Taking off

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-1-5 23:48:01

The new Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal


Algernon Yau, CEO of Cathay Pacific Services Photo: Courtesy of Cathay Pacific Services

Cathay Pacific Services Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways, is one of several companies betting on a sharp increase in air freight in coming years.

The company spent HK$5.9 billion ($760 million) in 2013 to build a new cargo terminal at Hong Kong International Airport. It now has the capacity to deal with 2.6 million tons of goods annually, taking the total annual freight capacity at Hong Kong International Airport to 7.4 million tons.

The new terminal is the third cargo transfer center in the airport, after Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd and Asia Airfreight Terminal. It represents Cathay's aim to meet the increasing competition in the air freight market in Hong Kong.

"The new cargo service center will improve our work efficiency through shortening the time for transfer services - including cargo receipt and warehousing arrangements - from eight hours to five hours," Algernon Yau, CEO of Cathay Pacific Services Ltd, said in a group interview in Hong Kong in late 2013.

It has been standard practice in Hong Kong "for many years" for goods transfer to take roughly eight hours, Yau said. "Frankly speaking, it is hard to shorten it even by one hour, because it involves cooperation between different areas," Yau noted. "The shortened time is a big challenge for us, but it will help to improve our efficiency."

According to Yau, the cargo freight business in Hong Kong will see a significant increase after the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge is finished in 2016 and Hong Kong International Airport's third runway is completed in 2023.

There will be more opportunities to transfer goods from the Chinese mainland to Hong Kong and then to other countries and regions, he said. 

A report by Xinhua News Agency in December said that cargo freight in Hong Kong International Airport reached 3.7 million tons in the first 11 months of 2013, a rise of 2.6 percent year-on-year. In November alone, the cargo freight reached a record high of 399,000 tons.

The report also cited Stanley Hui, CEO of Airport Authority Hong Kong, as saying that companies' expansion and more frequent flights will help sustain a continued increase in cargo freight. 

Meanwhile, the authorities in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province are planning to build a business zone based on expansion of Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. The airport is expected to have annual cargo transfer capacity of 2.5 million tons by 2020, which will pose a threat to the cargo transfer business in Hong Kong.

"There will be competition, but our advantage is the laws and customs services [in Hong Kong], which will help us win more cargo business," Yau said.

Global Times

Airlines offer new deals, services


Emirates is currently offering special offers on flights from China to the Middle East and Europe. Through registering at the website www.emirates.cn and ordering flights during the period from January 6 to 13, passengers can get discounts for business class flights from January 19 to April 30 (excluding days between January 23 and February 5) and economy class flights from February 6 to April 30.

A fountain in Dubai

The cheapest round-trip tickets for business class flights and economy class flights from China to the Middle East are 19,020 yuan ($3,143) and 4,033 yuan per person, respectively (including fuel surcharge and other taxes). From China to Europe, the cheapest round-trip tickets for business class flights and economy class flights are 18,782 yuan and 4,162 yuan per person, respectively.

British Airways

British Airways will begin to offer more flights globally by using new plane models from March 30, 2014.

Currently, British Airways has three Airbus A380s and four Boeing 787s. From September 1, 2014, the airline will use the Airbus A380 on flights to Washington. From May 5, British Airways will use a Boeing 787 for flights from Chengdu to London, with the number of flights between the two cities to increase from three to five each week.

In the next three years, the airline intends to buy 12 more A380s and 24 more Boeing 787s.

All Nippon Airways 

All Nippon Airways will increase the number of flights traveling to and from Tokyo International Airport, and resume direct flights between Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Nagoya Airport from March 30, 2014.

The airline will increase the number of flights from China to Japan and will also increase the number of flights to North America that involve transfers at Tokyo.

Currently, All Nippon Airways offers direct flights to China from four airports in Japan: Tokyo International Airport, Tokyo Narita International Airport, Chubu Centair International Airport and Kansai International Airport.

All Nippon Airways is also planning to recruit more Chinese-speaking crew members to help deal with Chinese passengers.


Dragonair has unveiled a new First Class seat together with a new range of in-flight products.

The new First Class seat aims to increase comfort and offer more functions.

The company is also expanding its shopping services, with a new line-up of items being offered in the first quarter of 2014.

The full range of more than 350 products will be available for sale in the January-March issue of Emporium, Dragonair's in-flight shopping magazine.

Swiss International Air Lines

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) customers using the airline's Senator Lounge at Zurich Airport can now take advantage of a new bistro area.

The facility features a new seating and design concept.

SWISS Senator Lounge Photo: Courtesy of SWISS


SWISS's new bistro-style Zurich Senator Lounge facility extends over some 220 square meters and features a new design and furnishing concept.

Global Times

Posted in: Insight

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