CHINA Airlines is involved in discussions with its insurers about the pay-out for the jumbo jet recovered from Victoria Harbour yesterday, two weeks after it skidded off the end of the runway while landing in bad weather. The US$150 million (HK$1.1 billion) Boeing 747-400, now valued by one metal dealer at scrap worth a mere HK$60,000, was on the taxiway bridge linking the runway to the southern airport apron this morning. As engineers attempt to move the wreckage to a new resting place on the eastern apron, officials at the Taiwan-based airline will continue talks with their insurers. Details of compensation for the 273 passengers have still to be worked out. A China Airlines' official said last week that the passengers' luggage had been returned to their owners, but one source said it was being held at Kai Tak. Yesterday's lifting operation was greeted with a sigh of relief from Hong Kong Salvage and Towage Company managing director Alan Curtis. ''You printed the details of the operation,'' he told the South China Morning Post, ''so you know it went according to plan.'' The recovery operation began at 6.30 am with salvage experts positioning Proteus 1, the largest floating crane in the territory, above the plane near the end of the runway. A mobile crane secured to a barge moored alongside Proteus 1 held the nose of the aircraft steady with nylon webbing while strengthened cable was attached to landing gear trunnions able to support the weight of the plane. The only hiccup came at 11 am when the first lift was attempted. ''The webbing slings slipped a bit due to the slippery aluminium surface of the plane,'' said Mr Curtis. ''We just put the plane back in the water and adjusted them.'' The strong wind and the weight imbalance, caused by the absence of the two right-side engines, one of which fell off during the crash and the other removed for safety, caused the aircraft to sway and turn slightly. At 12.45 pm, the jumbo was lifted from the water. Then at 2 pm, once everything had been fixed in position, the crane was manoeuvred by three tugs into Kwun Tong typhoon shelter and along the nullah to the taxiway bridge, arriving 40 minutes later. Mr Curtis said once the airport's disabled aircraft recovery transport system - a $10 million sophisticated support trolley - was positioned under the nose, they were able to lower the plane on to the bridge at 4 pm. Experts checked the under carriage last night and hoped to move the plane off the bridge before midday today. Throughout the operation a Marine Department pollution control boat stood by to monitor possible oil leakage. Marine Police deployed three vessels to control harbour traffic near the Kwun Tong ferry pier. An officer was forced to use a loud hailer to warn one ferry to turn off its engines because the wash was disturbing the lifting operation. Passengers were angry that police then cancelled the ferry claiming the force had not been warned. An elderly passenger said: ''I have an appointment at the North Point ferry pier. How can I get there? What can I do?''