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Launch of “Fly via Zhuhai-Hong Kong” adds pressure to Macau’s aviation industry

The " Fly via Zhuhai - Hong Kong" programme was launched on Tuesday. After checking in at the Zhuhai Highway Control Point and checking in their baggage, departing passengers can take a shuttle bus via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB) to the SkyPier Interim Terminal of the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). One academic said that "Fly via Zhuhai - Hong Kong" further strengthens the customer reach of the HKIA, and the civil aviation industry in Macau is facing greater competition. In the future, Macau needs to speed up the development of flight routes, so that travellers can choose their cities of departure. At the same time, the airport can set up city terminals in the nine cities in the Greater Bay Area, so as to make it convenient for attracting travellers to depart through Macau.

Some academics said that geographically, Macau has a competitive edge in attracting travellers from western Guangdong, such as Zhuhai, Zhongshan and Jiangmen, to depart via the Macau International Airport (MIA). For example, many pre-epidemic travellers flew to Southeast Asia via the MIA on low-cost airlines. With the implementation of the “Fly via Zhuhai-Hong Kong” policy, the HKIA has further extended its reach in Guangdong Province to the western part of Guangdong. In addition, the HKIA has more international routes and flight options than Macau, which inevitably exerts greater competitive pressure on Macau’s civil aviation industry.

The HKIA has already made preparations well in advance of the epidemic by taking an equity stake in the Zhuhai Airport to strengthen the co-operative relationship between the two airports. After the commissioning of the HZMB, travellers from all over the country can be linked to the HKIA via the Zhuhai Airport, thereby enhancing the competitiveness of the HKIA in the mainland market. Although the MIA can check in at the check-in centre of the HZMB border crossing and take shuttle buses to the MIA, direct baggage transfer is not yet possible, thus failing to provide travel convenience to passengers, and it is necessary for government departments of the two places to step up discussions. The MIA needs to expand its route network and attract airlines to open routes to Macau, so as to provide travellers with choices of travelling, and ultimately, let them choose which airport to enter and exit through according to their own needs.

In reply to an enquiry from the Macau Daily News, the Macau International Airport Franchise Company Limited said that the MIACheck-in Service Centre, which is located at the Macau Border Gate Building of the HZMB, has been opened in late September. In the first phase, the centre is mainly for group travellers from the Mainland and Hong Kong, and also serves those who take shuttle buses from Hong Kong or those who drive to the HZMB East Car Park in Macau, and passengers can get a refund of the passenger service fee.

After checking in at the Check-in Service Centre, group travellers with valid tickets for flights departing from the Macau International Airport on the same day can take the seamless “Express” bus service directly to the restricted area of the Macau International Airport. In addition, the “Express” bus service has set up pick-up points at the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal and Taipa Ferry Terminal respectively, which are convenient for passengers to be transported to the restricted area of the MIA from different border control points. Meanwhile, the MIA Service Centres in Jiangmen and Zhongshan have been re-opened respectively.

Article published within the scope of the partnership with Macau Daily News

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