Email this article Government Homepage
Speech by SEDL at the relaunch of Hong Kong Express Airways (English only)

    Following is the speech by the Secretary for Economic Development and Labour, Mr Stephen Ip, at the relaunch cocktail reception of Hong Kong Express Airways today (January 29) (English only):

Dr [Stanley] Ho, Mr Chen [Feng], distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     I am glad to be here this evening to celebrate the relaunch of Hong Kong Express Airways.  

     2006 was a record-breaking year for the Hong Kong aviation industry.  Our airport handled 44.5 million passengers and 3.6 million tonnes of air cargo in 2006, representing an increase of 9.1% and 5.2% respectively over 2005.  Aircraft movements recorded an annual growth of 6.4% to over 280,000 in 2006.  Currently, 85 airlines operate a total of 5,400 flights between Hong Kong and some 150 destinations every week. These impressive records are the result of the concerted efforts of the Hong Kong aviation community, and we should be proud of our achievements.  

     There is, of course, no room for complacency.  We must continue to work hard to improve our connectivity and networking with the Mainland and the rest of the world.  It is against this background that we conduct annual review with the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) to expand HKSAR's air services arrangement with the Mainland.  I am pleased that we have made good progress in this respect.  For example, in the last review in June, 2006, we reached agreement to increase the number of routes to 56, to allow more airlines to serve each route, and to remove capacity limits for cargo services for almost all routes.

     Ladies and Gentlemen, Hong Kong Express's decision to upgrade its fleet and expand its network throughout the Mainland is wise and timely.  By providing passengers with more choices, better connections and enhanced services, Hong Kong Express will contribute towards strengthening Hong Kong's position as an international and regional aviation hub.  

     I would like to congratulate Hong Kong Express on its decision to expand its network and operations.  I am sure the company will be well rewarded and I wish the company every success in its future endeavours.  Let me also take this opportunity to wish all of you a healthy, happy and rewarding Year of the Pig.

     Thank you.

Ends/Monday, January 29, 2007
Issued at HKT 18:16


Print this page