|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||20 March 2012|
Cathay Pacific Airways welcomes the Hong Kong SAR Government's approval to adopt the three-runway option for planning purposes as the future development blueprint for Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).
The in-principle approval comes following strong public support of the three-runway option and the recommendation to proceed by the Airport Authority of Hong Kong.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive John Slosar said: "We firmly believe the third runway is of critical importance to the sustainability of the Hong Kong economy and, therefore, to the long-term prosperity and well-being of Hong Kong's people. Connectivity with the rest of the world has made Hong Kong what it is today so we must be clear on how we can maintain and grow these links to our future.
"A third runway is the only viable option to ensure the long-term competitiveness of Hong Kong as an important international financial centre, trading and logistics hub, tourism destination and professional services capital."
Cathay Pacific appreciates the government's foresight as the carrier firmly believes that it is in Hong Kong's best interests to take a long-term view to ensure that HKIA continues to thrive. The airline is currently making significant investments to underscore its commitment to its home hub in Hong Kong, including more than 90 new aircraft on order for delivery up to the end of the decade with a list price of some HK$190 billion, a HK$5.7 billion cargo terminal that is scheduled to open in early 2013 and more than HK$3 billion on new products in the air and on the ground to give more people a reason to fly to and through Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific will also be hiring to staff all of this growth with current plans to hire approximately 1,000 cabin crew, 300 pilots and 600 ground staff in 2012.
Cathay Pacific also welcomes the government's direction to proceed with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the third runway. For its part, Cathay Pacific fully supports and actively implements various initiatives to fulfil the IATA's climate change commitments íV an average improvement in fuel efficiency of 1.5% per year to 2020, aviation carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and a reduction in net CO2 emissions of 50% by 2050, relative to 2005 levels.
Mr. Slosar added: "We at Cathay Pacific are confident that with the authorities, conservancy groups, the airline industry, the community at large and all other interested parties working closely together, we can have a third runway that offers the best balance of environmental, social and economic benefits for the people of Hong Kong. "
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