in the literature.

The US-HK air services agreement gives American cargo airlines fifth freedom rights to fly beyond Hong Kong. I think that's what you've been talking about all this time. You have missed the other side of the story. Hong Kong airlines were allowed to codeshare to reach any American city and granted rights to fly beyond.

Here is a press release from the Us Department of State regarding the allocation of cargo flights for American carriers.
http://usinfo.state.gov/eap/Archive/...19-408108.html

A year later, the British reached a deal with Hong Kong, and fifth freedom rights were granted. Since the US side already allowed CX flights out of their country to 3rd country cities under the US-HK agreement, the British agreement was the final piece of the puzzle to allow transatlantic flights.

Cathay is very excited about starting transatlantic flights, but they had to wait for the EU to approve the deal and also secure landing slots to start the flights. Virgin encountered similar problems, so they actually had to wait several months before they could start flying to Australia via Hong Kong.

Singapore Airlines does not have fifth freedom rights to fly across thr Atlantic. Only Air India, Air NZ, Cathay Pacific, and Kuwait Airways have these rights. There is a difference between open skies, bilateral air services, and fifth freedom rights. Just because a country has an open skies agreement with another doesn't mean fifth freedom rights are automatically granted. Perhaps you can show that Singapore has been granted fifth freedom rights with both the US and the UK to justify why SIA could fly the transatlantic route.

If SIA has the rights to fly across the Atlantic but is not interested in flying the route right now, why would they be so vocal about unfairness that Cathay got these fifth freedom rights? If they care about the market, wouldn't they be flying the route right now to make some money?

What's clear amidst all this is that Cathay was given fifth freedom rights to fly across the Atlantic while SIA doesn't. That's why SIA was bickering so much, and all these points are reflected by reports from many different organizations. Similarly, BMI was complaining about the pact as well. Obviously these flights have nothing to do with cargo since BMI flies passenger flights to the US. Why would they complain if Cathay is only allowed to fly cargo-only flights when they themselves are not in the market?

Excerpts from Media Reports of the UK-HK Agreement, which followed the US-HK deal :

Financial Times, London
Virgin plans to introduce daily flights next summer from London to Sydney via Hong Kong, while Cathay Pacific would have the right to fly from Hong Kong to New York via London. British Airways, a dominant force on both the North Atlantic routes from London and the so-called kangaroo routes from London to Australia in a joint venture with Qantas, the Australian flag-carrier, will bear the brunt of the increased competition.

In return Hong Kong is seeking similar fifth freedom rights for Cathay Pacific, its de facto flag carrier, to fly to the US via London's Heathrow airport.

The British government is understood to have backed the deal, but it is expected to run into severe opposition from some other carriers, most significantly BMI British Midland and Singapore Airlines, which have been campaigning in vain for several years to fly on the lucrative transatlantic routes from Heathrow to the US.
The US is willing to accept flights by Cathay, while it is blocking BMI in the absence of a much wider so-called "open skies" deal with the UK or between the European Union and the US.

The Standard, Hong Kong
It also gives Cathay Pacific the rights to launch transatlantic services between London and New York, while allowing Virgin Atlantic to fly between Hong Kong and Sydney.

"For the first time, Hong Kong and the UK have liberalised codeshare arrangements so Hong Kong carriers can codeshare beyond London, and UK airlines can codeshare beyond Hong Kong,"

Hong Kong Government Press Release
The new package includes fifth-freedom rights for the UK airlines to operate beyond Hong Kong to Sydney and for Hong Kong airlines to operate beyond London to New York. "The equitable exchange of fifths will enable airlines of the two sides to further expand their network, thus bringing more flights into and out of the Hong Kong International Airport," Mr Fung said, adding this was clearly important for Hong Kong to maintain its role as an international aviation and logistics hub.
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 10:42 PM   #292
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UPDATE: HK Cathay Pacific Wins London-NY Route
27 November 2003

(Updates an item published at 1049 GMT with comments from the U.K. Ministry of Transport and the European Commission, paragraphs 17-18)

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)-- Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Hong Kong's biggest airline, Thursday won the right to serve the lucrative London-to-New York market, following three days of talks between the Hong Kong and U.K. governments.

In exchange, privately owned British carrier Virgin Atlantic will be allowed to extend its London to Hong Kong services to Sydney.

Government officials said Thursday that Hong Kong airlines would be given the right to fly to any point in the U.K., as well as fly between London and New York. While they didn't specify carriers, Hong Kong's only other major airline, Hong Kong Dragon Airlines only flies in the Asia-Pacific region.

A Cathay spokeswoman confirmed the talks had ended, but said approval was subject to agreement from the European Commission. It declined to comment further.

Virgin, in turn, issued a statement saying that while the flights would be subject to European Commission approval, they expected this to be granted so that flights can start in mid-2004.

The agreement provides for unlimited capacity on routes between Hong Kong and the U.K.

"In pursuit of the government's progressive liberalization policies on air services, the two sides had agreed to remove all existing capacity restrictions between Hong Kong and the U.K.," said Hong Kong Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Labor Wilson Fung.

Fung led the Hong Kong delegation in the latest round of negotiations, while the U.K. delegation was headed by Tony Baker, Director of International Aviation Negotiations.

In addition, the two sides exchanged fifth freedom rights. Under the agreement, U.K. airlines can operate flights between Hong Kong to Sydney, while Hong Kong airlines can operate between London and New York.

Fifth-freedom rights entitle airlines to pick up passengers and cargo at intermediate stops en route to a final destination.

Sources involved in the negotiations said the Hong Kong-Sydney and London-New York routes will each be allocated seven weekly return flights.

"We believe the new agreement will bring more competition to routes between Hong Kong and the U.K. and the Hong Kong aviation industry," Fung said.

"This will increase the number of flights in and out of Hong Kong, thereby maintaining Hong Kong International Airport's role as an international aviation and logistics hub."

For now, the hurdle the airlines will have to face is European Commission approval.

In June, transport ministers from E.C. member states agreed to give the commission the right to negotiate route and access deals with non-member states on their behalf. It also agreed that individual states, such as the U.K. in this case, could negotiate deals with other countries but must act on behalf of all member states.

"The U.K. government needs to go through the necessary procedures with the European Commission. Subsequently, the U.K. and Hong Kong need to exchange a final document before the agreement can be brought into force," Fung added, without providing a time frame for this process.

The U.K. Department of Transport said separately that the provisions of the agreement would be deferred until the Commission has confirmed that "it does not harm the object and purpose of the E.U. common transport policy."

"The U.K. authorities believe that this liberalizing deal is in accord with that policy," the department said in a statement. Commission spokesman Giles Gantelet said the important thing is that the U.K. informed other member states about the context of the talks.

"There's no reason to think that what has been agreed between the U.K. and Hong Kong doesn't respect E.U. rules," he said.

Cathay first requested the flights between London and New York four years ago. Air services talks between Hong Kong and the U.K. were originally scheduled to take place in September, but were reportedly postponed after U.K. carrier British Midland Airways objected to Cathay Pacific being granted trans-Atlantic traffic rights from London.

Ahead of the granting of the rights, analysts said that Cathay stood to gain from flying between London and New York.

"The upside of getting the Heathrow-to-JFK route would more than offset new competition on the Hong Kong-to-Sydney route," said HSBC analyst Mark Webb.

An analyst at a U.S. brokerage said that the costs to Cathay of starting up a London-New York route would be negligible, given that the carrier "already has people on the ground in New York and London."

Cathay Pacific currently operates 21 weekly flights between Hong Kong and the U.K., British Airways PLC (BAB) has 14 flights a week, while Virgin Atlantic has seven.

***

Cathay Pacific wins London-New York route
27 November 2003
Agence France Presse

Cathay Pacific Airways on Thursday won the right to operate the high-profile London to New York route after three days of talks between the Hong Kong and British governments.

Hong Kong-based carrier Cathay was given the rights during the protracted meeting to discuss an expanded air services agreement, Hong Kong's government said.

In return for Cathay Pacific getting the lucrative trans-Atlantic route, British airline Virgin Atlantic was given rights to operate daily Hong Kong-Sydney services, Virgin spokesman Chris Humphrey told reporters.

Wilson Fung, Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Labour who led the government's negotiations, confirmed Hong Kong and Britain had reached agreement on a new set of air traffic rights.

The deal provides for unlimited capacity on routes between Hong Kong and Britain, a comprehensive code-share arrangement as well as additional fifth-freedom rights for both sides.

Fifth freedom rights are the privileges a government grants international carriers to pick up passengers and cargo in their country before flying onto another destination.

The new arrangement will come into effect after Britain completes necessary procedures with the European Union, Fung said.

"The new set of traffic rights liberalises air services between Hong Kong and the UK (United Kingdom)," he said. "This will greatly enhance competition on this very important route and will benefit the travelling public and consumers."

The new package includes fifth-freedom rights for the UK airlines to operate beyond Hong Kong to Sydney and for Hong Kong airlines to operate beyond London to New York, he said.

"The equitable exchange of fifths will enable airlines of the two sides to further expand their network, thus bringing more flights into and out of the Hong Kong International Airport," Fung said.

The South China Morning Post cited sources earlier as saying the main unresolved issue was whether the British government had the authority to negotiate an air services deal with Hong Kong.

The British believed they have the authority although the Hong Kong government was uncertain in light of a European Court of Justice decision which said bilateral aviation accords were to be replaced by overall agreements negotiated by the European Union.

The outcome of the talks will be another boon for Cathay Pacific which will resume flights to the Chinese capital Beijing next week after a 13 year absence on the route.
Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific to seek London-New York, global route.

***
Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific to seek London-New York, global route
15 September 2003
Agence France Presse

Cathay Pacific will bid for the right to operate trans-Atlantic flights between London and New York in forthcoming air talks between Hong Kong and Britain, the airline said Monday.

The Hong Kong-based airline said in its latest monthly magazine CX World that the airline will bid for flights between London's Heathrow and New York's Kennedy Airport during bilateral air service talks, due to take place between Britain and Hong Kong here on September 25 to 26.

The airline wants what are known as 'fifth-freedom rights' from London to New York, enabling it to market a trans-Atlantic service in Britain and the United States which would tie in with its current trans-Pacific US and Canadian services.

Cathay Pacifc requested fifth-freedom rights, which allow a carrier to pick up passengers en route to a final destination, at Heathrow several years ago but was rejected by the British authorities.

Andrew Pyne, general manager of international affairs for Cathay Pacific, said the plan will work commercially because "they are all strong sectors in their own right."

He said there are "indications" that the odds of winning an agreement are better this time. In return, Britain wants Hong Kong to allow Virgin Atlantic to run services to and from Australia.

If successful, Cathay Pacific would be able to run a single-aircraft service that circles the globe, linking Vancouver, New York, London and Hong Kong.

The airline said other carriers have tried and failed with a round-the-world service but Cathay Pacific can succeed "because the sectors we are stitching together are all strong commercially in their own right and because we have a globally competitive product."
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 10:47 PM   #293
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Comment Column
When aircraft designers say ‘Supersize me'
KEN WIWA
22 January 2005
The Globe and Mail

I have a little thing for planes. I couldn't spot you the difference between a B757 and a B737 or an A330 and an A340, for that matter. But I do know my Airbus from my Boeing — which for you airline illiterates, is one of the issues behind the unveiling of the world's largest passenger plane in Toulouse this week.

The launch of A380 was the latest shot in the old battle between Boeing and Airbus for supremacy of the skies, a battle pitting Europe against the United States. And, if you read between the runes of the supersize-me jumbo, it's an even older struggle — between the local and global.

Until very recently, Boeing was the Lord of the Skies with its 747 as the undisputed ruler of long-distance carrier aircraft. Who doesn't love a 747? It's one of the most awe-inspiring sights on a runway. See how it sits there, sleek and monstrous — beauty and the beast in one shiny, hulking form. The 747 dwarfs all other commercial airplanes and when you fly in one you get this strange mixture of security and apprehension that something so large is cruising at 30,000 feet.

Then, last Tuesday, Airbus, the European consortium that is now established as a global rival to Boeing, unveiled a Frankenstein of an aircraft, the A380, which has a wingspan that can park 70 cars and a tail as high as a seven-storey building.

Execs at Boeing must have been cowering under their corporate desks last week as most of the media faithfully recorded and regurgitated Airbus press releases with stories that breathlessly itemized the A380's vital statistics.

For the record, and in slavish imitation and a little admiration: The A380 is the heaviest and costliest commercial passenger aircraft ever built. It weighs more than 560,000 kilograms fully loaded, is 73 meters long and 24 meters tall, and almost 80 metres wingtip to wingtip. It's claimed that the A380 can carry as many as 800 passengers — more than double the capacity of a Boeing 747 — and on two decks stretching all the way to that skyscraper of a tail. The days of the sleek, small-is-beautiful jetliner appear to be cooked. I guess we are fully launched in the era of the supersize-me superjumbo, which is kind of fitting for these times of stack 'em up and sell 'em cheap. It's all about fattening the bottom line, see?

Indeed, at the unveiling ceremony, Airbus president Noel Forgeard said that his company aims to sell 700 to 750 of these planes. Though they come in at around $280-million (U.S.) a piece, they boast “a 15-per-cent gain in costs per seat-mile compared to the Boeing 747-400.”

This is almost pornography for management consultants: 15-per-cent gain in costs per seat-mile! Still, it's also serious business. Billions of dollars in taxpayers' money, multiplier effects and jobs in supply chains that stretch around the world are at stake in this business, as is a nasty little trade war between Europe and the United States.

Naturally, the U.S. doesn't want competition for its poor little rich Boeing, which has been bolstered by tax dollars since 9/11. When big bad bully Airbus darkened the door of Boeing's post-9/11 coming-out party, Washington took up a fighting position in Boeing's corner. The U.S. accused Airbus of using more than $3.9-billion in EU loans to develop the A380 in apparent violation of a 1992 agreement that allowed Airbus to extend credit to cover one-third of the cost of aircraft development. The U.S. even took its complaint against the European Union to the WTO — but then dropped it as potentially embarrassing (given the subsidies Boeing gets).

Playground fights were never this petty. What are we talking here? A few billion dollars and change? At least in the playground there was pride at stake.

Aaaanyway, while everyone is running over each other to snitch to teacher, I noticed that the Airbus people have been trumpeting this A380 as a triumph of European co-operation. In fact, the A380 is more like an advert for globalization, what with 18,000 suppliers in 30 countries (and yes, that includes the U.S.). Thousands of A380 parts crisscross the globe daily en route to factories in Europe; the wings are made in Britain, the fuselage is German and the finished product is assembled in Toulouse.

All of which sounds wonderful until you begin to think beyond the commercial press release, the business plans and calculations. If growth is the mantra that links the global supply chain of an A380, is there a case also for subtracting environmental, social and cultural concerns from the bottom line?

Because whenever I find myself marvelling at a 747, my thoughts quickly turn to something my commercial pilot of a sister-in-law once told me — that an airplane burns more fuel on taxi than it does in flight.
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 10:49 PM   #294
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Airbus A380 poses weighty challenge
Aircraft maker says it has it licked

Drew Hasselback
22 January 2005
National Post

With much fanfare, Airbus this week unveiled its A380 superjumbo jet.

The politician-laden festivities contained so much hot air we wonder whether the aircraft will need engines to take off.

Much has been written about the billions in subsidies that European governments have poured into development of the A380. Another detail caught our attention this week. While Airbus downplays the matter, the new jet has a weight problem.

"We are about five tonnes over the original spec weight but that is less than 1% of the 560 tonnes maximum take-off weight," said John Leahy, commercial director, earlier this month.

That may comfort to the aeronautically inclined. It won't do much for anyone who's jittery about leaving the ground in an airplane that weighs too much.

Which is why Airbus tried to alleviate concerns. Gustav Humbert, chief operating officer, this week said the weight problem has been solved by the use of lighter materials in construction. Don't worry, he insists. "We took care of it."

If the lighter materials don't work, maybe Airbus should consider Atkins or low-carb.
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Old January 23rd, 2005, 04:05 PM   #295
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Here is your error in logic, because the US-HK bilateral air services agreemnt was struck before the British signed one with Hong Kong. So back then, CX could not fly across the Atlantic. The British wouldn't let them. That is reflected in the literature.

The US-HK air services agreement gives American cargo airlines fifth freedom rights to fly beyond Hong Kong. I think that's what you've been talking about all this time. You have missed the other side of the story. Hong Kong airlines were allowed to codeshare to reach any American city and granted rights to fly beyond.

Here is a press release from the Us Department of State regarding the allocation of cargo flights for American carriers.
http://usinfo.state.gov/eap/Archive/...19-408108.html

A year later, the British reached a deal with Hong Kong, and fifth freedom rights were granted. Since the US side already allowed CX flights out of their country to 3rd country cities under the US-HK agreement, the British agreement was the final piece of the puzzle to allow transatlantic flights.

Cathay is very excited about starting transatlantic flights, but they had to wait for the EU to approve the deal and also secure landing slots to start the flights. Virgin encountered similar problems, so they actually had to wait several months before they could start flying to Australia via Hong Kong.

Singapore Airlines does not have fifth freedom rights to fly across thr Atlantic. Only Air India, Air NZ, Cathay Pacific, and Kuwait Airways have these rights. There is a difference between open skies, bilateral air services, and fifth freedom rights. Just because a country has an open skies agreement with another doesn't mean fifth freedom rights are automatically granted. Perhaps you can show that Singapore has been granted fifth freedom rights with both the US and the UK to justify why SIA could fly the transatlantic route.

If SIA has the rights to fly across the Atlantic but is not interested in flying the route right now, why would they be so vocal about unfairness that Cathay got these fifth freedom rights? If they care about the market, wouldn't they be flying the route right now to make some money?

What's clear amidst all this is that Cathay was given fifth freedom rights to fly across the Atlantic while SIA doesn't. That's why SIA was bickering so much, and all these points are reflected by reports from many different organizations. Similarly, BMI was complaining about the pact as well. Obviously these flights have nothing to do with cargo since BMI flies passenger flights to the US. Why would they complain if Cathay is only allowed to fly cargo-only flights when they themselves are not in the market?

Excerpts from Media Reports of the UK-HK Agreement, which followed the US-HK deal :

Financial Times, London
Virgin plans to introduce daily flights next summer from London to Sydney via Hong Kong, while Cathay Pacific would have the right to fly from Hong Kong to New York via London. British Airways, a dominant force on both the North Atlantic routes from London and the so-called kangaroo routes from London to Australia in a joint venture with Qantas, the Australian flag-carrier, will bear the brunt of the increased competition.

In return Hong Kong is seeking similar fifth freedom rights for Cathay Pacific, its de facto flag carrier, to fly to the US via London's Heathrow airport.

The British government is understood to have backed the deal, but it is expected to run into severe opposition from some other carriers, most significantly BMI British Midland and Singapore Airlines, which have been campaigning in vain for several years to fly on the lucrative transatlantic routes from Heathrow to the US.
The US is willing to accept flights by Cathay, while it is blocking BMI in the absence of a much wider so-called "open skies" deal with the UK or between the European Union and the US.

The Standard, Hong Kong
It also gives Cathay Pacific the rights to launch transatlantic services between London and New York, while allowing Virgin Atlantic to fly between Hong Kong and Sydney.

"For the first time, Hong Kong and the UK have liberalised codeshare arrangements so Hong Kong carriers can codeshare beyond London, and UK airlines can codeshare beyond Hong Kong,"

Hong Kong Government Press Release
The new package includes fifth-freedom rights for the UK airlines to operate beyond Hong Kong to Sydney and for Hong Kong airlines to operate beyond London to New York. "The equitable exchange of fifths will enable airlines of the two sides to further expand their network, thus bringing more flights into and out of the Hong Kong International Airport," Mr Fung said, adding this was clearly important for Hong Kong to maintain its role as an international aviation and logistics hub.
If you did not notice, your entire post still does not give any evidence that Cathay was awarded fifth freedom passenger flights out of the US, and to London specifically?

As I said. Show us the actual wordings of the agreement. The press releases from the US as well as HK authorities actually say NOTHING about giving HK carriers that right, although it does give American carriers fifth freedom passenger flights out of Hong Kong. It is for this reason, that Cathay Pacific was quoted as saying the deal was tilted in favour of the Americans, as clearly stated in an article above.

Hence, for all the lengthy publicity of the rights that the UK authorities have awarded Cathay Pacific, the fact remains, that the airline is still not flying the route until the Americans have given them that right.
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Old January 23rd, 2005, 04:10 PM   #296
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
UPDATE: HK Cathay Pacific Wins London-NY Route
27 November 2003

(Updates an item published at 1049 GMT with comments from the U.K. Ministry of Transport and the European Commission, paragraphs 17-18)

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)-- Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Hong Kong's biggest airline, Thursday won the right to serve the lucrative London-to-New York market, following three days of talks between the Hong Kong and U.K. governments.

In exchange, privately owned British carrier Virgin Atlantic will be allowed to extend its London to Hong Kong services to Sydney.

Government officials said Thursday that Hong Kong airlines would be given the right to fly to any point in the U.K., as well as fly between London and New York. While they didn't specify carriers, Hong Kong's only other major airline, Hong Kong Dragon Airlines only flies in the Asia-Pacific region.

A Cathay spokeswoman confirmed the talks had ended, but said approval was subject to agreement from the European Commission. It declined to comment further.

Virgin, in turn, issued a statement saying that while the flights would be subject to European Commission approval, they expected this to be granted so that flights can start in mid-2004.

The agreement provides for unlimited capacity on routes between Hong Kong and the U.K.

"In pursuit of the government's progressive liberalization policies on air services, the two sides had agreed to remove all existing capacity restrictions between Hong Kong and the U.K.," said Hong Kong Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Labor Wilson Fung.

Fung led the Hong Kong delegation in the latest round of negotiations, while the U.K. delegation was headed by Tony Baker, Director of International Aviation Negotiations.

In addition, the two sides exchanged fifth freedom rights. Under the agreement, U.K. airlines can operate flights between Hong Kong to Sydney, while Hong Kong airlines can operate between London and New York.

Fifth-freedom rights entitle airlines to pick up passengers and cargo at intermediate stops en route to a final destination.

Sources involved in the negotiations said the Hong Kong-Sydney and London-New York routes will each be allocated seven weekly return flights.

"We believe the new agreement will bring more competition to routes between Hong Kong and the U.K. and the Hong Kong aviation industry," Fung said.

"This will increase the number of flights in and out of Hong Kong, thereby maintaining Hong Kong International Airport's role as an international aviation and logistics hub."

For now, the hurdle the airlines will have to face is European Commission approval.

In June, transport ministers from E.C. member states agreed to give the commission the right to negotiate route and access deals with non-member states on their behalf. It also agreed that individual states, such as the U.K. in this case, could negotiate deals with other countries but must act on behalf of all member states.

"The U.K. government needs to go through the necessary procedures with the European Commission. Subsequently, the U.K. and Hong Kong need to exchange a final document before the agreement can be brought into force," Fung added, without providing a time frame for this process.

The U.K. Department of Transport said separately that the provisions of the agreement would be deferred until the Commission has confirmed that "it does not harm the object and purpose of the E.U. common transport policy."

"The U.K. authorities believe that this liberalizing deal is in accord with that policy," the department said in a statement. Commission spokesman Giles Gantelet said the important thing is that the U.K. informed other member states about the context of the talks.

"There's no reason to think that what has been agreed between the U.K. and Hong Kong doesn't respect E.U. rules," he said.

Cathay first requested the flights between London and New York four years ago. Air services talks between Hong Kong and the U.K. were originally scheduled to take place in September, but were reportedly postponed after U.K. carrier British Midland Airways objected to Cathay Pacific being granted trans-Atlantic traffic rights from London.

Ahead of the granting of the rights, analysts said that Cathay stood to gain from flying between London and New York.

"The upside of getting the Heathrow-to-JFK route would more than offset new competition on the Hong Kong-to-Sydney route," said HSBC analyst Mark Webb.

An analyst at a U.S. brokerage said that the costs to Cathay of starting up a London-New York route would be negligible, given that the carrier "already has people on the ground in New York and London."

Cathay Pacific currently operates 21 weekly flights between Hong Kong and the U.K., British Airways PLC (BAB) has 14 flights a week, while Virgin Atlantic has seven.

***

Cathay Pacific wins London-New York route
27 November 2003
Agence France Presse

Cathay Pacific Airways on Thursday won the right to operate the high-profile London to New York route after three days of talks between the Hong Kong and British governments.

Hong Kong-based carrier Cathay was given the rights during the protracted meeting to discuss an expanded air services agreement, Hong Kong's government said.

In return for Cathay Pacific getting the lucrative trans-Atlantic route, British airline Virgin Atlantic was given rights to operate daily Hong Kong-Sydney services, Virgin spokesman Chris Humphrey told reporters.

Wilson Fung, Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Labour who led the government's negotiations, confirmed Hong Kong and Britain had reached agreement on a new set of air traffic rights.

The deal provides for unlimited capacity on routes between Hong Kong and Britain, a comprehensive code-share arrangement as well as additional fifth-freedom rights for both sides.

Fifth freedom rights are the privileges a government grants international carriers to pick up passengers and cargo in their country before flying onto another destination.

The new arrangement will come into effect after Britain completes necessary procedures with the European Union, Fung said.

"The new set of traffic rights liberalises air services between Hong Kong and the UK (United Kingdom)," he said. "This will greatly enhance competition on this very important route and will benefit the travelling public and consumers."

The new package includes fifth-freedom rights for the UK airlines to operate beyond Hong Kong to Sydney and for Hong Kong airlines to operate beyond London to New York, he said.

"The equitable exchange of fifths will enable airlines of the two sides to further expand their network, thus bringing more flights into and out of the Hong Kong International Airport," Fung said.

The South China Morning Post cited sources earlier as saying the main unresolved issue was whether the British government had the authority to negotiate an air services deal with Hong Kong.

The British believed they have the authority although the Hong Kong government was uncertain in light of a European Court of Justice decision which said bilateral aviation accords were to be replaced by overall agreements negotiated by the European Union.

The outcome of the talks will be another boon for Cathay Pacific which will resume flights to the Chinese capital Beijing next week after a 13 year absence on the route.
Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific to seek London-New York, global route.

***
Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific to seek London-New York, global route
15 September 2003
Agence France Presse

Cathay Pacific will bid for the right to operate trans-Atlantic flights between London and New York in forthcoming air talks between Hong Kong and Britain, the airline said Monday.

The Hong Kong-based airline said in its latest monthly magazine CX World that the airline will bid for flights between London's Heathrow and New York's Kennedy Airport during bilateral air service talks, due to take place between Britain and Hong Kong here on September 25 to 26.

The airline wants what are known as 'fifth-freedom rights' from London to New York, enabling it to market a trans-Atlantic service in Britain and the United States which would tie in with its current trans-Pacific US and Canadian services.

Cathay Pacifc requested fifth-freedom rights, which allow a carrier to pick up passengers en route to a final destination, at Heathrow several years ago but was rejected by the British authorities.

Andrew Pyne, general manager of international affairs for Cathay Pacific, said the plan will work commercially because "they are all strong sectors in their own right."

He said there are "indications" that the odds of winning an agreement are better this time. In return, Britain wants Hong Kong to allow Virgin Atlantic to run services to and from Australia.

If successful, Cathay Pacific would be able to run a single-aircraft service that circles the globe, linking Vancouver, New York, London and Hong Kong.

The airline said other carriers have tried and failed with a round-the-world service but Cathay Pacific can succeed "because the sectors we are stitching together are all strong commercially in their own right and because we have a globally competitive product."
And what does this regurgitation of similar news articles say anything about the airline being given rights by the Americans, when they only talk about the British deal?

You dont combine two deals, and assume that when one is given, the other automatically falls in place. That one deal comes after another is hardly of importance here. The fact remains, that the earlier deal with the US has not given Hong Kong airlines the fifth freedom passenger rights they want, and the attempts to negotiate for a much more liberal open skies agreement which would have indeed given that priviledge was scuttled by the Hong Kong authorities, because they deem the agreement unfair for not being able to fly domestic routes in the US.

This is indeed the simple fact. I have read through the exact same articles and press releases you have read and posted, and none of them contradicts what I am saying. Rather, you are the one adding your own clause to the agreement that Hong Kong airliners have fifth freedom passenger flights out of the US!
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Old January 24th, 2005, 02:55 AM   #297
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Airbus to Seal China Order for 5 A380s, Minister's Agenda Shows
Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Airbus SAS, the world's largest airplane maker, is scheduled to seal a contract on Jan. 28 with China Southern Airlines Co. for five A380s, according to the agenda of France's transport minister. The order is worth about $1.4 billion, based on list prices.

French Transport Minister Gilles de Robien will attend a signing ceremony in Paris for the planes, according to an agenda published by his office yesterday. Gwenaelle Verpeaux, a spokeswoman for the ministry, declined to comment.

About a third of the 149 orders and commitments that Airbus has won so far for the 555-seat A380, which will displace Boeing Co.'s 747 as the world's largest passenger aircraft, have come from Asia. None have come yet from China, the world's fastest-growing aviation market. Air travel there will expand about 8.1 percent in each of the next 20 years, Airbus predicts.

Airbus Chief Commercial Officer John Leahy said Jan. 18 that he expected signatures on an order for five A380s from a Chinese carrier ``within 30 days'' and Airbus Chief Executive Noel Forgeard told La Tribune in an article published that day he expected China Southern to place an order for A380s.

Airbus spokeswoman Barbara Kracht declined to comment.

Airbus customers for the A380 include Singapore Airlines Ltd., Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Emirates, Air France-KLM Group, Virgin Atlantic Airways and Korean Air Co.

Airbus is introducing the A380 to guard a lead over Chicago- based Boeing Co. in the $50 billion-a-year large-airliner market. Airbus is designing the A380 to cost 15 percent less to operate than Boeing's 747-model plane.
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Old January 24th, 2005, 06:23 PM   #298
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Very interesting article!

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/busine...nterior24.html

A380 buyer keeps mum about possible luxuries aboard cruise ship of the skies

Monday, January 24, 2005

By JAMES WALLACE
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER AEROSPACE REPORTER


Airbus may have taken the wraps off the world's biggest jetliner, but the first airline to operate the A380 remains tight-lipped about how it will use all that space.

Singapore Airlines built a mockup at its training center in Singapore to develop and test new cabin features for the A380 -- it gets the first four planes delivered by Airbus in 2006.

But the few allowed inside the mock-up must sign a non-disclosure agreement. And that includes the carrier's elite frequent fliers who have been brought in to offer their opinions about the A380 cabin innovations.

Airbus has advertised its new double-decker flagship as a cruise ship of the skies, even a flying hotel with duty-free shops, boasting that the design offers nearly 50 percent more passenger space than Boeing's aging 747.

But airlines that have ordered the A380 -- other than possibly Virgin Atlantic -- are not expected to offer pie-in-the-sky luxury that would sap revenue. The airline industry has been there before. Thirty-five years ago, a couple of airlines put piano bars in their new 747s. But later, in an era of deregulation and increased competition, they were replaced with money-making seats.

"This was a battle we fought very hard here at SIA," Yeoh Teng Kwong, senior manager of cabin innovation for Singapore Airlines, said of an internal debate about seat count vs. luxury features on the carrier's A380s. "We have struck a good balance."

Recognized as one of the world's leading airlines for in-flight comfort and amenities, Singapore Airlines will have 490 seats on its A380s. That's 65 fewer than the 555 passengers Airbus says can be accommodated in a typical three-class cabin layout.

"Our A380 product will be a very pleasant surprise to the market," Kwong said, without giving away any secrets.

Emirates will be the second A380 operator next year.

Singapore and Emirates are competitors, so no one at either carrier wants to reveal too much about their respective cabin innovations for the superjumbo.

"We can't play around with revenue-earning capability," Emirates President Tim Clark said in an interview last year. "We bought the aircraft on a seat count that saw most of the space occupied. We can't mess around with that."

But he said, without elaboration, that the A380s will have "a lot of additional features that will be a first for the civil aviation industry."

Emirates, which has placed 41 firm orders for the A380 -- by far the most of any customer -- is expected to configure its initial A380s with 480 to 490 seats in three classes, and about 650 seats in two classes.

Emirates, Singapore and other A380 operators will use the A380 upper deck for business and premium seating, with the main deck for economy.

First class on the Emirates A380s, Clark said, will be "more of the same, only better."

On its new long-haul Airbus A340-500s, Emirates provides first-class accommodations that resemble private rooms. "We created cabins within the cabin," Clark said. "You can close the door and sleep in private." First-class passengers phone the galley for meals.

"I thought of that," Clark said. "That's what I do in a hotel when I'm hungry. I ring room service."

Qantas, the next airline to receive an A380 after Emirates, revealed some cabin details last week on its Web site. The big Qantas jets, which will operate initially between Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia, will have 501 seats. Cabin features will include special lounge areas in first, business and economy classes; facilities for business meetings and business presentations; and video on demand, with larger entertainment screens in all seats.

First-class A380 passengers, Qantas said, will have "greater space, comfort and privacy."

Virgin Atlantic was to have been the second airline after Singapore to take delivery of an A380. But it has delayed taking its first plane until 2008.

Last week, when Airbus unveiled the first A380 in a ceremony in Toulouse, France, Virgin's colorful chairman, Richard Branson, told reporters his 380s will have a gym where passengers can work out, as well as a beauty parlor and casino.

That remains to be seen.

Given the danger of unexpected in-flight turbulence, the Federal Aviation Administration could have something to say about gyms and such on A380s that fly into the United States.

And there is also the extra weight.

Virgin delayed taking its A380s in part to give suppliers more time to develop lighter cabin furnishings.

John Leahy, chief commercial officer for Airbus, who has never been shy about extolling the virtues of the A380, acknowledged the weighty issue of too much luxury.

"What annoys me in this industry, and Boeing has the same problem," he said, "is that you fight tooth and nail for every kilo of weight in the airframe, and you do the same thing for every kilo of weight on an engine, and then you congratulate yourself that you got a couple hundred pounds out. Then you see some of these new first-class seats that weigh hundreds of pounds."

Joe Sutter, Boeing's famous engineer who led the design team in the 1960s for Boeing's 747, recalled that Juan Trippe, the chairman of Pan American Airlines, launch customer for the 747, wanted a window in the nose so first-class passengers could see where the plane was going.

Sutter made some calculations and informed Trippe the extra weight would be the equivalent of eliminating 2 1/2 passengers.

There is no nose window on the 747. Nor is there a Tiger Lounge.

Boeing built a full-size mockup of that 747 lounge in the early 1970s, with the furniture in tiger skin, to show customers the possibilities of passenger comfort on its new jumbojet.

Early Boeing ads for the 747 talked about onboard movie theaters, a library, staterooms for passengers and conference rooms for business travelers. Even private lavatories.

Most of that never happened, with the exception of a couple airlines that for a short time had piano bars in the 747's signature "hump" that serves as an upper deck.

Today, the 747-400, the latest version of the plane, can carry about 416 passengers in three classes. Singapore Airlines has configured its 747-400s to seat 378 passengers.

Boeing is considering a 747 Advanced, which would have a longer fuselage and use the more fuel-efficient engines under development for its new midsize jet, the 7E7.

The 747 Advanced would carry about 35 more passengers than the 747-400. It would have room above the main cabin for innovative "sky suites," said Jeff Peace, Boeing's vice president of 747 derivative programs. The suites could be private bunks for sleeping or meeting rooms.

While many international airlines are providing passengers more luxury these days in first and business classes, some are beginning to offer more for economy passengers, too.

Japan's All Nippon Airways, the launch customer for Boeing's 7E7, has configured its new extended range Boeing 777-300ER jets with a four-class cabin. There are 174 seats in economy, and 24 in "super" economy. The supereconomy section has eight-abreast seating, one fewer seat per row than in the standard economy cabin. Passengers pay more for the wider seats and additional legroom, although not as much as a business-class seat would cost.

Kwong, the Singapore Airlines executive for product innovation, said the airline might offer more than one type of economy class on its A380s.

Klaus Brauer, Boeing's highly regarded interior specialist, likes this new focus on the economy cabin.

"Airlines are doing a lot with premium concepts," he said. "But the big breakthrough has to be in economy class. ... I sincerely believe the industry has to go that way."

Tourists who fly economy class generally prefer cheaper fares over comfort. But business travelers in economy want wider seats and more leg room.

"Right now, most business travelers in economy class don't get anything more than those who pay the discount fares," Brauer said.

He is helping lead the Boeing effort to give passengers a new kind of flying experience on the 7E7, due to enter service with All Nippon in 2008.

The 7E7 windows will be about 40 percent bigger than those on passengers jets today. Instead of pull down shades, the windows can be darkened electronically.

Fluorescent lighting will be gone. The 7E7 cabin will have light-emitting diodes, or LEDS. It will be more pleasing and natural and can be changed to provide different "moods."

Emirates has mood lighting on its A340-500s jets. Virgin has this feature in its 747 premium cabins.

At the opposite end of the luxury spectrum is what All Nippon and Japan Airlines have done to a few of their 747-400s for high-density domestic routes in Japan.

They carry nearly 600 passengers in one class.

The A380 could seat up to 880 passengers in one class, according to Airbus.

So far, no airline that has ordered the jet has indicated it would consider this kind of cattle-car layout.

But Emirates and Virgin are pressing Airbus to develop a stretched version of the A380 that would seat about 140 more passengers than the planes they have ordered.
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Old January 24th, 2005, 09:45 PM   #299
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Introduction of the Airbus A380 Poses Liability Insurance Challenge
Monday January 24, 12:27 pm ET

CHICAGO, Jan. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- With the introduction last week of the 555-passenger Airbus A380 aircraft, an Aon aviation expert says the world's aviation industry must now look to the past to accommodate what may be its future.

Wayne Wignes, president of Aon's Aviation Group, says the A380, with a tail assembly nearly 80 feet high and a fuselage measuring nearly 240 feet, poses significant insurance challenges for the airlines. He predicts insurance liability limits will rise for the entire industry, regardless of whether a given airline places an order for the A380. "An airline doesn't have to own the aircraft to be affected by the increased liability limits," he says. "There will likely be a need for an alternative capital market for this airplane. Airlines will probably have to carry $3 billion in liability limits to indemnify themselves. That pushes the edge of the financial capabilities of the traditional aviation insurance market, which usually works with liability limits in the $1.5 to $1.75 billion range. That is simply a bridge too far for a small community with finite resources. So the airlines will have to depart from their traditional approaches."

Wignes says that is what happened some 35 years ago when Pam Am introduced the 747. In 1969 a new financial model was developed to accommodate the liability demands posed by the jumbo jet. Wignes suggests the industry should refer to that model as the basis for creating a new financial facility.

The introduction of the Airbus also poses some equally daunting operational challenges. "Some taxiways simply aren't long enough," Wignes says. "In other cases, airport gates may have to be spaced farther apart to contend with an airplane with a 262-foot long wingspan."

Providing nearly every insurance and risk management resource to support the growth of the aviation industry, Aon delivers risk management solutions to many companies in a variety of aviation industry sectors, including: airlines, corporate aircraft, helicopters, airports, fixed-base operations and aerospace product manufacturers. Aon Aviation is the U.S. airline market share leader.

Aon Corporation (NYSE: AOC - News; http://www.aon.com ) is a leading provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, human capital and management consulting, and specialty insurance underwriting. The company employs approximately 51,000 professionals in its 600 offices in more than 120 countries. Backed by broad resources, industry knowledge and technical expertise, Aon professionals help a wide range of clients develop effective risk management and workforce productivity solutions.

This press release contains certain statements relating to future results, which are forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from either historical or anticipated results, depending on a variety of factors. Potential factors that could impact results include the general economic conditions in different countries around the world, fluctuations in global equity and fixed income markets, exchange rates, rating agency actions, resolution of pending regulatory investigations and related issues, including those related to compensation arrangements with underwriters, pension funding, ultimate paid claims may be different from actuarial estimates and actuarial estimates may change over time, changes in commercial property and casualty markets and commercial premium rates, the competitive environment, the actual costs of resolution of contingent liabilities and other loss contingencies, and the heightened level of potential errors and omissions liability arising from placements of complex policies and sophisticated reinsurance arrangements in an insurance market in which insurer reserves are under pressure. Further information concerning the Company and its business, including factors that potentially could materially affect the Company's financial results, is contained in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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Old January 25th, 2005, 02:29 AM   #300
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Britain loses out on air freight bonanza
Dominic O'Connell
23 January 2005
The Sunday Times

The lack of an open-skies agreement stops Fedex from using the A380 to cut UK cargo charges, writes Dominic O'Connell

EVERY EVENING two Fedex cargo aircraft take off from Shanghai, one heading east for America, one west for Europe. Each carries 75 tonnes of China's highest value products -iPods, circuit boards, medical appliances and top-of-the-range Nike trainers.

Shippers are riding high on China's manufacturing boom, and few higher than Fedex, the world's largest express freight group. Its traffic out of China is growing by 50% a year, more than triple the rate of any other non-Asian market.

Fedex is the first airline to buy the freight version of Airbus's A380 superjumbo aircraft, a leviathan capable of carrying 150 tonnes of freight. When it arrives in three years' time, it will go straight into China, said Fred Smith, Fedex's founder, chairman and chief executive.

Unfortunately for British manufacturers and exporters, Fedex's A380 freighter is unlikely to be seen in Britain in the near future. A restrictive aviation treaty between America and Britain means that the UK, traditionally a leader in global shipping, is only a bit player in these new high-value, high-speed trade routes.

The treaty means Fedex can fly from America into Stansted, its British base, but to only a limited list of destinations beyond, killing any hopes of Britain becoming Fedex's European hub for air cargo.

Instead, Fedex has made its European home in Paris, where, thanks to the support of the French government, it has turned Charles de Gaulle into the world's largest air-freight terminal outside America.

"We would definitely have more flights to Britain direct if we could," said Smith, a business legend in America, but probably still best known this side of the Atlantic for his bit part in Cast Away, the Hollywood blockbuster in which Tom Hanks plays a marooned Fedex employee.

"What we are required to do, because of the lack of a liberal agreement, is to charter planes to fly from Britain to Paris to connect to our network, rather than operating ourselves. That's not optimally efficient. It's just a tax on our British customers."

Reform of air-cargo agreements is proceeding quickly between America and its main trading partners. Last year China signed a new deal that will give American airlines 40 more flights a week, 12 of which went to Fedex, taking its weekly total to 23. Last week, America liberalised its air-cargo agreement with India.

Fedex is now in talks to set up a hub in China, most likely at Guangzhou in southern China, an arrangement that would potentially give it unlimited traffic rights.

But liberalisation of US-UK flights has been frustrated for nearly 30 years by rows between passenger airlines over access to Heathrow. British airlines are virulently opposed to allowing more access to American carriers unless America opens up its huge internal market. Talks on a larger open-skies agreement between Europe and America ended without agreement last year.

Smith suspects Heathrow was once again the reason for the talks failing. "The US offered a fairly liberal agreement and the European side, for whatever reason, did not want to accept that. A big consideration were the concerns about Heathrow, which always drives us to distraction, because Heathrow, while it is an important issue, should not drive all aviation considerations."

Britain should instead separate passenger and cargo flights, and deal with the latter as a trade issue, not an aviation matter, said Smith. But British passenger airlines were reluctant to do so because it suited them to keep all possible bargaining chips on the table.

"The real issue is not (access to the American market) at all. The real issue is that (British airlines) like things as they are, so let's leave them alone." Smith said he had all but given up hope of convincing the British government of the need for reform. "I've been talking to the UK government about it through numerous generations of transport ministers and you can see the success I have had with it.

It is not a good chapter in the US-UK relationship, because it is just silly remaining entombed in this Heathrow thing."

But despite Smith's frustration, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel.

Last week industry officials met in Brussels to discuss a way forward on a transatlantic aviation deal. Sources said that one of the ideas floated was an all-cargo deal that could go ahead without having to tackle the thorny issues involving passenger flights, although any formal proposal is still some way off.

Supporters of the idea point out that cargo liberalisation has often presaged reform in the passenger market.

British cargo airlines, which have in the past opposed some of Fedex's demands, are also on side. "We definitely support the principle of an open-skies agreement between the EU and US covering cargo flights, and Smith's comments in this regard are helpful," said a spokesman for the British Cargo Airlines Alliance.

Smith said he was relaxed about the company's ability to fill the A380 freighter, which will be able to carry twice as much as the company's biggest aircraft at the moment. "That doesn't bother me at all. We are a company that started with aircraft that could carry only 3.5 tonnes, so for us it's maybe not such a big step."

Smith is close to George Bush -he was at Yale with him. This friendship has led to him being frequently tipped as a contender for high office, most recently to be the director of the powerful National Economic Council.

Smith, however, said he is not interested. "I have been offered those kind of jobs, but I don't think so. I'm having way too much fun in this job."

(C) Times Newspapers Ltd, 2005
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