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27 Feb 2008
Cathay Pacific Welcomes Budget Announcements Relating to Air Transport and Tourism

Cathay Pacific today welcomed the announcement by the HKSAR Financial Secretary, Mr John Tsang, in his Budget Speech that the Airport Authority (AA) would begin within this year the engineering and environmental feasibility studies for a third runway at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).

"Hong Kong's aviation hub is a key driver of the Hong Kong economy, and with HKIA already facing worrying levels of traffic congestion we need to look at how we can increase capacity in both the medium and longer term," said Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler.

"Taken together with various other ongoing measures to increase capacity at HKIA, a third runway is a vital component in the equation, and it is good news that a feasibility study is about to begin.

"Cathay Pacific would be happy to be a part of this study, as I am sure would the airline industry as a whole. We have a big stake in the outcome."

Mr Tyler said the airline supported the HKIA-Shenzhen Airport Rail link as a solution to some of Hong Kong's transport problems.

He also welcomed the Financial Secretary's announcement that runway movements at HKIA would be gradually increased to 68 per hour by 2015.

Mr Tyler said: "While this is somewhat short of the 75 movements per hour envisaged in the AA's original Master Plan, it is nonetheless encouraging that the increasing constraints on traffic at HKIA are being tackled.

"We will continue to work with the AA and Civil Aviation Department to seek solutions to this critical issue."

Finally, Mr Tyler said that as Hong Kong's home carrier, Cathay Pacific supported the initiatives on promoting the development of the tourism, convention and exhibition industries in Hong Kong.