Macau International Airport (MIA) recorded 4,250,249 passengers and 52,464 tons of cargo in 2009, representing year-on-year decreases of 16.6% and 47.9% respectively. Aircraft movements dropped 18.4% to 40,601.
CAM-Macau International Airport Co. Ltd reports that the 16.6% decrease in passengers numbers results from challenging conditions, including the global economic downturn, the H1N1 pandemic, and the fast development of regular direct cross-strait flights [As predicted by TREND last year-Ed].On a more positive note, airport management said: ‘The last months of 2009 brought hope that Asia's economic recovery is on its way with a positive effect on the demand for air transport and travel services. MIA air traffic has shown signs of recovery with passenger and cargo numbers returning to significant growth in December 2009.’
Management added that the strong 58% drop in transfer passengers [previously connecting mainly with China-Ed] , 'hides the relatively good results' and minor decrease verified on the number of passengers using the airport to visit Macau (-2.2%).
Showing a better traffic performance in the last two months of this fourth quarter, passenger numbers at Macau reached 388,573 in December 2009, up 9.7% compared with the same period of 2008. Cargo throughput also increased by 25.6% year-on-year to 5,601 tons, while aircraft movements recorded a slight decline of 1.1% to 3,324.
Comparing year-on-year movements on a quarterly basis, declines in passenger volume, cargo volume and aircraft movements have reduced from -22.8%, -66.8% and -23.5% in the first quarter to -1.7%, -5.0% and -8.2% in the fourth quarter. Airport management says that these improvements suggest that air traffic demand is steadily returning – along with the economic recovery.
In a statement, airport management said: ‘In the face of the downturn of the global civil aviation industry in 2009, MIA has been striving to promote the Macau growing tourism market, fulfilling our social responsibility to foster local economic development, and taking successive steps towards a destination airport.
‘In this regard, a series of new and more favourable policies and incentives were introduced, aiming to assist the airlines to develop their routes and markets with reduced costs of operation and lasting rewards on traffic increases. This move enables airlines to restart air services that were previously stopped in 2008, for Malaysia, Thailand and Mainland, and open new routes for Penang, Laoag, Nanning, Melbourne and Sapporo.
‘MIA, jointly with the aviation industry and the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO), participated in international conferences for air routes development in 2009 with an aim to explore new business opportunities. Together, we made every effort to promote the development of the Macau tourism industry and support the airlines in tackling the past chain of enormous challenges for the sector. As passenger confidence and air travel recovers, we are confident that airlines will begin launching new air services and routes to MIA.’
Asia & Pacific,
Asia & Pacific,