AviationHong Kong airlines find a white knight close to home

This organisation has bought half a million air tickets – and will give them away

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Four Hong Kong based airlines will receive extra help from the Airport Authority.
Four Hong Kong based airlines will receive extra help from the Airport Authority.

HONG KONG - The Airport Authority of Hong Kong (AA) has come up with a novel idea to support the SAR’s airlines.

The AA will go to the financial market in the next two months to raise the necessary funds in order to maintain its own liquidity for funding the airport operation and the committed capital projects. The loan will also be used to finance the new relief package.

In a relief package valued at HK$2 billion (US$257.8 million), the AA will offer to purchase around 500,000 air tickets in advance from the four home-based airline – Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, Hong Kong Airlines and HK Express.

Hong Kong’s aviation sector has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Travellers flying in and out of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) last Tuesday counted just 639.

AA said the move will injecting liquidity into the airlines, while the tickets will be given away to global visitors and Hong Kong residents in a future market recovery campaign to be launched when the pandemic is over.

A spokesperson for the AA said, “During this difficult time, the AA has been trying its best to support business partners. As an integral part of the aviation industry, the AA is also facing a significant shortfall in revenue because of the traffic plummet.

“The AA will go to the financial market in the next two months to raise the necessary funds in order to maintain its own liquidity for funding the airport operation and the committed capital projects. The loan will also be used to finance the new relief package.”

The AA will also buy back equipment from airport services, increasing the total financial support for the sector to HK$4.6 billion (US$593 million).

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