Hong Kong and the United States of America have signed an expanded air services pact granting U.S. airlines access to Asia's skies... "to the dismay of Cathay Pacific".
U.S. carriers have been granted landing rights in HKG known as fifth freedom rights. Fifth freedom cargo flights will rise by 50 to 58 flights and passenger flights are up 28 to 56 per week.
Hong Kong's de facto airline can codeshare on American Airlines flights in the U.S.A.
"There are now very wide range of countries available to them (U.S. carriers)," said Andrew Pyne, Cathay's general manager for international affairs.
"In terms of passenger flights, we are talking about access to Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia, and for cargoes flights we are talking about almost worldwide coverage, excluding Australia and Japan," he said.
Asked about the effect of the deal on Cathay's bottomline, Pyne said: "we are concerned about the impact of the fifth freedoms."
"Cathay Pacific is disappointed with the outcome of the fifth freedom discussion which is a clear unbalanced exchange in favour of the U.S. carriers," Cathay said in a statement issued on Saturday.
"The U.S. negotiation team has achieved major success for the U.S. carriers. We are disappointed with the U.S. protectionism, which denies Hong Kong carriers' equivalent commercial opportunities," the statement said.
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