Hong Kong Air Cargo, Home-grown airline takes off toward global vision

Hong Kong Air Cargo held a grand opening ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong on 26th April 2017, hosting more than 400 distinguished guests including Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Chief Executive Mr CY Leung, China Liaison Office Deputy Director Ms Qiu Hong, Secretary for Transport and Housing Mr Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, China Liaison Office Department of Economic Affairs Deputy Director Ms Jin Ping, Permanent Secretary for Transport and Housing Mr Joseph Lai Yee Tak, Deputy Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic Of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Counsellor Mr Wang Jie, Director-General of Civil Aviation Mr Simon Li Tin Chui, Airport Authority Hong Kong Chief Executive Officer Mr Fred Lam Tin-fuk, Legislative Councillor for Transport Mr Frankie Yick Chi-ming, Legislative Councillor for Tourism Mr Yiu Si-wing, HNA Group Board of Directors Director and HNA Tourism Group Co., Ltd Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mr Xin Di, and Yangtze River Express Chairman Mr Zhang.

Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Mr CY Leung said: “The establishment of Hong Kong Air Cargo is an important milestone in the development of Hong Kong’s aviation and logistics industries. At the end of this year, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will be completed and, once open, will significantly shorten the time needed to travel between the Hong Kong International Airport and cities on the West Bank of the Pearl River and Guangxi, thereby expanding the Hong Kong air cargo market. To seize the opportunity to develop Hong Kong’s aviation leasing business, the Government has submitted to the Legislative Council a draft amendment to the Inland Revenue Ordinance to provide profits tax concessions to eligible aircraft lessors and leasing agents, to promote Hong Kong’s offshore aircraft leasing activities in order to enhance Hong Kong’s status as an international financial centre and aviation hub.”

“Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading logistics cities, recording the highest cargo throughput in the world over the last few years. As a shareholder, we are very pleased about the development and accomplishments of Hong Kong Airlines, and its decision to set up Hong Kong Air Cargo to support the rapid growth of the air cargo industry and the Belt and Road Initiative,” said Xin Di, Board of HNA Group Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of HNA Tourism Group. “HNA Group is very optimistic about the future of Hong Kong and will actively support the expansion of the air cargo industry and play our part in contributing to Hong Kong’s future.”

Hong Kong Air Cargo Chief Executive Officer Mr Zhong Guosong said, “We have, at last, officially obtained the Air Operator’s Certificate from the Civil Aviation Department and the Licence from the Air Transport Licensing Authority. This is the first Air Operator’s Certificate issued in Hong Kong in 12 years, and we are proud and excited about this incredible honour. At Hong Kong Air Cargo, our goal is to be rooted in Hong Kong, establish network throughout Asia, while maintaining a global vision. Reaping the benefits of China’s Belt and Road initiative, we will further implement marketing differentiation strategies to help propel Hong Kong’s air cargo industry forward.”

Hong Kong International Airport’s air cargo throughput has ranked first in the world since 2010, reaching 452,000 tonnes in 2016. The air cargo industry in Hong Kong benefits from the region’s unique geographical advantage and excellent environment for business. With the new directions offered by China’s Belt and Road initiative, the industry now faces tremendous opportunities for further development. The formation of Hong Kong Air Cargo during this exciting and opportune time means that the company now bears the great responsibility of promoting the profound development of the air cargo industry in Hong Kong.

As a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Airlines, Hong Kong Air Cargo’s important milestone today is inseparable from the success of Hong Kong Airlines, and is also a part of Hong Kong Airlines’ glorious history. Established in 2006, Hong Kong Airlines has taken root in Hong Kong while maintaining a global vision, building up a fleet of 34 aircraft, a network of 36 major Asia Pacific cities and a respected reputation in just 10 years. Both the passenger traffic and cargo volume of Hong Kong Airlines rank second in the Hong Kong market.

The airline’s cargo business, in particular, has experienced consistent year-on-year growth since the airline introduced its first A332F freighter aircraft in 2010. As of 2016, the airline’s 5 cargo aircraft cover 11 freight routes and 13 destinations; in 2016, its cargo volume exceeded 327,500 tonnes, accounting for 7 percent of the Hong Kong International Airport’s overall throughput. Going forward, Hong Kong Air Cargo will integrate the needs of the cargo transportation market, gradually adding B747 and B777 wide-bodied long-haul freight aircraft into its fleet over the next 5 years until the fleet size reaches double digits. At the same time, the airline will invest in the integration of “last-mile delivery” and upgrade its cargo services from “airport to airport” to “door to door” a solution that has long been a challenge for Hong Kong cargo carriers to successfully implement.

Hong Kong Air Cargo’s future development will focus on building air, land and water cargo transport systems around the Hong Kong International Airport, further improving the cargo network in which Hong Kong sits as the hub. Above all, the airline will continue working toward the goal of being rooted in Hong Kong, establishing network throughout Asia, while having a global vision, helping Hong Kong take off toward a brighter tomorrow.

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