Competitive Catalyst

IATA -tyler_March13
IATA is emphasizing the need to focus on competitiveness as Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) moves forward with the building of a third runway and associated infrastructure.

During a recent stop in Hong Kong, IATA’s director general and CEO, Tony Tyler said that: “The announcement by the Financial Secretary in his budget speech that the third runway will be built by 2023 should be greeted by everyone in Hong Kong as encouraging news. We commend the government on this important decision and everyone associated with the project especially the Hong Kong Airport Authority and the government for the thorough work to get us to this point including evaluating the environmental impacts and working out how to mitigate them.”

HKIA plays a crucial role as an economic catalyst. Hong Kong is home to some 3,500 regional headquarters and boasts a HK$250 billion tourism industry. Serving some 63 million travelers and processing 4.4 million tonnes of cargo makes HKIA a critical link in global connectivity.

Tyler pointed out that: “IATA has long been an advocate of the need for a third runway in Hong Kong. And it is in the interest of everyone in Hong Kong to see the aviation industry flourish. Aviation and aviation-related tourism account for 8.2% of the Hong Kong economy. Increasing HKIA’s capacity to be able to serve 100 million passengers and 9 million tonnes of cargo by 2030 will ensure that the airport continues to be a pillar of Hong Kong’s success—provided the expansion is built, financed and funded wisely.”

IATA noted that the competitiveness of Hong Kong’s air transport network is under pressure. Between 2005 and 2013 Hong Kong’s share of the market connecting China to the rest of the world shrank from 20% to 17%. It has stagnated with a 10% market share on the ASEAN to North America market. And its 3.3% share of ASEAN to Europe traffic has contracted to 2.4%.

Said Tyler: “There are lots of reasons why these changes are happening. The Middle East airlines are proving to be strong competitors with efficient and affordable hubs being a central piece of their success. And hubs closer to Hong Kong continue to improve their offerings to enhance the competitiveness of their networks. This is putting pressure on Hong Kong. HKIA has a winning model of competitive charges and high quality. Funding the much-needed third runway must be done in a way that does not put it at risk and which secures HKIA’s role as an economic catalyst for years to come.”

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