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HKSAR Government supports Hong Kong carriers expanding services to the Chinese Mainland

03 Mar 2004


At a gala dinner celebrating Cathay Pacific's resumption of services to Beijing, Bowen Leung, Director of the Beijing Office of the HKSAR, said the airline's resumption of Beijing services marks a milestone step for the carrier in investing and developing the Mainland's aviation market.

Held at the Peninsula Palace Hotel in Beijing, the gala dinner was attended by Yang Yuanyuan, Minister of General Administration of the Civil Aviation Administration of China; Victor Fung, Chairman of the Hong Kong Airport Authority; Albert Lam, Director-General of the Civil Aviation Department of the HKSAR; leaders of the international Chambers of Commerce and business community; members of the National People's Congress; delegates to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference; and some 200 guests from the Chinese Mainland.

According to Leung, the aviation industry plays a key role in the economy of Hong Kong and the Government would support and encourage Hong Kong airlines to enhance their services to the Mainland to strengthen the territory's positions as the global aviation hub.

Leung continued that with the Chinese Mainland's entry to the World Trade Organisation, there would be rapid expansion of trade and economic ties between the Mainland and the rest of the world. With respect to air transport, Hong Kong has already established itself as an international hub with a comprehensive global network that is in line with the homeland's aggressive opening of the market. In furthering the bond with the Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong would be able to contribute by serving as the gateway between the Chinese Mainland and the rest of the world.

Also at the dinner, Cathay Pacific Chairman James Hughes-Hallet said that with the airline now serving Beijing three times a week, it hopes to expand its services to more destinations in the Chinese Mainland. Said Hughes-Hallet, this expansion is not only for the airline's interests, but it also benefits Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland's tourist industries. He hopes aviation authorities in both Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland would consider granting the airline better arrangements.

Many countries have not yet recognised that the Chinese Mainland is currently the fifth most popular destination in the world and will become the most popular travel destination by 2016, continued Hughes-Hallet. He encouraged the dinner's guests to spread this message.

This morning Hughes-Hallett and members of the accompanying delegation met Deputy Director Chen Zuo-er of the Hong Kong and Macao Office of the State Council at Diaoyutai Hotel and hosted a lunch for Vice Minister An Min from the Ministry of Commerce.
At the gala dinner to celebrate Cathay Pacific's resumption of services to Beijing, Cathay Pacific Chairman James Hughes-Hallett had pleasant conversations with Yang Yuanyuan, Minister of General Administration of the Civil Aviation Administration of China.Toasting ceremony at the gala dinner by (from right) Cathay Pacific Chairman James Hughes-Hallett; Yang Yuanyuan, Minister of General Administration of the Civil Aviation Administration of China; Bowen Leung, Director of the Office of the Government of the HKSAR in Beijing, and Philip Chen, Cathay Pacific Director and Chief Operating Officer.
Cathay Pacific cabin crew presented the airline's uniform development in the "Walking on Air" show.
Group photo of (fifth from right) Albert Lam, Director-General of the Civil Aviation Department of the HKSAR; Cathay Pacific Chairman James Hughes-Hallett; Yang Yuanyuan, Minister of General Administration of the Civil Aviation Administration of China; Bowen Leung, Director of the Office of the Government of the HKSAR in Beijing; Philip Chen, Cathay Pacific Director and Chief Operating Officer and the cabin crew who took part in the "Walking on Air" show.