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Monday, August 02, 2004

IHT: In China, an air hub to rival Hong Kong's

IHT: In China, an air hub to rival Hong Kong�s: "In China, an air hub to rival Hong Kong�s
Reuters Monday, August 2, 2004
GUANGZHOU, China Posing a potent threat to nearby Hong Kong�s position as Asia�s second-biggest air hub, a $2.4 billion, state-of-the-art airport will open here Thursday.
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Workers made final checks of machinery at the cargo terminal and farmers in straw hats peered through fencing Monday as a China Southern Airlines plane made a ceremonial landing at what will be its new hub at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport.
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Once the second phase is done, as it is expected to be around 2010, the airport will be able to handle 80 million passengers a year.
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Baiyun Airport will attempt to become the air transport hub for the Pearl River Delta, southern China, and connect with Southeast Asia, Huang Hua Hua, the governor of Guangdong Province, told officials gathered under a baking sun on the airport's freshly laid tarmac on Monday.
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The airport is a two-hour drive from Hong Kong, in the heart of the industrial Pearl River Delta, which produces more than one-third of China's exports. The airport is expected to snare a significant slice of China's booming cargo market. The package-delivery company FedEx is considering moving its Asia hub to Guangzhou.
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What you're going to see is the pie getting larger and larger, said David Cunningham, FedEx's Asia Pacific pres ident. But, yes, a smaller percentage of goods will come out of Hong Kong.
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Hong Kong's airport is the largest handler of international cargo, but 70 to 80 percent of that freight, including electronics and components, comes from the Pearl River Delta. Air France, Lufthansa and Thai Airways International are among about a dozen international passenger carriers that "

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