Hong Kong Airport exporters to benefit from cargo concession

By Damian Brett

Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) will support airlines to introduce a terminal charge concession scheme from April 1 next year to help offset increased cargo screening costs and reinforce the hub’s competitiveness.

Under the Scheme, AA will contribute 20% of the terminal charge concession amount offered by an airline to freight forwarders for export cargo, subject to agreement between the AA and the individual airline.

The airport authority said the concession would help reinforce the hub’s competitiveness and also mitigate the cost impact from the gradual increase in air cargo screening requirements starting early next year in preparation for the implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)’s new security regulation.

Cathay Pacific is the first airline to offer the concession. Customers of export shipments from Hong Kong on the group’s four airlines – Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, AHK Air Hong Kong and HK Express – will enjoy a saving HK$0.3 per kg for both general cargo and special cargo. The reduction ranges from 18% to more than 20% compared with the current charge levels.

“The concession will also benefit shippers according to their commercial agreements with freight forwarders,” the airport authority said.

Cissy Chan, executive director, commercial of the AA, said: “Over the years, the AA has been working closely with airlines and business partners to enhance air cargo facilities and services, making HKIA the leading global air cargo hub.

“The new initiative will help maintain the cost efficiency of the industry and strengthen our cargo volume growth, ultimately reinforcing HKIA’s competitiveness.”

Cathay Pacific chief customer and commercial officer Ronald Lam said: “We are driving the terminal charge concession to reinforce the competitiveness of Hong Kong International Airport. Cathay Pacific has been Hong Kong’s home airline for more than seven decades and we are immensely proud of the efforts and achievements we’ve made in helping it become the largest and most efficient multi-modal integrated logistics and aviation hub in Asia and the world.

“We take it upon ourselves as the home carriers to ensure that our hub continues to grow with increasing volume. By offering great service, world-class niche solutions, attractive value and unrivalled connectivity across the globe, we continue to give our passenger and cargo customers more reasons to choose Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong.”

Other airlines are welcome to join the scheme to offer their concession on a voluntary basis, the authority said.

The authority added that it would closely observe the market situation and review the Scheme in a year’s time.

HKIA has been the world’s busiest airport in terms of air cargo volume for nine consecutive years. In 2018, the total cargo volume handled at HKIA reached 5.1m tonnes.

However, the ongoing protests in Hong Kong and trade weakness have put the airport under pressure in 2019 and over the first 10 months of the year cargo throughput fell 7% to 3.9m tonnes.

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