Dragonair delays show sky's the limit in aviation woes How bad is the air traffic from Hong Kong to the mainland? Not very good, for sure. Based on the punctuality-performance data we reviewed for the first seven months this year, more than half of the time, your Dragonair flight, for one, is likely to have been delayed. On-time departures for the Cathay Pacific subsidiary ran at 45 to 47 per cent in the non-peak season. In the peak season, say July, on-time departures could be as low as 35.7 per cent. One in five flights may experience a delay of up to 30 minutes. Departures within 30 minutes of schedule ranged from the high of 85 per cent in January to the low of 70 per cent in June. Flying to the mainland could be made worse. As it is, Dragonair's performance this year actually shows an improvement of about 20 per cent over last year's, although it is still 10 per cent short of what it achieved in 2005. Dragonair chief executive Kenny Tang has taken the delay problem seriously. In Dragonair's in-house magazine, he wrote: 'All passengers expect their flights to arrive and depart punctually - and rightly so, because changes to travel schedules affect not only their own lives but those of friends, relatives or business partners. 'On-time performance is a performance measure that most airlines make a pledge on, but it is of particular importance to Dragonair because of the constraints we face.' These constraints, including air-traffic congestion and air-traffic control hold-ups, are factors outside Dragonair's control, and something that the mainland and Hong Kong authorities have been tackling more earnestly in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics. These industry problems have not spoiled the mood for investors in airline stocks, most of which are reaching new highs. Could we venture to say that for both the airlines' share performance and congestion woes, only the sky is the limit? Oasis keeps its options open Oasis Hong Kong Airlines made its name as a long-haul carrier to London and Vancouver, but watch its next move. Last month, the budget airline applied to the Air Transport Licensing Authority to operate four new routes from Hong Kong - to Singapore, Bangkok, Denpasar and Ho Chi Minh City, raising eyebrows that it would expand its business into short-haul routes. We asked the airline, and gathered that it didn't plan to offer short-haul services in the near future. It will keep the option open for the long run. In the summer, Oasis offered a 'buy one get one free' with Jetstar Asia. It is doing a similar joint promotion with Hong Kong Express. Fok returns for fried noodles We spoke with frequent flyer and Hutchison Whampoa group managing director Canning Fok Kin-ning, who has been managing the conglomerate from London most of this year. Asked about his life in London, he said it was nice to be back there, the city having been his home in his first overseas assignment with Hutchison Whampoa some 20 years ago. But he insisted on returning to Hong Kong once a month. 'I do miss my chowmien [fried noodles],' said Mr Fok, who appeared to have lost some weight without Cantonese cuisine. Two stocks make HK$100 list Congratulations to China Mobile for becoming this week the 10th stock in Hong Kong with a triple-digit share price. Also joining the HK$100 list yesterday was Wing Hang Bank, which jumped 18 per cent to a close of HK$101.60, its record high. So which company is next? There is no stock in the nineties, but we spotted three in the eighties, namely, in descending order, Swire Pacific (HK$86.20), Orient Overseas International (HK$84.45) and Ping An Insurance (HK$81.10). Some way to go, guys. Chief plays dead to sell park Our photo of the week belongs to Ocean Park chairman Allan Zeman, who showed how to have fun dying for a job. Mr Zeman was dressed in a traditional Chinese funeral garb for promoting the park's Halloween event this year. He was holding a lai see packet, a customary gift that actors would receive after playing a dead character. Always keen to break customs, he greeted people saying 'lai lai see see' as if it was Lunar New Year.