Major construction done at Cathay Pacific cargo terminal

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Major construction has been completed on Cathay Pacific's new cargo terminal at Hong Kong International airport (HKIA).

The airline hosted a "topping out" ceremony at the terminal on 17 November 2011 to mark the completion of the building's structure.

When completed, the cargo terminal will increase the airport's total designed annual capacity by 50% to 7.4 million tonnes.

"In the coming years, additional freighter parking stands will be built both at the midfield area and the west apron to meet forecast growth," added Marvin Cheung, chairman of the Airport Authority, at the ceremony.

The Hong Kong dollars (HK$) 5.5 billion ($706.5 million) cargo terminal, the fourth at HKIA, is due to start operations in 2013.

Cathay was given a 20-year franchise in 2008 to run the terminal.

The airline, which has 10 Boeing 747-8 aircraft on order, took delivery of its first freighter in October.

The airline also expects its cargo volume to rise up to 18% next year with the delivery of new passenger aircraft and freighters, said its cargo director Nick Rhodes.