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Air China-Cathay Pacific jointly named CAPA Airline of the Year

(Singapore:

09 November 2006) Air China and Cathay Pacific were named joint winners of the prestigious CAPA Airline of the Year Award for 2006 at a gala reception in Singapore this evening.

Outlook 2006

Air China Chairman, Li Jiaxiang, and CEO of Cathay Pacific, Philip Chen, received the award before 300 distinguished members of the aviation community.

Executive Chairman of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, Peter Harbison, explained that the Air China-Cathay Pacific breakthrough agreement announced mid-year has significant competitive ramifications throughout Asia and beyond, and, furthermore, has the potential to influence policy settings that could unleash further industry liberalisation and growth.

“It creates the foundations for what could be the world’s leading airline by 2015. This breathtaking agreement has seen a realignment and simplification of ownership structures that promises to unlock significant gains in efficiency, productivity and network strength,” said Mr Harbison.

Other winners included:

Singapore Changi Airport named CAPA International Airport of the Year.

According to Mr Harbison, “Changi has continued to cooperate with the airline industry to grow markets, while innovating to increase revenues, with a major overhaul of commercial areas in one of its terminals. It is bringing vision and integrity to the exercise of developing capacity for future growth, as evidenced by its being one of the first airports in the region to offer dedicated facilities for the LCC sector”.

Tiger Airways CEO, Tony Davis, accepted the CAPA Low Cost Airline of the Year.

Tiger has demonstrated leadership through strong brand positioning and the prudent expansion and development of its network into new markets. The carrier has carved out a place for itself in an extremely competitive market, while posting some of the industry’s best cost performance figures,” said Mr Harbison.

YB Dato' Sri Chan Kong Choy, Minister of Transport Malaysia, recognised as the CAPA Aviation Minister of the Year.

This year’s winner has presided over one of Asia’s most significant domestic aviation policy reforms, successfully balancing the interests of the Malaysian aviation sector’s different stakeholders. “He has encouraged the development of infrastructure development for the LCC segment and has contributed to liberalisation of access at the national level. The Malaysian Government has also been involved in the harmonisation of aviation policies with other countries in the region, providing significantly enhanced airline operating conditions,” said Mr Harbison.

Geoff Dixon, CEO of Qantas, accepted the CAPA Aviation Executive of the Year.

Peter Harbison stated: “Our Executive of the Year has established a corporate vision centred around the positioning of clearly segmented global airline brands, a vision that has enabled strong financial performance in a difficult time. In his five-year tenure as CEO – recently extended on an ongoing basis – our Executive has faced one of the most challenging periods in aviation history, and innovated with successful LCC subsidiary development, soon to pioneer long-haul low cost operations.

Malaysia Airlines CEO, Idris Jala, accepted the CAPA Airline Turnaround of the Year.

Malaysia Airlines has launched an aggressive turnaround programme, based on a significant rationalisation of its domestic network, focussing on its international network and streamlining of staff numbers and functions. Some early positive signs could mean it achieves its ultimate goal of returning to profitability in advance of its 2008 target”, said Mr Harbsion.

Dato’ Seri Bashir Ahmad, Managing Director of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, operator of Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal, accepted the CAPA Low Cost Airport of the Year.

Peter Harbison stated: “Our winner established its dedicated LCC facilities at a cost of USD29 million in record time, providing a terminal well suited to the needs of its anchor tenant, offering lower charges, quick turnarounds, a location close to the runway and capacity for 10 million passengers per annum.”

Cathay Pacific CEO, Philip Chen, accepted the CAPA Cargo Airline of the Year.

Cathay was adjudged as having had the greatest impact on the development of the region’s air cargo industry. Recognising the opportunities presented by its home market, Cathay has in the past 12 months used major investments in aircraft and infrastructure to undertake its strategic push into freight,” said Peter Harbison.

Bangkok Airways was named CAPA Regional Airline of the Year.

Bangkok Airways has established itself as a leader – and the benchmark for others to follow – in successfully establishing and defending a niche in an ultra-competitive marketplace. Since its 1984 launch of scheduled services, it has created innovative revenue streams, most notably including the construction and operation of its own airports and accompanying ground-handling unit,” said Mr Harbison.

Singapore Tourism Board was named CAPA National Tourism Organisation of the Year.

“Our winner’s visionary support of the aviation sector in building awareness and visitation has contributed to double-digit growth in inbound arrivals and tourism receipts to Singapore this year,” said Mr Harbison.

Polynesian Blue was named CAPA New Airline of the Year.

Polynesian Blue has made an immediate impact on the tourism markets its serves, triggering double-digit demand growth. Strategically, it is another example of a pioneering new airline model with important ramifications for our region: the cross-border joint venture,” stated Peter Harbison.

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport was named CAPA New Airport Company of the Year.

The CAPA New Airport of the Year category recognises the New Airport or Terminal, Operator or Investor that has had the most significant impact on the market into which it has entered, and to the development of aviation in the region.

In recognising the inaugural winner, Peter Harbison explained: “After a massive overnight logistics exercise, involving the transfer of some 1.8 million pieces of equipment, the airport opened in late September 2006 with an initial capacity of 45 million passengers. Impressive operating statistics have been reported almost from Day 1 at this airport, which promises to raise the competitive stakes among Asia’s leading hub airports.”

Outlook 2007 is the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation’s annual examination of the prospects for the Asia Pacific airline industry. Convening in Singapore with the participation of 30 CEOs and 380 vital stakeholders from all components of the aviation sector, Outlook 2007 and the CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence is the year’s premier gathering of the region’s aviation decision makers, providing a forum for dialogue between leaders from the airline, airport, supplier and regulatory communities.  

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