Hong Kong carrier, Cathay Pacific has said it welcomes the budget strategy recently outlined by Hong Kong SAR Government Financial Secretary John Tsang.
The budget strategy included a range of initiatives to promote tourism, trade and investment opportunities in Hong Kong.
The government has recognised the growing importance of air cargo services, and the urgent need to take forward the development of a third runway to meet Hong Kong’s air traffic demand. Cathay Pacific believes that the third runway is the only viable option to maintain Hong Kong’s competitiveness as a leading aviation hub.
"We are encouraged by the Government's plan to launch promotional activities that will help to attract more overseas visitors, business travellers and investors to Hong Kong. As the home carrier of Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific will continue to support Hong Kong's position as a leading international aviation hub that connects people from different parts of the world,” said Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu.
The airline has also commented on contributing to the “One Belt & One Road” initiative through its global connectivity. The new initiative, proposed by President Xi Jinping of China will see the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road form under the single title of “One Belt & One Road”.
The aim of the concept represents a new concept for enhancing cooperation for China and the outside world. In September 2013, when speaking at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, Xi spoke of the creation of a “New Silk Road Economic Belt” that would run from China through Central Asia.
The economic belt will feature high-speed rail lines, highways, bridges, and improved internet connectivity which in turn will be complemented by port development.
"We also welcome the Government's study into streamlining the handling of import/export documents, and the provision of a one-stop customs clearance service. We believe this will help to better facilitate cargo movements in and out of Hong Kong and further strengthen Hong Kong's position as the world's busiest airfreight hub," Mr Chu said.
Despite the emergence of new operators in the Hong Kong market, Cathay Pacific remains the dominant carrier in the Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. The carrier has boosted its own departure capacity by 38.4 per cent over the past ten years, an average annual rate of 4.3 per cent and published schedules for 2015 show a forecasted 6.9 per cent rise this year, the largest annual growth since 2011.
Cathay Pacific currently has a 32.5 per cent share of capacity from Hong Kong International Airport, but this rises to 47.9 per cent when you also include the operations of its subsidiary carrier Dragonair. In the table, below, we highlight the largest operators from the Asian gateway.