KARACHI: Cathay Pacific Services Limited CPSL, the wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways established to design, build and operate the new Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal at Hong Kong International Airport, announced that the first stage of operations at the terminal commenced on Thursday.
The first consignment of airfreight, carried by flight CX138 of Cathay Pacific from Sydney, Australia, arrived at the new terminal at 05:09 today. The advanced Materials Handling System and Warehouse Operating System deployed at the facility have been working seamlessly to ensure the efficient handling of cargo on the first day of operation, helped by the Government bodies and business partners stationed in the terminal.
Cathay Pacific Services Ltd Chief Executive Officer Algernon Yau and other senior executives witnessed today’s landmark moment at the huge HK$5.9 billion facility.
Yau said: “A new chapter in Hong Kong’s role as a leading international air cargo hub began today when commercial operations commenced at the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal. A combination of advanced technology and operational strength will mean that customers can benefit from extended cut-off times, last-minute cargo acceptance and a reduced connection time for transhipments.
“The minimum connection time for transhipments in Hong Kong will be reduced from the current eight hours to five hours, and our ultimate goal is to reduce this to three hours. Now that our terminal is in operation, we will be working tirelessly to enhance Hong Kong’s position as the hub of choice.”
Cathay Pacific Director Cargo Nick Rhodes said: “Congratulations to Cathay Pacific Services Ltd for a successful start to their operations today. Cathay Pacific and Dragonair are the launch customers for the new terminal and we are happy that the close collaboration and concerted effort over the past few months helped to ensure that things went smoothly today. The launch of the new terminal means that our two airlines will be able to provide even more streamlined cargo solutions as well as innovative and tailor-made products that suit the needs of our customers.”
CPSL is adopting a three-stage approach to the commencement of operations to ensure a smooth transition for its launch airline customers from their current cargo operations at the airport. In stage one, the facility is handling valuable cargo, transit civil mail and interface transfer transhipments.
Stage two operations will commence in the summer for the handling of all transhipments, import cargo and empty unit load device ULD release. The terminal will achieve full operations for its launch customers in the latter half of this year with the intention of opening up its facilities and services to other airlines before the end of 2013.
Preparations for the stage two opening are in progress, with an operational trial launching soon to ensure readiness for the next stage of the transition.