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Airport authority in HK offers concession to help boosts hub's competitiveness

FOLLOWING a difficult year for cargo performance stemming from global trade uncertainty and local political unrest, Airport Authority Hong Kong (HK) is to support airlines to introduce a terminal charge concession scheme from April 1 next year in a move to help offset increased cargo screening costs and reinforce the hub's competitiveness

12 December 2019 - 19:00

FOLLOWING a difficult year for cargo performance stemming from global trade uncertainty and local political unrest, Airport Authority Hong Kong (HK) is to support airlines to introduce a terminal charge concession scheme from April 1 next year in a move to help offset increased cargo screening costs and reinforce the hub's competitiveness.

Under the Scheme, HK will contribute 20 per cent of the terminal charge concession amount offered by an airline to freight forwarders for export cargo, subject to agreement between the authority and the individual airline.



Cathay Pacific is the first airline to offer the concession. Customers of export shipments from Hong Kong on the group's four airlines - Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, low-cost carrier HK Express and all-cargo carrier AHK Air Hong Kong - will enjoy a saving HKD0.30 (US$0.04) per kg for both general cargo and special cargo. The reduction ranges from 18 per cent to more than 20 per cent compared with the current charge levels.



The HK said the concession would help reinforce the hub's competitiveness and also mitigate the cost impact from the gradual increase in air cargo screening requirements starting early next year in preparation for the implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)'s new security regulation, according to media reports.



'The concession will also benefit shippers according to their commercial agreements with freight forwarders,' the airport authority said.



Cissy Chan, executive director, commercial of the HK, said: 'Over the years, the has been working closely with airlines and business partners to enhance air cargo facilities and services, making HKIA the leading global air cargo hub.



'The new initiative will help maintain the cost efficiency of the industry and strengthen our cargo volume growth, ultimately reinforcing HKIA's competitiveness.'



Cathay Pacific chief customer and commercial officer Ronald Lam said: 'We are driving the terminal charge concession to reinforce the competitiveness of Hong Kong International Airport. Cathay Pacific has been Hong Kong's home airline for more than seven decades and we are immensely proud of the efforts and achievements we've made in helping it become the largest and most efficient multi-modal integrated logistics and aviation hub in Asia and the world.



'We take it upon ourselves as the home carriers to ensure that our hub continues to grow with increasing volume. By offering great service, world-class niche solutions, attractive value and unrivalled connectivity across the globe, we continue to give our passenger and cargo customers more reasons to choose Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong.'



Other airlines are welcome to join the scheme to offer their concession on a voluntary basis, the HK said, adding that it would closely observe the market situation and review the scheme in a year's time.



HKIA has been the world's busiest airport in terms of air cargo volume for nine consecutive years. In 2018, the total cargo volume handled at HKIA reached 5.1 million tonnes.



However, the ongoing protests in Hong Kong and trade weakness have put the airport under pressure in 2019 and over the first 10 months of the year cargo throughput fell 7 per cent to 3.9 million tonnes.


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