|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||10th September 2004|
AHK Air Hong Kong Ltd today announced it has taken delivery of the first of six new Airbus A300-600F General Freighters in the carrier's new livery. When it enters service on 12 September 2004 operating to Bangkok and Penang, AHK will become the first carrier in the world to operate this new freighter variant.
The aircraft is part of an order for six A300-600GF freighters placed by AHK in January 2003 to implement its plan of expanding its operations within the Asian region. The other five wide-body aircraft are scheduled for delivery between now and the end of the first quarter of 2005. DHL, the world's leading express and logistics company, holds a 40 percent stake in AHK with Cathay Pacific owning the remaining 60 per cent.
AHK is also the launch customer for the A300-600GF which differs from the A300-600F freighter aircraft currently being built for other carriers. Its unique features include a cargo loading system capable of handling almost every type of container and pallet, and a side door at the rear of the lower deck capable of handling large items of general freight. The new freighter is powered by two General Electric CF6-80C2 engines.
Currently AHK operates a fleet of leased freighters comprising one Boeing 747-200, one Airbus A300-600, two Airbus A300B4 and one Boeing B727. The route network includes Bangkok/Penang, Osaka, Tokyo, Taipei, Seoul and Singapore. As each new freighter enters service, it will replace one of the leased aircraft which will be returned to the lessors.
AHK Air Hong Kong Chairman Tony Tyler said: "Delivery of the new freighter is a significant step in our fleet expansion. It demonstrates Air Hong Kong's commitment to enhancing Hong Kong's position as Asia's leading air cargo hub, and to strengthening our network and quality of service."
Cathay Pacific's Director and Chief Operating Officer Philip Chen said: "Cathay Pacific's original partnership to operate overnight services in conjunction with DHL extended Hong Kong's capability from a global passenger and cargo hub to being a regional express shipment center as well. Today's delivery of Air Hong Kong's first in a fleet of freighter aircraft signals another significant step forward in Cathay Pacific's efforts to strengthen Hong Kong's hub position as we continue to invest in the city's infrastructure and people to further develop Hong Kong's economy. "
"As the only all-cargo carrier based in Hong Kong, AHK is well-positioned to strengthen the status of Hong Kong as Asia's leading cargo and logistics hub," said John Mullen, Chief Executive Officer - Asia Pacific, DHL Express. "AHK will also complement DHL's recently inaugurated US$100 million Central Asia Hub in Hong Kong and reinforce our regional air network's payload capacity and geographical coverage."
DHL has a dedicated Air Network that covers 25 destinations in 16 countries and is served by 20 aircraft in dedicated air operations with over 800 commercial flights daily.
"With this order, Air Hong Kong launches a new variant of Airbus' most successful freighter, an endorsement of the strength of the Airbus product line," said Noël Forgeard, Airbus Chief Executive Officer. "The freighter market continues to grow for Airbus aircraft and this new variant is the result of Airbus listening and reacting to market demands."
The new Air Hong Kong Airbus A300-600F "General Freighter" touching down at Hong Kong International Airport from Toulouse, France at 8:21am on 10 September 2004.
(From left) Tony Tyler, Chairman and David Saechiu, Chief Operating Officer of Air Hong Kong answer media enquiries.
(From left) Philip Chen, Director and Chief Operating Officer, Cathay Pacific; Terry Nord, Managing Director, Aviation Network Global, DHL Express; Sandra Lee, Permanent Secretary for Economic Development and Labour (Economic Development); David Turnbull, Deputy Chairman & Chief Executive, Cathay Pacific; Tony Tyler, Chairman of Air Hong Kong; David Saechiu of Air Hong Kong Chief Operating Officer together with other VIPs toast the delivery of the first of six new Airbus A300-600F General Freighters.
Senior executives of Air Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, DHL and Sandra Lee, Permanent Secretary for Economic Development and Labour (Economic Development) celebrate delivery of the new-livery Air Hong Kong Airbus freighter A300-600GF.
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