SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Scores of airways wrote collectively to the Hong Kong authorities earlier this month to hunt airport charge waivers as they wrestle to take care of the monetary fallout from anti-government protests which have led to a pointy drop in traveler demand.
FILE PHOTO: A aircraft takes off at Hong Kong Worldwide Airport, in Hong Kong, China September 1, 2019. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File Photograph
The Board of Airline Representatives (BAR) of Hong Kong, which represents greater than 70 airways that fly to and from the Asian monetary heart, wrote to the federal government asking for short-term aid from touchdown and parking charges in addition to hire and different operational prices, in line with a letter seen by Reuters.
“Already we have now seen a double-digit drop in passengers in August in comparison with final yr and we anticipate this to worsen within the remaining months of the yr,” BAR Chairman Ronald Lam, a senior government at Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (0293.HK), stated within the letter dated Sept. 16, which was first reported by the South China Morning Put up on Monday.
“Many airways have already decreased or reduce their providers to and from Hong Kong as many routes have turn out to be unprofitable attributable to declining passenger numbers,” Lam stated within the letter, addressed to the federal government’s secretary for transport and housing.
Airport Authority Hong Kong and Hong Kong’s Transport and Housing Bureau didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
Cathay, the largest company casualty of the typically violent protests, this month stated it will reduce capability for the upcoming winter season after reporting a 11.three% fall in passenger numbers in August attributable to falling demand.
The airline stated in an announcement that it supported BAR’s request for short-term aid measures to assist airways stay commercially viable.
Touchdown, parking and route bills, which would come with charges paid to airports outdoors Hong Kong and air site visitors management expenses, accounted for 16% of Cathay’s working prices in 2018, in line with its monetary accounts.
International carriers like Qantas Airways Ltd (QAN.AX) have additionally been hit by a requirement drop, with the Australian service switching to smaller planes on the Hong Kong route.
Hong Kong was the world’s eighth greatest airport for passenger site visitors in 2017, in line with the newest annual rating obtainable from Airports Council Worldwide, however the airport stated passenger numbers fell 11.5% in August.
Reporting by Jamie Freed in Singapore; extra reporting by Farah Grasp in Hong Kong; modifying by Jane Wardell