The Airport Authority of Hong Kong (AA) announced last week on 15 October that it was extending the relief package for the airport community for another two months to the end of December 2020 in response to the ongoing challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The waiver or reduction of various fees for the aviation industry announced in August this year will continue from November to December 2020. The continuing relief measures include:
- A full waiver of parking charges for idle passenger aircraft and airbridge fees;
- The reduction of passenger aircraft landing charges;
- A fee reduction related to ramp handling, maintenance and airside vehicles;
- Rental reductions for terminal tenants covering lounges and offices;
- Fee waivers for terminal licensees including ancillary passenger services, commercial services counters and cross-border transport operators;
- And concessions on franchise fees for aviation support services such as into-plane fuelling.
The full waiver on fees in relation to aircraft maintenance charges and fixed charges for inflight catering services will continue until the end of December. The rental relief for retail and catering tenants will also continue. Most of the shops and restaurants in the terminal have suspended business and their rental is waived. For those that remain open to provide essential services, the base rent is waived.
The authority also released traffic figures for Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) for September 2020. During the month, the airport handled 100,000 passengers and 10,535 flight movements, representing year-on-year decreases of 97.9 percent and 68.5 percent, respectively. Cargo throughput was 388,000 tonnes, recording a year-on-year drop of 4.4 percent, while freighter movements surged 25 percent to 6,020, up from 4,815 recorded during the same month last year.
Travel demand remained weak as a result of the continuation of Hong Kong’s entry restrictions for non-residents, as well as immigration restrictions and quarantine measures implemented in different countries and regions. During the month, passenger traffic decreased significantly in all categories, namely Hong Kong residents, visitors and transfer/transit passengers, compared to the same month last year.
On the cargo front, although imports and exports increased by 10 percent and 4 percent respectively compared to the same month last year, trans-shipments experienced a significant decrease due to shortage of belly capacity on passenger flights. Cargo throughput to and from Southeast Asia and Mainland China experienced the most significant decreases during the month.
Over the first nine months of the year, HKIA handled 8.6 million passengers and 124,555 flight movements, reporting 84.5 percent and 60.9 percent declines, respectively. Cargo throughput saw an 8.4 percent drop to 3.2 million tonnes.
On a 12-month rolling basis, passenger throughput and flight movements recorded 66.7 percent and 47.3 percent year-on-year declines to 24.7 million and 225,425, respectively. Cargo throughput fell 7 percent to 4.5 million tonnes.