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Qantas announces profit earnings

Emirates’ SkyCargo leads the way in logistics

International Environment Park opened to honor Thai princess

Qantas announces profit earnings

Qantas Airways proudly announced a profit before tax of $513.1 million (13,084.05 million baht) for a six month period to 31 December 2002. Profit after tax was $352.5 million (8,988.75 million baht). The directors declared a fully franked interim dividend of 8 cents (2.04 baht) per share.

Qantas Chairman Margaret Jackson said the result was most pleasing, particularly given challenges and difficulties in the aviation industry.

Jackson said, “The world’s airlines lost about $US18 billion (774 billion baht) in the 2001 calendar year. Losses are expected to total $US12 billion (516 billion baht) in 2002. In the United States, two of the largest carriers - United Airlines and US Airways - have filed for bankruptcy protection. Many other carriers in the United States, Europe and South America continue to report losses, shed staff and retire aircraft. The performance of Qantas in this environment is a tribute to the efforts of staff and management.”

Qantas CEO Geoff Dixons explained the result had been achieved in difficult circumstances where domestic air fares were at historic lows. The Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics revealed discount domestic fares were 23 percent cheaper than three years ago.

Qantas has grown some 50 percent domestically to meet the market demands flowing from the collapse of Ansett. Considerable resources are being put towards major upgrades and improvements.

By the end of this financial year, Qantas will have invested approximately $6 billion (153 billion baht) on new aircraft, in-flight entertainment, seating and other product initiatives since the collapse of Ansett.

Dixon said while all areas of the business had contributed to the result, the improvement of the international operations stood out.

International operations earnings before interest and tax totaled $263.9 million (6,729.45 million baht). This compared with a loss of $15.5 million (395.25 million baht) in the same period the previous year, which was affected by the events of September 11.

Emirates’ SkyCargo leads the way in logistics

From February 2001, the new Emirates SkyCargo Center in Dubai became operational. This is a custom-designed facility with an annual through-put capability in excess of 350,000 tons. Looking to the future, the first stage of the design and specifications is now under process for the planned Cargo Mega Terminal which eventually will be able to handle up to 1,000,000 tons per year.

Emirates SkyCargo is the award-winning air freight division of Emirates Airline. Established in 1985, it quickly built a reputation for leading the industry in innovation, flexibility and service.

Today, it continues to set the standard, flying to over 60 destinations worldwide, and offering its customers a complete cargo solutions service. Through SkyChain, the online cargo logistics system, the cargo business works more efficiently by giving customers the tools they need to better control their consignments.

The product range has been developed to provide customers with cutting-edge cargo solutions. The Express Service assures on-time delivery throughout the world, while the extensive trucking and off-line partner networks ensure comprehensive coverage where customers need it most.

Quality is SkyCargo’s main focus, and this has been recognized throughout the industry. Air Cargo News voted Emirates “Cargo Airline of the Year” three years in a row, and “Best Cargo Airline to the Middle East” for the past 14 consecutive years.

International Environment Park opened to honor Thai princess

In April, to celebrate the 48th birthday of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the occasion will be marked by the opening of a new international environment park covering 1,800 rai of land in Petchaburi Province.

The park is the brainchild of border police forces based in the area, who will transform the Rama VI border police camp near the popular seaside resort of Cha-am into the new park.

HRH the Princess has named the park -Sirindhorn International Environment Park. The area is currently being restored, after heavy environmental degradation was caused by the border police and by charcoal makers.

Ten years ago HRH the King ordered that the land be used as a case study for environmental development, and ordered the repair of the royal residence in the area. A year later, HRH the Princess came to play music and dine in the palace, and ordered that land be found for the planting of mangrove forests to restore the area’s eco-system.

Describing the new environmental park as a living nature museum, deputy superintendent of the Rama VI police training camp said that the park would be developed into a historical and environmental tourist destination.

“This will be of huge benefit to society, as it will let people study from real life sources rather than only from books,” he said.

Development of the area is now 80-90 percent complete, with mangrove forests interspersed with beach woodland and ordinary woodland areas. The park’s organizers have specifically selected unusual trees for the project, and expressed confidence that within the next 10 years the park will serve as a valuable environmental study area.

While the park is unlikely to be finished until next year, it will be opened by HRH the Princess this April.

The area already hosts around 200,000 visitors each year who come to see the summer palace, one of the largest golden teak structures in Thailand. (TNA)