Cathay Pacific, Dragonair and Air Hong Kong completed (15-Oct-2013) the transfer of cargo operations to the new freight terminal at Hong Kong International Airport in early Oct-2013. The airlines commenced a phased transition to the terminal in Feb-2013. The HKD5.9 billion (USD761 million) facility increases the airport's cargo capacity by 50% to 7.4 million tonnes p/a. Cathay Pacific director cargo James Woodrow said, "The new facility will not only enable the Cathay Pacific Group to offer tailor-made services to our own cargo customers, but it will also raise service standards within the industry to new heights." [more - original PR]
Cathay Pacific, Dragonair and Air Hong Kong complete move to new cargo terminal in Hong Kong
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Hong Kong Airlines becomes larger in Japan than in China: overlap with sister HK Express
The rapid growth of mainland China's HNA Group is resulting in companies being added ahead of integration. HNA's two Hong Kong-based airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and HK Express, are increasingly overlapping with each other. That their roles are undefined and uncoordinated risks the two fighting each other – rather than combining their different propositions to address multiple segments of the markets.
Hong Kong Airlines is rapidly growing in Tokyo and Osaka, and launching a new service to Seoul Incheon – its 11th new destination in 2016. These are strong O&D markets and present a change from Hong Kong Airlines' previous staple of connecting traffic from mainland China over Hong Kong, or competing mainly against Cathay Pacific in key regional Asian markets from Hong Kong.
Following Hong Kong Airlines' entry to Tokyo and Osaka it will further increase services to the point where Japan becomes a larger market for it than mainland China. This is of some concern given Hong Kong Airlines' still evolving strategy for Japan, and weakening of the market through the appreciation of the yen.
Cathay Pacific to Christchurch: contentious Air New Zealand JV as Cathay seeks greater "agility"
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New Zealand is a small network component for Cathay but one of its last strongholds, due to a joint venture with Air New Zealand. The New Zealand government reluctantly extended approval for the JV despite Cathay and Air NZ reneging on an offer to use it to link Hong Kong with Christchurch, as well as Auckland. This would thereby have extended the JV to benefit more of New Zealand – a sensitive local matter based on the assertion that Auckland was receiving disproportionate air service benefit.
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But now that Hong Kong Airlines has entered Auckland, and then expanded, the Cathay-Air NZ JV faces disbanding. By finally committing to a Christchurch route Cathay appears to be bidding to keep the JV in play. But the New Zealand government will still probably withdraw approval of the Air NZ-Cathay JV.