ccording to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General, “we may have hit bottom, but we are a long way from recovery. This crisis is the worst we have ever seen…”
In the midst of a world-wide slowdown in the aviation industry, MIA recorded 2,061,225 passengers, 21,701 tons of cargo and 20,840 aircraft movements, down 24.1%, 64% and 22.4% respectively, year on year during the period January to June 2009.
Despite the drop in passenger traffic, there is still a reasonable number of MIA Southeast Asia markets that continue to show significant growth. Taking into account the prolonged economic recession, the flu pandemic as well as the increase on direct cross strait flights, MIA said that the months ahead will continue to be extremely difficult for the Macau aviation sector.
It says that there is a need to prepare for the end of the crisis and the Macau Airport Company (CAM) has been proactively promoting the airport to airlines in target markets and developing strategic alliances with other airports. In June, CAM signed a cooperation memorandum with the Hunan Airport Management Group, to establish a sister airport agreement with five airports under its control, an initial step to a closer development relationship between Hunan and Macau. A new route between Changsha and Macau is expected to start in August as a consequence of this agreement.
Another sister airport agreement with Kunming airport was signed on 15 July aiming to resume the air link with this city later in the year. In addition, CAM continued to extend support to airlines in maintaining their existing routes and in exploring new routes to destinations such as in Mainland China, India, Japan and Korea. As a result new services to South Korea are expected to start following summer.
Further efforts will be made in collaboration with airlines, Macau Government Tourism Office, as well as travel agencies to explore potential markets in a bid to promote the local aviation industry and to promote the sustainable development of the overall economy. The effects of such efforts are expected to start to show gradually later in the second half of the year.