Hong Kong boosts relief measures

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The Hong Kong Airport Authority (AA) has launched a new relief package for the airport community as it copes with the continuing impact of COVID-19.

The HK$1bn (US$130m) relief package has been put together with a government waiver of HK$670m (US$85m) Air Traffic Control Charges to the AA for the year 2019/20, which will be passed on in full to the airport community, plus a sum of HK$330m (US$42m) from the AA. The new measures cover February to June 2020, targeting three main groups: the aviation industry, airport retail tenants and restaurants, and airport staff.

A full waiver of commercial service counter license fees, in-terminal service license fees, and fees paid by cross-border transport operators will be provided for four months. Rental of offices and lounges in the terminal and franchise fees for aviation support services including aircraft catering, into-plane fueling and maintenance, as well as cargo terminal services will be reduced by 10% to 50% for three to four months.

Rental relief of HK$320m (US$40m) will be provided to airport shops and restaurants paying a fixed rent. The rental concession will be 70% for three months from March to May, and 50% in June. A 20% fixed rental discount began in October 2019.

Some HK$50m (US$6.35m) has been earmarked for providing a training allowance to front-line airport staff who are on unpaid leave, with a view to encouraging them to add to their competencies and skills. The sum could benefit up to 25,000 staff, according to the AA.

This is the third round of relief measures from the AA, which issued HK$1.6bn (US$200m) in total in September 2019 and February. The measures in the first two rounds included rental concessions, reduction or waiver of fees, and providing support to various business partners such as airlines, ramp handlers, retail tenants, restaurants and franchisees.

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Tara has worked for UKi Media & Events since 2013, initially as a freelancer. She has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a range of publications, including Personnel Today, Management Today and The Grocer.

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