A new ferry route between Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and Nansha Port in Guangzhou was officially launched today to further enhance connectivity between the airport and the Pearl River Delta (PRD). The new ferry service also increases the number of PRD ports and weekly cross-boundary ferry trips served by SkyPier to seven and more than 500, respectively.
The new route is operated by Panyu Nansha Passenger Terminal Transport Co., Ltd, and TurboJET, the operating brand of Shun Tak-China Travel Ship Management Limited, has been appointed as its sole agent. Currently, the 60-minute sailing departs from Nansha Port at 0930 hrs and leaves HKIA at 1530 hrs each day. Passengers of China Airlines, EVA Airways, Japan Airlines and Mandarin Airlines can enjoy additional convenience by checking in their luggage at Nansha Port and receiving it at their final destination. Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair will also offer this service.
The Guangzhou municipal government and party committee, Nansha district government and party committee and HKSAR government all played significant roles in the successful launch of the new route, as did the joint effort of Airport Authority Hong Kong, Shun Tak-China Travel Ship Management Limited and Fok Ying Tung Foundation Ltd. Officiating guests for today's ceremony included Zhu Xiaodan, Secretary of the Guangzhou Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC); Ling Weixian, member of the standing committee of the CPC's Guangzhou Municipal Committee; Chen Mingde, Vice Mayor of Guangzhou; Luo Zhaoci, Magistrate of Nansha District; Yau Shing-mu, Under Secretary for Transport and Housing of the HKSAR; Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Chief Executive Officer of the Airport Authority Hong Kong; Timothy Fok Tsun-ting and Ian Fok Chun-wan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fok Ying Tung Group, respectively.
Luo Zhaoci said the new route will strengthen Nansha's connection with Hong Kong, speed up PRD economic development and transform Nansha into the traffic hub of the PRD. The opening of the Nansha Port-HKIA ferry service enables Nansha to make use of HKIA's international passenger and cargo hub function to develop its airport economy. The new service will also play an important role in enhancing the competitiveness of Guangzhou and promoting PRD cooperation and development.
Yau Shing-mu said the launch of the long-planned direct route was the result of successful collaboration between the different parties. The opening of the ferry service between Nansha Port and HKIA means that essentially all major PRD ports are now covered.
Stanley Hui Hon-chung said he believes Hong Kong is Nansha's ideal window to the world. "With global connectivity to some 150 worldwide locations, including 110 international destinations, HKIA is the ideal transit airport for both PRD residents and overseas travellers. The new ferry service provides another commuting choice for people living or working in the PRD, allowing them to reach HKIA easily for their connecting flights to different parts of the world. This convenient air linkage will help boost the economic development of Nansha as well as the entire PRD."
Ian Fok Chun-wan noted the new ferry route will tie in with Fok Ying Tung Foundation's aim to construct a "Nansha New Coastal City" in the area, saying, "The property development project will become a model for the international community with green, quality living. It will serve people from across the globe who come here to sightsee, relax, live, work, trade and study. The new route will also support the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou by offering athletes, envoys and audiences convenient sea-air linkage between Guangzhou and Hong Kong, which is in line with the Fok family's commitment to promoting sports development in our country."
With the addition of the Nansha Port-HKIA route, SkyPier now operates 72 daily ferry trips to and from seven PRD ports: Nansha, Shenzhen's Shekou and Fuyong, Dongguan's Humen, Zhongshan, Zhuhai's Jiuzhou and Macau. The ferry pier has served over 8.5 million passengers since its inauguration, and the Airport Authority is set to commence a new permanent SkyPier by the end of this year. Eight times larger than the current facility and connected to Terminals 1 and 2 by Automated People Mover, the permanent SkyPier will continue to offer cross-boundary ferry service with better facilities.