Hong Kong aviation industry benefits from AAHK COVID-19 relief package
Up to HK$2 billion will be given to the aviation industry by AAHK in order to support the sector through liquidity pressures as a result of COVID-19.
Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) has announced that it is set to provide a new round of COVID-19 financial relief to its aviation industry, with the package worth up to HK$2 billion, providing further support to airlines and aviation support services operators by helping to ease their liquidity pressure.
AAHK will offer to purchase approximately 500,000 air tickets in advance from four home-based airlines. The purchase will serve the purpose of injecting liquidity into the airlines upfront, while the tickets will be given away to global visitors and Hong Kong residents in the future market recovery campaign to be launched when the pandemic is over.
In addition, another relief measure provides an option for aviation support services operators at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) to sell their ground services equipment (GSE) to AAHK. The authority will buy the GSE from operators in cash and pay upfront, with the aim of helping to improve the cash flow of operators. Operators will also enjoy a rent-free period for using the equipment after the sales. Operators providing services in ramp handling, maintenance, catering and into-plane fuel may participate in the scheme on a voluntary basis.
A spokesperson for AAHK said: “During this difficult time, AAHK has been trying its best to support business partners. As an integral part of the aviation industry, AAHK is also facing a significant shortfall in revenue because of the traffic plummet. AAHK 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 new package has been put together by AAHK on invitation from the government to join hands in supporting the aviation industry further during the COVID-19 crisis. To date, AAHK has introduced a total of four rounds of relief measures for the industry, amounting to a total of HK$4.6 billion in support.