Airport’s passenger throughput to recover in three to four years
The Airport Authority expected the passengers throughput will recover to pre-pandemic levels in three to four years after an almost 90 percent drop, according to Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan.
This came after lawmaker Chung Kwok-pan inquired Chan regarding the business of the Hong Kong International Airport in today’s Legislative Council meeting.
Chan said in a written reply that the Airport Construction Fee collected by the Airport Authority in the first half of 2021-22 financial year amounted to a mere HK$56 million due to passenger traffic slump.
It represented a 97.2 percent decrease when compared with the same period of last financial year.
He also said the airport has launched several rounds of relief measures for the airport community since the pandemic, like waiver or reduction of rents and fees, which drastically reduced the airport’s income.
The authority in response has then implemented cost control measures like re-prioritising capital expenditure and freezing headcounts.
Chan pointed out that depending on the progress of the control of the pandemic around the world, passenger throughput may gradually recover to pre-pandemic levels in three to four years.
Still resumption of global air traffic faces many uncertainties, he said.
The airport handled a total of 8.8 million passengers and 160,655 flights in 2020, which represent a 87.7 percent and 61,7 percent decrease compared to last year, according to Chan.
The cargo and air mail throughput remained stable but still registered a 7.1 percent decline to 4.5 million tonnes, he added.