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opportunities from the Yangtze River Delta region”,
the airline says.
At the same time, Cathay says it is stressing its
commitment to its home market by constructing
a HK$5.5 billion cargo terminal at Hong Kong
International Airport (HKIA).
“The airline has given its full backing to building
a third runway at the airport to address the issue of
capacity constraints, ensure the sur vivability of the
Hong Kong economy and maintain Hong Kong’s
position as Asia’s premier aviation hub,” the airline says.
Plans for the third runway have raised new
environmental concerns among Hong Kong residents,
and Cathay says it recognises the significance of this
issue and “is playing an active role in the industry effort
to reduce emissions and noise”.
Cathay Pacific Chairman Christopher Pratt says that
2011 is proving more a more challenging year than
2010, which was “exceptionally strong”.
“High fuel prices are increasing costs and recovering
them through higher tariffs may affect demand,” Pratt
says. “The outlook for the world economy is uncertain
and a return to recessionary economic conditions
would also affect demand and possibly average price
Strong performance by the airline last year enabled it
to rebuild its balance sheet, Pratt continues.
“Our financial position is strong. We remain in a
good position to deal with increased operating costs
and the economic uncertainty with which we are faced,
and to reinforce Hong Kong’s position as a leading
international aviation hub,” Pratt says.
He describes current high fuel prices as “a reminder
that we operate in a challenging and unpredictable
industry and accordingly must continue to manage
our finances prudently”.
“ High fuel prices are increasing costs and recovering them
through higher tariffs may affect demand.” – Cathay
Chairman Christopher Pratt
Cathay to introduce
Cathay Pacific says it plans to introduce a premium-
economy product on its fleet in the second quarter of
In a statement on 29 Aug ust, Chief Executive John
Slosar confirmed the launch of the new product and
promised passengers that it would be “a real upgrade
over economy” and that they would get a high-quality
product for the additional cost.
Slosar said the new product would be introduced on
all of Cathay Pacific’s long-haul routes, ultra long-haul
ser vices to Europe and North America, and medium-
haul routes down to Australia, the Middle East and other
According to Slosar, the airline’s new product will be
much better than reg ular economy seats .
“The seat will be more like a regional business class
seat. We’ll have great recline and plenty of leg space,” the
Cathay CEO said. “But it’s not just the seat, we’ll have
an improved ser vice as well. The meal ser vice will be
improved and little extras will leave anyone who chooses
Cathay Pacific’s premium economy feeling they really
got value for their money.”
Slosar said the airline was now convinced that
premium economy is b ecoming a standard product
“And certainly, as a standard product, Cathay Pacific
will want to offer it and we’ll want to do a really good
job of it. Starting second-quarter next year we will offer
a premium- economy product in our aircraft,” he said.
The new product will be installed on the fleet “at
the same time as we install the new Business Class
seats,” Slosar said. “ We’ll be doing all this quite quickly,
although it will still take most of 2012 before it is on
most of our aircraft.”
Cathay Pacific will be retiring its fleet of Boeing 747-400BCF
freighters as new, more-efficient aircraft are delivered.
30 AsianAviation | SEPTEMBER 2011
2/09/11 5:55 PM
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