Hong Kong Expands Aid to Airport Community; Freight traffic extends earnings

Construction at Hong Kong International Airport. (PHOTO: Matt Driskill)

Airport Authority Hong Kong has announced that it will continue to offer its back-up plan until the end of November 2021, given the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on the aviation industry. Various fee waiver or concession policies supporting the industry will continue through November 2021, including the total waiver of parking fees for inactive passenger aircraft and airlift fees; reduction of landing fees for passenger aircraft; reduction in the costs of airside handling, maintenance and vehicles; as well as a rent reduction for terminal tenants covering lounges and offices; fee waivers for terminal license holders, including ancillary passenger services, commercial service counters and cross-border transport operators; and concessions on charges for aviation support services such as refueling, aircraft maintenance and in-flight catering.

Continuous relief also includes rental relief for retail and food service tenants. Most of the terminal’s stores and restaurants have suspended their activities and their rentals are canceled. Basic rent is also waived for those who remain open to provide essential services.

HKIA records double-digit increase in freight

Cathay and other airlines rely on freight shipments to stay alive. (PHOTO: Cathay Pacific)

The Hong Kong Airport Authority also released Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) traffic figures for September 2021. During the month, cargo throughput increased 17.9% to 455,000 tons, compared to the same month last year. Strong freight demand continued into September 2021, with both imports and exports continuing to post double-digit year-over-year growth. Overall freight to and from North America and Southeast Asia saw the largest increases during the month. Meanwhile, the airport handled 227,000 passengers and 13,920 flight movements, up 127.4% and 32%, respectively, from a weak base in the same month last year.

HKIA handled an average of over 7,000 passengers per day during the month, which is about 5% of the pre-pandemic level in the same month in 2019. As of September 2021, transfer passengers out of China mainland to Europe and North America recorded significant increases. . In the first nine months of the year, freight throughput grew 13.1% to 3.6 million tonnes. Passenger throughput and flight movements fell 89% and 18.6% to 941,000 passengers and 101,425, respectively. On a rolling 12-month basis, HKIA handled 1.2 million passengers and 137,520 flight movements, recording year-over-year declines of 95.2% and 39%, respectively. Freight throughput increased 8.3 percent to 4.9 million tonnes.

In order to continuously improve the operational excellence of air cargo management at HKIA, the AA launched the HKIA Cargo Data Platform (the Platform). Equipped with the latest smart technologies, the platform forms a secure, trusted network that connects key players in the supply chain, such as freight terminal operators, freight forwarders, truckers and screening facility operators. . This blockchain-based community platform improves shipment traceability, unifies communication and information exchange, synchronizes and standardizes workflow, and enables a paperless work environment. The platform supports the International Air Transport Association (IATA) One Record standard, aligned with the digital future of the industry from a global perspective.

Cissy Chan, Executive Director of Business Operations at the Airport Authority, said: “As a smart airport, the AA has taken an innovative step to develop a common data platform to drive the digitization collaboration at the airport. community scale. The successful launch of the platform signifies a more cohesive industry ecosystem that aims to create differentiating advantages for the Hong Kong air cargo community, further consolidating HKIA’s status as a leading international cargo hub.

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