News & Press Release

Weathernews Launches Services for China Eastern Airlines, a Major Chinese Air Carrier

TOKYO-Aug 18, 2005-Weathernews Inc. (Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo, Global Chairman and CEO: Hiroyoshi Ishibashi), the world’s largest publicly traded full service weather company, announced that it has concluded an operational support contract with China Eastern Airlines Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Shanghai, China: President: Li Fenghua), one of the three major air carriers in China.Under the contract, Weathernews provides support to strengthen the safety of operations and improve economic efficiency, based on weather information services, which began on a full scale on August 1.For the time being, services will be provided mainly in China, Japan, and South Korea, with the scope of services being expanded later to include other Asian countries and the United States.

Following the signing of the contract with Weathernews, Yang Jiyu,Deputy Director, Airline Operations Control Center,China Eastern Airlines, made the following comments:
"we have chosen Weathernews as our partner, who has a firm track record as a trusted operational support service provider.Through a solid partnership with Weathernews, we aim to become an airline that excels not only in China but also in the global market."

Services provided by Weathernews under this contract consist of support to enable the airline to make decisions on whether its airplanes can fly and to develop flight plans using weather information on vicinities of airports and flight paths in order to ensure safe and efficient airplane operation.Previously, China Eastern’s operational control unit made decisions on whether airplanes could fly and developed flight plans based on weather information provided by the China Meteorological Administration.Under the previous system, however, the airline frequently experienced difficulties, especially during harsh weather conditions such as typhoons.

At Weathernews, professional staff members well versed in aeronautical meteorology provide support for decisions on flights and other aspects of operations based on weather information analyzed using state-of-the-art weather forecasting systems, with the aim of further strengthening the safety of operations and improving efficiency, especially during harsh weather conditions.To provide services to China Eastern under this contract, Weathernews has organized a special team of 10 highly experienced employees, including flight managers and certified weather forecasters.The company provides weather information services 24 hours a day through video conferences from its Global Operation Center in Makuhari, Chiba, Japan.

In the future, Weathernews will provide support to commercial airlines and general aviation companies to help ensure the safety of operations and improve efficiency using the experience it has gained over the past two decades in serving more than 120 aviation companies.

About China Eastern Airlines
After the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) was split up in 1988, China Eastern Airlines was established with CAAC’s management in Shanghai as its foundation.With Shanghai as its hub, China Eastern Airlines is one of the world’s leading airlines, with a network of flights to major cities worldwide.It operates 147 flights a week (excluding freight) to destinations in Japan that include Narita, Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka.

About Weathernews Inc.
Weathernews is the world’s largest publicly traded full service weather company, with 35 operational centers in major countries and regions worldwide.It has one of the world’s largest databases concerning every sort of meteorological phenomena in the sea and sky as well as on land, and the company uses its own pinpoint weather forecasts to provide information to air carriers, shipping agents, distributors, autonomous governmental bodies, and other organizations, to assist them in solving problems related to their operations.Weathernews also provides various kinds of weather information to individuals and the general public through media that include mobile phones and digital broadcasting via broadcasting or communications satellites, in order to provide support to the lives of individuals.

Enabling Airplanes to Fly Even When a Typhoon Approaches
– Flight from Shanghai to Saipan on July 16, 2005 –

Airplanes flying over the East China Sea are often forced to substantially change their flight paths due to typhoons that pass through the area.In recent years, soaring oil prices have squeezed airline companies’ profits, compelling them to operate airplanes along optimal flight paths that take fuel economy into consideration to a greater degree than before.

On July 16, 2005, when a typhoon formed in the East China Sea, Weathernews provided China Eastern’s operations control unit with a meteorological briefing for its Shanghai/Saipan flights that would potentially be affected by the typhoon.In addition to comments on the weather conditions that might affect the flights from takeoff to landing, the briefing provided a detailed explanation of the effects of the typhoon on the flights.As a result, despite the harsh weather conditions that might have forced the flights to be cancelled, China Eastern’s flights were able to reach Saipan using safe flight paths that minimized the effects of the typhoon.They did not need to substantially change their flight paths, let alone cancel the flights.

Avoiding Flight Cancellations Due to Dense Fog
– Shanghai International/Incheon and Nanjing/Incheon Flights on July 2, 2005 –

Since the vicinities of airports are primarily covered with asphalt, there are substantial differences between daytime and nighttime temperatures, so that these areas are susceptible to being blanketed by dense fog.If an airport is shrouded in dense fog, its runways may be closed due to poor visibility.Airlines are thus forced to cancel their flights or change the destination (land at an alternate airport), a situation they wish to avoid, since landing at an airport other than the one originally scheduled results in substantial expenditures for arrangements such as transferring passengers to other means of transportation, as well as for compensation, not to mention losses resulting from cancellations.

In addition to being covered with asphalt, a characteristic peculiar to airports, Incheon International Airport in South Korea is built on an island and surrounded by the sea on all sides, so that it is especially susceptible to fog.On July 2, During fright operation,Incheon Airport was blanketed in such a dense fog that the Korea Meteorological Agency even pronounced that there was no chance of the fog lifting.Under its previous system, China Eastern would have decided that airplanes destined for Incheon could not land due to heavy fog and would instead have to land at another airport.Weathernews provided the airline with a meteorological briefing based on the opinion that visibility would improve by the estimated time of arrival for China Eastern’s flights, though not completely.While other airlines mighttheir flights or changed their destinations, China Eastern’s flights did not need to alter their destinations and were able to land at Incheon Airport.

Weathernews Inc.

Weathernews Inc. is the world's largest private weather service company.
It is the only global weather contents provider that has over 600 staffs (including more than 350 meteorologists) in 31 offices in the main cities around the world.
Weathernews offers a full range of weather content services based on a solid man & machine shareware system. In November 2003, Weathernews became the first weather service company ever listed on the 1st Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (4825).