Airlines operating in Hong Kong are urging the government to implement temporary policies to offset damage to their business as months of protests have disrupted operations and hurt visitor numbers.
In a letter to the Secretary for Transport and Housing, the Board of Airline Representatives, which represents 70 carriers operating in Hong Kong, asked for short-term measures including a waiver of landing and parking fees at the city’s airport.
“It would definitely help if the government could temporarily waive these operating expenses so that airlines operating in Hong Kong can remain commercially viable,” the board’s chairman, Ronald Lam, wrote in the letter. “Many airlines have already reduced or cut their services to and from Hong Kong as many routes have become unprofitable.”
Tourism to Hong Kong declined almost 40% in August, according to Financial Secretary Paul Chan. The BAR’s Lam said the group expects the decline in passenger numbers to worsen through the rest of the year.
The Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong said earlier this month that the number of Chinese group tours to the city in the first 10 days of September plunged 90% from a year earlier. That followed a 63% drop in August.
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