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China Airlines breaks ground for future HQ

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- China Airlines (CAL) yesterday held a groundbreaking ceremony for the site of its future headquarters, named CAL Park, at Taoyuan International Airport.

More than 100 guests attended yesterday's ceremony, including top government officials, airport authority officers, vendors, CAL executive representatives and media personnel.

CAL Park is scheduled to begin operations at the end of 2009, under a 50-year contract that includes three years of construction and 47 years of operation. The new complex is expected to promote CAL as a national brand and turn Taoyuan International Airport into a global landmark.

"At an investment of NT$4.5 billion, the world-class headquarter-concept building demonstrates CAL's strong confidence in the future of the company," said China Airlines Chairman and President Ringo Chao at the ceremony. "Together with the European brand Novotel as the first international airport hotel in Taiwan, China Airlines will help catapult Taoyuan International Airport into greater global visibility."

CAL anticipates its relocation to the Taoyuan International Airport area sometime after 2009. "This will lift CAL's corporate image, enhance Taiwan's global position in the international airline industry, and result in the rise of 'airport city' economics," Chao added.

CAL Park will be located on a 4.7-hectare area on the site of the previous Airport Hotel. The four-tower complex will include a dedicated flight simulator training center, a crew dispatch center, a head office building, and the hotel, to be called Novotel International Taoyuan Airport Taipei.

The total floor area of the new complex will be more than 33,000 square meters in size. The developer of CAL Park is CAL Park Co. Limited, which is 100 percent owned by China Airlines.

The design of CAL Park will incorporate the concept of flight, with modern architecture in colors of silver, white, gray and blue that officials say will highlight CAL's spirit and emphasize its desire to attain further eminence.

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