Cathay chief lashes out at aircraft makers' high pricesThe head of Hong Kong Hong Kong (hŏng kŏng), Mandarin Xianggang, special administrative region of China, formerly a British crown colony (2005 est. pop. 6,899,000), land area 422 sq mi (1,092 sq km), adjacent to Guangdong prov. carrier Cathay Pacific Cathay Pacific Airways Limited (HKSE: 0293 ) is an airline based in Hong Kong, operating scheduled passenger and cargo services to over 104 destinations worldwide. It is the flag carrier of Hong Kong with its main base at the Hong Kong International Airport. . on Tuesday lashed out at aircraft and parts suppliers such as Boeing and Airbus for charging airlines more for their products despite the economic downturn.
In a rare outburst against suppliers, Cathay chief executive Tony Tyler said aircraft and parts manufacturers continued to hike prices and called for closer alignment between the interests of airlines and suppliers.
"I am always astonished a·ston·ish
tr.v. as·ton·ished, as·ton·ish·ing, as·ton·ish·es
To fill with sudden wonder or amazement. See Synonyms at surprise. when I hear how much what you sell us costs. Big things, small things, seats, engines, parts of all kinds -- how can they be so expensive?" Tyler told a room packed with suppliers at the Asian Aerospace Asian Aerospace (AA) is an international trade fair for the aerospace business. It had been based at the Changi Exhibition Centre near the Singapore Changi Airport, it is the biggest airshow event in Asia, and was touted by its organisers as the "world’s second most International Expo and Congress in Hong Kong, the region's largest air show.
"The result is that a premium seat and its furniture costs more than a top-quality sports car. If our passengers only knew what some of our costs were, there would be no complaints about the costs of premium fares A premium fare is a premium fare on a public transport service.
Typically such fares are set at around ten percent above the fare normally applying on that route or another route offered by alternative service; such fares might be levied at times where traffic-levels would ."
Pricing negotiations between airlines and suppliers are typically kept confidential.
The airline industry has been severely hit by the downturn amid slowing cargo trade as families defer holiday plans and companies cut spending on business travel.
Escalating fuel prices and the global outbreak of human swine flu swine flu
A highly contagious form of human influenza caused by a filterable virus identical or related to a virus formerly isolated from infected swine. have exacerbated the issue.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA IATA
International Air Transport Association, which sets the rules for air transport, including those concerning air transport of animals. ) had earlier forecast that full-year losses for the airline industry would reach about 9.0 billion US dollars.
"It's absurd to expect an industry which is estimated to be going to lose around nine billion dollars this year to keep paying higher costs for the same thing," the Cathay chief said.
Airbus' senior vice president of market and product strategy, Laurent Rouaud, told the forum that the price increase was necessary "to ensure that we are going to provide a better type of aircraft" to meet future challenges.
For example, he said the latest Airbus planes allowed for more efficient use of fuel than others in the market.
Cathay's Tyler also criticised the global aircraft giants Boeing and Airbus for their order delivery delays.
"I'd have more sympathy for suppliers if they provided the sort of on-time performance our customers expect from us. But they don't even do that," he said.
"I'll try to be even-handed: the world's two leading aircraft manufacturers have had well-publicised problems with aircraft delays."
He said although the latest delays did not affect Cathay, the carrier had "all sorts of unpublicised problems with delays from suppliers of all kinds over the years."
Cathay Pacific reported last month that its first-half revenue plummeted 27.1 percent year-on-year to 30.92 billion Hong Kong dollars Noun 1. Hong Kong dollar - the basic unit of money in Hong Kong
dollar - the basic monetary unit in many countries; equal to 100 cents (3.96 billion US) due to weak demand.