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Aviation industry's recovery in Hong Kong in line with expectations: finance chief

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-08-21 10:31

HONG KONG -- The progress of the aviation industry's recovery in Hong Kong is in line with expectations, and the development of Hong Kong as an international aviation hub is at full speed, an official said on Sunday.

Paul Chan, financial secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, said in his blog that the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) has about 110 airlines flying to 165 destinations worldwide, hitting 75 percent of pre-COVID levels.

Chan said that daily passenger volume and flight movements of the HKIA have also returned to 65 percent and 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels, respectively.

He noted that the passenger volume is expected to return to about 80 percent of pre-COVID levels by the end of 2023 and fully recover next year.

Chan said the HKSAR government is making every effort to realize the vision of an "Airport City." The development is in full speed in and around the HKIA, including the building of large complexes, hotels, retail facilities and restaurants.

The airport will no longer be just a place for passengers to enter, exit or transit, but will combine aviation and different economic functions to become a commercial landmark and even a leisure resort so that more economic activities can be driven at the airport, he added.

According to Chan, the three-runway system is expected to be completed by the end of next year, which will boost the airport's capacity by 50 percent to handle 120 million passengers annually.

Chan said the Hong Kong Airport Authority is working with Dongguan City of south China's Guangdong Province to develop a new sea-air cargo intermodal transport model so that the relevant procedures of security checks, packing, palletizing and receiving of mainland exports can be completed in Dongguan before the freight is directly transported to the HKIA by sea, and transferred to all parts of the world.

With the strong support of the country and the joint efforts of the HKSAR government, the Airport Authority and the aviation industry, Hong Kong's aviation industry will be able to grasp the trend of global business development, achieve greater development, and write a more exciting new chapter for Hong Kong as an international aviation hub, he said.

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