Hong Kong’s airlines industry has suffered huge losses since the outbreak of COVID-19, with the drop in inbound arrivals by air exceeding those of other transport modes such as ferry or by land. The government announced that it would deny entry to non-Hong Kong residents in February 2020, with airlines seeing the number of passengers carried plummet for the remainder of the year.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hong Kong residents crossed its borders an average of 13 times per year. Due to the strict border controls this is no longer possible and it has led to a sharp decline in both international and domestic air travel revenue.
The number of people using airlines in Hong Kong is not expected to return to pre-COVID-19 levels until the end of 2024 or 2025, with both inbound and outbound tourism expected to play an important role in the recovery. Nevertheless, Hong Kong’s status as one of the safest and most welcoming cities in the world has been shaken by its strict quarantine measures and the aftermath of social unrest in 2019, which could limit the recovery of inbound arrivals.
The path to recovery for airlines is expected to be slower in Asian markets because of slower vaccination rates, stricter travel restrictions and the lengthy process to rebuild in-flight capacity. Despite the number of flights and passengers starting to increase again towards the end of 2020, new quarantine requirements on pilots and cabin crew that were introduced in February 2021 have reduced passenger and cargo capacity.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Airlines industry in Hong Kong, China with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Airlines research and analysis database.
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