Air China

Airport body unlikely to seek payout by Hactl

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 October, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 October, 1999, 12:00am


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THE Airport Authority is unlikely to seek compensation from Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (Hactl) for losses incurred as a result of cargo-handling failures during the chaotic opening of Chek Lap Kok last year.

A source said the authority should seek to consolidate its relationship with business partners such as Hactl.

'It's better [for the authority] not to make any claims over these events,' the source said.

'If we are able to co-operate well, there is no reason for us to ruin it.' Officials put the economic losses during the airport chaos at $4.6 billion.

Freight forwarders have filed claims for more than $62 million from terminal operators for damage to cargo during the botched opening.

The authority has not made clear officially whether it will seek compensation from Hactl.

But Democrat Cheung Man-kwong said it should consider seeking recompense for loss of reputation.

'If they decide not to pursue [the matter] on grounds of 'looking forward', they're making a political decision,' he said.

A Legislative Council select committee has concluded Hactl should take most of the blame for the breakdown of cargo-handling services between the opening day on July 6 and August 24.