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Dragonair to more than double size of Cargo Fleet by end 2008

Travel News Asia 6 May 2004

Dragonair is to more than double the size of its all-cargo fleet by the end of 2008, after announcing the purchase of five Boeing 747-400 special freighters. Two of the five aircraft will enter service in 2006, followed by two more in 2007 and one in 2008.

"Today's announcement is a major milestone in the growth of Dragonair's cargo operations, and a significant investment in the future growth of Hong Kong as a cargo gateway to and from the Mainland," said Chief Executive Officer Stanley Hui. "It will also ensure that Dragonair remains a major player in the air freight market in China and, increasingly, around the world.

"The purchase of the special freighters means that by the end of 2008 we will be operating nine all-cargo aircraft. Underpinning this growth is the continuing development of the China Mainland economy and continuing demand for air cargo services there."

Mr Hui added: "This cargo fleet expansion plan will allow us to look at new destinations, and for the first time puts us in a position to enter the major freight markets across the Pacific."

The five B747-400 special freighters have been purchased from Singapore Airlines. Conversion work will be carried out in collaboration with Boeing, and the aircraft will be among the world's first B747-400 passenger airliners to be converted to freighters.

Dragonair's cargo division currently operates three Boeing 747-300 freighters, with one Boeing 747-200 freighter due to enter service in mid-July.

The airline also recently announced plans to expand its passenger fleet, adding six new aircraft by the end of 2006 to take the passenger fleet to 33 aircraft.

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