Hong Kong Airport treads cautiously as pax transfer/transit services begin

By Luke Barras-hill |

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HKIA has recommenced transit services for the first time in several months.

Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) has introduced enhanced safeguards as commercial flight operations for *transfer/transit passengers revive today (1 June) at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).

HKIA has already implemented a strict health and safety programme to deter against the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), including more frequent cleaning and disinfection in terminal areas and introducing greater ventilation.

All passengers, including departing, arriving and transfer, plus airport staff are now obliged to wear face masks in accessible areas of HKIA until further notice.

The rigorous measures include body temperature screening for all transfer/transit and arriving pax; adherence to social distancing protocol (at least 1.5m of space maintained between passengers in queues); and protective screens installed at service counters.

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Transfer/transit passengers on connecting flights are being told to go directly to the boarding gates.

SWIFT CONNECTIONS

Alcohol-based hand dispensers and sanitising floor mats are available at each arrival gate and in the terminal and cleaning and disinfection is taking place at boarding gate areas and airbridges when flights land.

Transfer/transit passengers are asked to go directly to the boarding gates to proceed to connecting flights and are given stickers at transfer points for identification purposes. Separate dining areas have also been set-up.

Airlines are being requested to introduce pre-flight and in-flight safety measures, such as basic health assessments and require pax to wear masks and observe hygiene practices during flights.

Airport staff undergo temperature checks on arrival to the terminal and are provided with personal protective equipment and disinfection supplies.

Daily briefings carried out by the airport will remind staff to enforce protective protocols and Covid-19 tests are being provided by the Department of Health.

Vivian Cheung, Executive Director, Airport Operations of the AAHK said: “On the basis of protecting health and safety of passengers and airport staff as our top priority, it is of paramount importance for HKIA as a major international aviation hub to resume transfer/transit services.

“We have been working closely with the government, airlines and our business partners to put in place a set of comprehensive measures to ensure a smooth resumption of transfer/transit services and a safe end-to-end journey for passengers.”

NEW RECRUITS TO BOARD

In separate but related news, the airport authority has re-appointed three current members to the Board and named three new Board members.

Steven Ho Chun-yin and Frankie Yick Chi-ming are re-appointed for a term of one year each, and Carlson Tong for a three-year term. The tenures are effective from 1 June.

Jack So, Chairman of the AA Board said: “I would like to express my gratitude to our retiring members Franklin Lam Fan-keung and Peter To for their support and contributions over the past years, and welcome the new members, who are all highly recognised leaders in their respective fields.

Heinemann-Sweet-Dreams

“I look forward to working with all Board members to lead the airport authority to tide over the unprecedented challenges amid the Covid-19 pandemic and continue to develop Hong Kong International Airport as a leading international aviation hub.”

HKIA announced rental relief to commercial partners totalling around HK$1.6m ($295,390) in February.

Senior management, including Chief Executive Fred Lam, agreed to a 20% pay cut in April while Chairman So has been donating his salary to the airport authority’s children scholarship.

*Only transit/transfer passengers who have been checked through at the origin port and take transit/transfer flights operated by the same airline group are accepted. The no-entry restriction for non-Hong Kong residents from overseas remains unchanged according to the Hong Kong SAR government. 

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