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Statement on rebuilding operations (Updated as of HKT18:30)
11 Jul 2001
By Tony Tyler, Director Corporate Development
Thank you for joining us once again.
Today, we would like to talk about the progress we are making towards resuming our normal schedule and overcoming the uncertainty caused by the AOA's Hong Kong disruption campaign.
As you know, we introduced a reduced schedule last week of about 80% of our normal operation in order to make sure we could maintain schedule integrity. That was successful. The situation is definitely improving day by day.
Today we plan to operate 130 flights out of our original schedule of 144. That represents almost 90% of our original schedule. Up until 4pm today, just nine flights have been delayed by more than 15 minutes. This compares to 15 flights yesterday and 49 flights the day before.
As announced last night, we are today resuming eleven flights which were temporarily suspended last week. The reinstated flights are between Hong Kong and Seoul, Manila, Taipei, and on to Nagoya and Tokyo.
We aim to resume more suspended flights over the next few days. These include flights to Perth from Friday 13 July, and to Penang and Hanoi from Saturday 14 July. That leaves services to seven ports still suspended, namely Adelaide, Cairns, Colombo, Delhi, Karachi, Manchester, and New York. We will announce at a later date when services will resume to these ports.
Impact on customers
Of course, whilst we are taking steps to improve the situation we are also very much aware of the inconvenience and frustration our passengers have experienced over the past week. It has been difficult. The sting in the tail of the typhoon over the weekend resulted in 29 of our aircraft being diverted. That and the impact of the AOA's industrial action caused backlogs around our network with particular problems in busy ports such as Taipei and London.
Unfortunately we could only operate one flight out of London last weekend instead of the normal four. That resulted in a backlog of over 1,000 passengers. Efforts were ade to transfer these passengers to other carriers but few seats were available due to the busy summer travel peak.
Many passengers had to be accommodated in hotels overnight on Saturday and Sunday.
Our staff worked around the clock to resolve the situation, but were at times overwhelmed. Understandably the service we were able to offer our passengers under these conditions fell far short of our normal high standards. We apologise unreservedly to all those passengers who were affected and thank our staff for their efforts.
I am pleased to say that we expect all backlogs will be cleared by today and the network is quickly returning to normal.
As I said earlier, the situation is improving day by day. With this in mind, I am also pleased to announced that we have reopened future flights for new bookings. The only exceptions are those flights to destinations which are still suspended and a few which are already very heavily booked.
Today we have also reopened our In-Town Check-In services at Kowloon Station and Hong Kong Station on the Airport Express Line.
I have painted a rather positive picture, however I should add one word of caution. That is the fact that we are still facing the threat of continued industrial action by the AOA. We still do not know their intentions. However we are in good shape and will of course respond appropriately to any change in the situation.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your kind attention. We would now be happy to take any questions.