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Cathay Pacific Hosts Airline Summit; Hong Kong's Acting Chief Executive Emphasises Importance Of Aviation

18 Nov 2005

Cathay Pacific Airways, the airline of Hong Kong, today proudly hosted and chaired the 49th Assembly of Presidents of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines at which Acting Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR Government Mr Rafael Hui emphasised the importance of aviation to Hong Kong’s development.

"The Hong Kong SAR Government is committed to strengthening our status as an aviation hub," Mr Hui said in his opening ceremony speech to the Assembly in Hong Kong. “Leading airlines are among the most recognised global brand names and, in some instances, the pride of the economies concerned."

He said: "Hong Kong is fortunate enough to be located at the heart of this region and right at the gateway of China. Our unique geographical position has enabled Hong Kong to develop into a major aviation hub."

And added: "We spare no efforts in improving our inter-modal connections with the Mainland, in particular the thriving Pearl River Delta area, so as to enlarge our passenger and cargo catchment area."

He said Hong Kong is a true believer in free economy and open markets.

"The same philosophy pervades throughout our aviation sector. Airlines are able to plan and develop their businesses in a liberalised, transparent and predictable environment. And our market allows airlines to compete solely on their own strengths. The Government provides absolutely no subsidy but some support to our local airlines in whatever form or shape," Mr Hui said.

Cathay Pacific Chairman David Turnbull, in welcoming remarks to the Assembly, said the aviation industry has dealt with a number of crises in recent years, but ultimately come through them in better shape.

"Aviation is a tough business," Mr Turnbull said. "On the whole Asian airlines are generally doing much better than the rest of the world. We have faced all sorts of crises in the past. Most of the airlines are strong enough and prepared should there be another."