More passengers used Macau International Airport in April than in any single month in the airport’s 24-year history, the airport operator says. Macau International Airport Co Ltd posted a statement on its website on Wednesday saying monthly passenger throughput at the facility in April exceeded 800,000 for the first time in any month.
The airport company said the passenger throughput last month was 19 percent more than a year earlier. The number of aircraft landings and takeoffs rose to more than 6,400 last month, 21 percent more than a year earlier and the most in any month yet.
The new peak in tourist numbers arriving by air might have significance for the city’s gaming industry. Most of Macau’s gamblers are tourists, and research suggests that those tourists arriving by air are more likely to stay overnight. That in turn has been identified by casino firms as a predictor of how likely tourists are to gamble on their trip.
In the first four months of 2019, the airport handled more than 3.10 million passengers, up 17 percent from the prior-year period. Flight movements recorded a year-on-year increase of 18 percent to more than 24,000 during the period.
Up to the end of April, the airport handled an average of 1,500 scheduled flights per week by 28 airlines, which had flights to and from 55 other places in mainland China, Taiwan, Southeast Asia or Northeast Asia.
Macau International Airport Co said it expected the number of passengers using the airport and the number of landings and takeoffs at the facility to keep rising this year, as the company expands the facility.
In January, the airport operator said improvements planned for 2019 at the city’s air hub should help boost its passenger traffic capacity to 8.70 million movements this year. Macau International Airport’s record-breaking annual passenger volume in 2018 amounted to 8.26 million arrivals and departures, said the facility’s operator.
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"We came way confident that the [Macau] government’s approach to the 2022 concession rebid will be pragmatic and a priority for the new Chief Executive as he takes office in December 2019"
Colin Mansfield and Alex Bumazhny
Analysts at Fitch Ratings