BEIJING Capital International Airport and Singapore Airport Terminal Services yesterday signed a deal to set up a joint-venture company to operate a catering service at the China national airport. They signed an agreement to establish the Beijing Airport In-flight Kitchen Limited Company, with a joint investment of US$8.4 million. Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific Catering Services yesterday signed an equity joint venture agreement to build and manage a flight kitchen at Ho Chi Minh City International Airport in Vietnam. The new Beijing company will be jointly run for 20 years and will formally begin operating in 1995, ending the monopoly in the airport's catering service. It will provide catering services, including Chinese and Western drinks and cakes, and handle the sale of in-flight duty-free goods. About 8.7 million passengers used Beijing airport last year, about 34 per cent more than in the previous year. Passenger volume is expected to increase at an annual rate of 24 per cent in the foreseeable future. Authorities at the airport said they would welcome the involvement of more companies in joint venture catering. The Ho Chi Minh City flight kitchen, a 50:50 joint venture with the Tan Son Nat Airport Authority, will provide in-flight food for domestic and international flights under an agreement running for 15 years. Mr Christopher Pratt, Cathay Pacific Catering Services general manager, said: ''It will give carriers greater flexibility in setting their departure schedules and will boost the quality of their in-flight food. ''Air traffic growth to Vietnam will be robust in the next decade and the kitchen will be well placed to profit from such growth.''