Airlines ask HK to waive airport fees as demand drops: Report

HONG KONG - Scores of airlines wrote jointly to the Hong Kong government earlier this month to seek airport fee waivers as they struggle to deal with the financial fallout from anti-government protests that have led to a sharp drop in traveller demand.

The Board of Airline Representatives (BAR) of Hong Kong, which represents more than 70 airlines that fly to and from the Asian financial centre, wrote to the government asking for temporary relief from landing and parking fees as well as rent and other operational costs, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

"Already we have seen a double-digit drop in passengers in August compared to last year and we expect this to worsen in the remaining months of the year," BAR Chairman Ronald Lam, a senior executive at Cathay Pacific Airways, said in the letter dated Sept 16.

This was reported by the South China Morning Post yesterday.

"Many airlines have already reduced or cut their services to and from Hong Kong as many routes have become unprofitable due to declining passenger numbers," Mr Lam said.

Airport Authority Hong Kong and Hong Kong's Transport and Housing Bureau did not immediately respond to requests for comment.