Macau’s flag-carrier airline, Air Macau, will later this month resume flights to a number of cities in mainland China, coinciding with the return nationwide on September 23 of the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) for tourists. The airline will also increase from October the frequency of flights to other Chinese cities, reported Chinese-language newspaper Macao Daily News.
According to the report, Air Macau is planning to increase the number of flights per week to mainland destinations in October to 230, from the current commitment of 54 per week.
The first step includes the resumption of flights to eight destinations in mainland China from September 23, said the media outlet.
Guangdong residents beyond Zhuhai, have since August 26 been able to apply for IVS exit visas from the mainland, while IVS applications for residents of designated cities in the rest of China are to restart on September 23. The IVS scheme and tour group visa scheme had been suspended in late January, to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus linked to Covid-19.
According to Macao Daily News, Air Macau said the decision to increase the number of flights to Chinese cities was made in response to the Macau government’s call for businesses to spur the city’s economy and attract more mainland tourists.
The Macau government launched on September 1 a spending-stimulus scheme for mainland China tourists coming to Macau during the ongoing pandemic. The aim of the initiative is to get such visitors to extend their stay. The scheme includes discount offers on flight tickets and hotel accommodation, according to an official announcement.
The government’s tourist-spending stimulus effort is being run with assistance from Chinese online commerce brands Tencent, and Alibaba; as well as Air Macau.
Brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd said in a Monday note that the average Macau daily casino gross gaming revenue in the first six days of September was nearly double the average daily rate across the whole of August.
The operator of Macau International Airport told GGRAsia recently that the facility handled in August more flights compared to the previous month, and noted that the number of mainland China destinations had been expanded.
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