The new Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal at Hong Kong International Airport started partial operations yesterday, handling airfreight carried in by Cathay Pacific from Sydney, Australia, announced terminal builder and operator Cathay Pacific Services Limited (CPSL).
The terminal is following a three-stage plan to ensure a smooth transition of cargo operations at the airport. In the current first stage, the facility is handling valuable cargo, transit civil mail, and interface transfer transshipments.
Sister airlines Cathay Pacific and Dragonair are the first customers for the HK$5.9 billion (US$760 million) facility.
The second stage starts in the summer and will involve processing of all transshipments, import cargo, and empty unit load device release. Preparations are in progress for this stage, which is to be prefaced by a trial run to iron out any glitches, the company said in an official release.
Full operations will begin in the latter half of this year, and the facility will be opened to other airlines before the end of 2013.
The new cargo hub will provide customers extended cut-off times, last-minute cargo acceptance, and a reduced connection time for transshipments, said Algernon Yau, CEO of CPSL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways, during opening ceremonies yesterday.
“The minimum connection time for transshipments 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,” he added.