Hong Kong espies recovery in 2024

HONG KONG, 6 July 2023: Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) welcomes the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) latest projection of air passenger traffic for Hong Kong, which sees a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024.

AAHK chief operating officer Vivian Cheung said: “We have been communicating closely with IATA and global stakeholders about the latest developments in Hong Kong. We are delighted that IATA revised its projection to express an optimistic outlook after the government announced the new scheme that allows importation of labour to support the aviation industry.”

Previously IATA projected that Hong Kong would only surpass the pre-pandemic air passenger levels in 2027.

Passenger traffic at Hong Kong International Airport has risen since the relaxation of travel restrictions. Currently, the airport is handling over 120,000 passengers a day, representing about 60% of the pre-pandemic level.

Last week, IATA upgraded passenger traffic projections for Hong Kong to forecast recovery to pre-crisis levels by the end of 2024. This revision brings Hong Kong’s recovery in line with expectations for a faster recovery in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The situation is looking bright for Hong Kong. China’s earlier-than-expected reopening is providing a much-needed boost to the passenger recovery,” said IATA’s director general Willie Walsh.

“By the end of 2024, we expect to see Hong Kong’s traffic return to pre-crisis levels. And it is encouraging to see the Hong Kong government preparing for this with measures to ensure that the workers needed to support the recovery are available.”\

The Hong Kong government introduced a labour importation scheme to ramp up the airport workforce by 6,300 workers from Mainland China. While demand for air travel has been strong, airlines in Hong Kong have been struggling with supply chain issues and a labour shortage.

“The last three years have been devastating for the aviation sector. As we look ahead to the recovery and prepare for future growth, it is important that the entire Hong Kong aviation community, including airlines, airports, regulators, and government, work together to address the challenges and are well prepared to tap into future opportunities. I look forward to meeting with various partners in Hong Kong in August and engaging in fruitful discussions,” Walsh concluded.

IATA and the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) are partnering to organise Hong Kong Aviation Day from 2 to 3 August 2023.