Airlines and tenants of the Hongkong International Airport (HKIA) are in for financial relief, but unfortunately, not the travelling public.
Airport and security taxes, included in air fares, will not come down despite the HK$450 million (US$58 million) assistance package put in place for HKIA operators whose business has been hit by the global economic crisis.
The Board of the Airport Authority announced on Monday that charges for airlines landing and parking at HKIA will be reduced by 10 percent until the end of 2009, and 50 percent of rental costs for airline lounges, office premises, counters and storage may be deferred for up to a year and repaid in interest-free instalments.
These amount to HK$200 million (US$25.8 million) worth of charge reductions and HK$250 million (US$32.2 million) in interest-free, deferred payments.
Earlier in February, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) kicked off a S$200 million (US$133 million) plan to help its own partners February Singapore Changi Airport cope with the economic situation. The CAAS strategy comprises a S$63 million (US$41.9 million) relief package, S$7 million (US$4.6 million) in rental rebates for airport partners and a S$130 million (US$86.6 million) Air Hub Development Fund.
Changi Airport is also not reducing airport and security surcharges.
Other airports in Asia have yet to report a lowering of their landing fees. According to authorities at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport such decisions, since they are made by the national government, take time.