Cathay Pacific Airways is calling on Hong Kong’s Government to make a quick decision on a third runway for Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), warning that delays could put it at a disadvantage against rapidly expanding Chinese airports.

“Hubs like Guangzhou and Shanghai are planning third, fourth and even fifth runways. Hong Kong faces the very real danger of gifting our competitive advantage away unless we move quickly and decisively on the third runway,” the Oneworld alliance carrier’s CEO, Tony Tyler, said in a speech at a conference in Hong Kong.

“The success of the Hong Kong hub is critical to the long-term health of the Hong Kong economy. Strangle the hub and you’ll squeeze a good deal of life out of the Hong Kong economy as well.”

Hong Kong’s Airport Authority announced late in 2006 that it was launching feasibility studies into the addition of a third runway at HKIA. Tyler says airlines need to be involved in the feasibility studies as “we should be a key player in the debate”.

Cathay says HKIA “is already heavily slot-constrained for most of the day and moves to increase movements through the use of new air traffic control equipment will only delay the day when Hong Kong’s airport becomes fully slot constrained”.

Source:'s sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news