Macau International Airport’s management expects the facility (pictured) will handle daily in April only single-digit numbers of aircraft movements. Thousands of flights that had – on paper – been scheduled for that month, are likely to be cancelled, coinciding with travel restrictions imposed by Macau, and by other jurisdictions that Macau is ordinarily connected to by air, in the wake of the global health emergency, the airport operator noted to GGRAsia.
The outbreak of the Covid-19 infection was first reported in mainland China’s Wuhan city in Hubei province in late December. It has since escalated to a pandemic. The global alert contributed to a drastic decline in Macau’s air traffic in March, said Macau International Airport Co Ltd, a body known locally as CAM. The decline in the city’s air traffic is set to steepen in the coming month.
More than “6,600” flights that the Macau air hub was originally set to handle in April were likely to be cancelled, stated the operator. The tally involved flights from about 35 airlines operating in some 60 travel destinations, CAM noted to GGRAsia in an emailed response. CAM added that the estimate for April flight cancellations took into account Macau’s instruction – which came into force on Wednesday – that bans entry to Macau by any would-be visitor from either mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan who has travelled overseas in the previous 14 days.
In addition, residents from either the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong or Taiwan – who have been either to Hong Kong or Taiwan in the two weeks prior to an intended trip to Macau – will have to undergo a 14-day period of quarantine when arriving in Macau. Last week Macau banned foreign visitors and also the return to Macau of non-resident workers registered in the city that hailed from an overseas country.
Macau airport now expects to handle fewer than 10 daily aircraft movements and fewer than 200 daily passengers daily on average in April, CAM noted to us. The airport operator stressed that the numbers could change depending on any further adjustments in the entry policies either of Macau or other jurisdictions to which the city ordinarily has flight connections.
“On average” there were “35 daily” flight movements – including departures and arrivals – at Macau International Airport in March, “compared to 48 daily movements handled in February, which posted a 27 percent decrease,” CAM said its emailed response.
The flights that have been running in March have been operated by a total of only three airlines. They were serving an aggregate of 13 destinations in mainland China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia, according to CAM’s information. The 13 destinations were: Beijing, Chengdu, Jinjiang, Nanning, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Nanjing, Taiyuan and Xiamen – all in mainland China; Taipei and Kaohsiung – in Taiwan; Bangkok in Thailand; and Singapore.
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