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17 Dec 2008
Dragonair Celebrates Launch of New Service to Hanoi

Dragonair last night celebrated the recent launch of its service to and from Hanoi at a special inaugural dinner held in the Vietnam capital. Officiating guests at the event included Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Financial Secretary John Tsang and Pham Thanh Tung, Director General International Cooperation, Ministry of Transportation in Vietnam. Dragonair Chairman Tony Tyler and Chief Executive Officer Kenny Tang hosted the occasion and was joined by more than 150 guests who included Vietnamese government officials, representatives from the local travel industry, and a Hong Kong business delegation led by the Financial Secretary.

Dragonair launched the new daily service between Hong Kong and Hanoi on October 26. It marked the first time for the airline to operate scheduled services to and from Vietnam, a dynamic market with a fast-growing economy and rapid growth in tourist traffic.

Speaking at the gala inaugural event, Mr Tyler said that: "The addition of the new Hanoi services underscores Dragonair's long-term commitment to growing its network and helping to boost Hong Kong's aviation hub status. Despite the current financial crisis, we remain confident in the long-term prospects for the travel and aviation industries, particularly in Asia."

HKSAR Financial Secretary John Tsang also spoke at the event, congratulating Dragonair on the successful launch of its new service and on taking the opportunity to improve travel links between Vietnam and Hong Kong. "As well as expanding its services, Dragonair has also maintained the high standard of service that we have come to expect from a Hong Kong-based airline," Mr Tsang said.

Stressing the importance of ties between Vietnam and Hong Kong, Mr Tsang added: "Vietnam is an important business partner to both Hong Kong and Mainland China. Last year, bilateral trade between Hong Kong and Vietnam topped US$3 billion. In the first nine months of this year, there was a 25 per cent increase in trade between us compared to the same period last year. I am confident that this new service will add an extra dimension to relationship-building between our two cities and between our two countries. And, of course, we also welcome more Vietnamese tourists to take advantage of this service."

Pham Thanh Tung, Director General International Cooperation, Ministry of Transportation in Vietnam, also spoke at the event: "The development of Dragonair in Vietnam is in line with our policy to create more choices in the air transport sector for travellers."

The inaugural event featured a Chinese-style celebration, which started with a dragon eye-dotting ceremony by the officiating guests and was followed by toasting and a dragon dance performance. Bringing the event to a close, Dragonair CEO Kenny Tang said that "Dragonair is really proud to be able to play a key role in enhancing ties between Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, and our home city, Hong Kong" and he thanked all those involved in helping to make the launch of the new service a success.

"We have brought to the Hanoi route the kind of premium service that makes us the 'airline of choice' in all the markets we serve. We certainly look forward to serving the people of Hanoi and we hope the Dragonair brand soon becomes an easily recognisable one to the people of Vietnam," Mr Tang said.

Dragonair Chairman Tony Tyler (fourth from right) was joined by John Tsang, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Financial Secretary (fourth from left), Kenny Tang, Dragonair Chief Executive Officer (third from left) and Pham Thanh Tung, Director General International Cooperation, Ministry of Transportation in Vietnam (third from right) to toast at the event held in Hanoi to wish Dragonair a great success in its new service to the city.

Dragonair, an affiliate member of oneworld, is a Hong Kong-based airline operating a fleet of 32 passenger aircraft and four freighters serving 34 regional destinations, including 20 cities in Mainland China. Dragonair has been recognised for its product and service quality, and was voted "Best Regional Airline: SE Asia" in the annual World Airline Survey run by Skytrax in 2007/08. Dragonair is part of the Cathay Pacific Group, providing seamless connectivity for passengers to more than 100 cities around the globe.

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