Dragonair Cargo to operate first Trans-Pacific flights

New service to connect Hong Kong and China Mainland with Eastern US seaboard

Dragonair Cargo will operate its first trans-Pacific flights with the launch of a thrice-weekly freighter service to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on April 2. The city will become the 11th destination in Dragonair’s all-cargo network.

“This is a very exciting development for our cargo operation,” said Chief Executive Officer Stanley Hui. “With our extensive passenger and all-cargo network in China, we will link the Mainland with the world’s biggest air cargo market through our home base of Hong Kong. It will also help to enhance the role of Hong Kong as a major transshipment centre for cargo from the Mainland.

“Indeed, Dragonair’s unique Mainland network should prove very attractive to shippers on the eastern US seaboard.”

The new service will operate with a wet-leased Boeing 747-400 freighter aircraft.

“By wet-leasing we are able to start operating much earlier than planned,” explained Mr. Hui, “and add another key international market to our growing network. Dragonair is scheduled to start taking delivery of five converted B747-400 freighters from the end of 2006, and we had originally planned to launch US services at that time.”

He continued, “Our cargo operation has seen amazing growth. Less than five years ago we didn’t even have a cargo fleet: now our freighter network spans three-quarters of the globe and we are fast becoming a major player on the international cargo stage. This growth has been built on the phenomenal rise in China’s trade with its partners worldwide.”

Dragonair launched all-cargo services in May 2000. It now operates freighters to 10 destinations, connecting the markets of Europe, the Middle East, Japan, Taiwan and the China Mainland.

The airline’s service to New York will depart Hong Kong every Monday, Thursday and Saturday with a technical stop in Anchorage, with the following schedule (all local times):