HONG KONG, 15th August, 2023 (WAM) -- Vivian Cheung Kar-fay, Chief Operating Officer of Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK), said that 60 to 65 percent of the number of flights were resumed compared to total flights in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic, as the airport annually received about 73 million passengers at a daily rate of about more than 200,000 passengers, while the daily rate of passengers is now about 125,000 passengers, indicating that the airport seeks to resume 80 percent of the number of flights by the end of this year.
This came in Cheung's statements to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), on the sidelines of the visit of some representatives of Emirati and Saudi media to Hong Kong, with the aim of reviewing the latest economic developments in the country and Hong Kong's preparations to host the 8th session of the Belt and Road Summit, to be held in mid-September 2023.
Cheung stated that the average weekly flights to the UAE, specifically Dubai, the average weekly passenger flight between Hong Kong and Dubai amounted to 82 flights, in addition to 23 cargo flights, while the average weekly flights to Abu Dhabi totalled about 14 flights, in addition to 5 cargo flights, according to the statistics of the Airport Authority for pre-pandemic 2019. She also explained that the number of cargo flights exceeded the number of flights in 2019, highlighting the Airport Authority endeavour to provide opportunities and incentives to increase the number of passenger flights to and from the UAE and the Middle East with the aim of enhancing cooperation between Hong Kong and the countries of the Middle East.
In term of sustainability, she said that sustainability and environmental considerations are an integral part of the airport's operations development strategy, as the airport authority has identified clear strategies aimed at achieving the goals of "World's Greenest Airport Pledge", by striving to implement the "2050 Net Zero Carbon" Pledge, with a midpoint target of a 55 percent absolute emissions reduction by 2035.
Cheung added that the Airport Authority seeks to adopt environmental best practices and innovative solutions in the design and construction of the airport buildings and facilities, as part of its keenness to support the perspective of sustainability and reduce carbon emissions, explaining that Hong Kong Airport is one of the first airports to adopt the use of electric vehicles in transportation within the rules stipulated by the Airport Authority to comply with the "World's Greenest Airport Pledge", noting that about 40companies have vowed to work towards achieving this goal in 2012.
She referred to the AAHK's pledge to support local and global initiatives to confront climate change, highlighting their role in supporting the UAE's hosting of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) from 30th November to 12th December, by facilitating air transport to the country and mobilising crowds from Asia to enhance the UAE's international efforts concerned with climate change, given that it is a major center for arrivals from Southeast Asia.
In the interactive session with media delegations from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the Chief Operating Officer of the Airport Authority Hong Kong said that the Belt and Road Summit "BRS" will contribute to increasing the number of flights, emphasising their readiness to host those attending the summit, whether through air, land or sea transport, noting to the Authority's efforts in developing the transport and services sector over the past three years to expand transport capacity and facilitate procedures. She further underscored the Authority's commitment to the security screening procedures within 4.5 minutes, as the specified period must be adhered to by at least 95 percent of travelers.
Vivian will be attending the Project Investment Session on Transport & Logistics Infrastructure, which is part of the 8th Belt and Road Summit. The summit is scheduled to take place on 13-14 September at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. This event is jointly organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), and Vivian will be sharing valuable insights on the topic during the session.
Hong Kong International Airport ranks among the world's best and busiest airports for both passengers and air cargo, and work is underway to build a three-runway system that will significantly increase the airport's handling capacity when the project is finalised in 2024.