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Cathay Pacific to focus on substance in ATLA summation

19 Mar 2003

Cathay Pacific Airways today said that its final summation at the Air Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA) hearing into the airline's application to fly to Shanghai, Beijing and Xiamen will focus on facts and substance rather than rhetoric.

Commenting after Dragonair's final summation before the ATLA panel, Cathay Pacific General Manager Corporate Communication Alan Wong said: "Dragonair's summation was long on rhetoric and short on facts. We are much more interested in substance."

During summation, ATLA Chairman, Justice William Stone queried the claim made by Dragonair's counsel, Mr Alan Hoo, SC, that, under the Basic Law, ATLA cannot grant an airline a licence to fly on a route before it is designated by the Hong Kong Government to operate such a service.

"The whole point about ATLA is that it is a basic filtering process and the Government does not get involved in designating until it is satisfied that an independent statutory tribunal has looked into it," Justice Stone said. "I am not much attracted to the idea that we should let the Government designate and put the cart before the horse."

Mr Wong added: "Cathay Pacific's sole objective from the outset has been to enhance Hong Kong's status as an aviation hub. We have every faith that the Central People's Government and the Hong Kong SAR Government recognise this and will continue to actively enhance the future prospects of Hong Kong."

Cathay Pacific will conclude the ATLA hearing tomorrow with its case summation.