The Hong Kong Airport Authority (AA) launched a new round of HK$1 billion relief package for the airport community in view of the continuing impact brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief package is put together with a government waiver of HK$670 million Air Traffic Control Charges to the AA for the year 2019/20, which will be passed on in full to the airport community, plus a sum of HK$330 million from the AA.
The effective period of different measures is from February to June 2020, targeting three main groups: aviation industry, airport retail tenants and restaurants, and airport staff.
Measures for the aviation industry will be worth around HK$630 million. Airlines will receive full waiver for five months on parking and airbridge fees for idle passenger aircraft, and a 40 percent reduction of passenger aircraft landing charges for four months, among other relief measures for airlines covering ramp handling, maintenance and airside vehicle-related fees.
Full waiver of commercial service counter licence fees, in-terminal service licence fees, and fees paid by cross-border transport operators will be provided for four months. Rental of offices and lounges in the terminal and franchise fees for aviation support services including aircraft catering, into-plane fuelling and maintenance, as well as cargo terminal services will be reduced by 10 percent to 50 percent for three to four months.
Rental relief totalling HK$320 million will be provided to airport shops and restaurants paying a fixed rent. The rental concession will be 70 percent for three months from March to May, and 50% in June, as stepped-up support from the 20 percent fixed rental discount starting last October. A total of HK$50 million has been earmarked for providing training allowance to frontline airport staff who are on no-pay leave, with a view to encouraging staff to enhance competencies and skills. The sum can benefit up to 25,000 staff.
Before the announcement of the latest package, the AA has already introduced two rounds of relief measures in September 2019 and February 2020 respectively, amounting to about HK$1.6 billion. The measures in the past two rounds include rental concessions, reduction or waiver of fees, among others, providing support to various business partners such as airlines, ramp handlers, retail tenants, restaurants and franchisees.