Macau International Airport Co Ltd says the facility handled a record 8.26 million passenger journeys in 2018, according to a press release published on Thursday.
The firm – known locally as CAM – said the figure represented a year-on-year growth of 15.2 percent, when compared to the 7.17 million passenger journeys handled in 2017. During 2018, the airport dealt with more than 65,000 aircraft movements, representing a 12 percent increase year-on-year.
Of the 8.26 million passenger movements the airport handled during 2018, about 3.8 million of them were recorded as arrivals, according to additional information provided by CAM to GGRAsia.
Passenger traffic from routes serving mainland China accounted for 37 percent of the 2018 total; 41 percent was said to be accounted for by routes serving elsewhere in Southeast and Northeast Asia, according to CAM’s Thursday release.
During 2018, the airport had expanded its route network by adding 10 new destinations, namely the cities of Sanya, Qingdao, Xian and Kunming in China; Phuket and Krabi in Thailand; Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia; Tuguegarao and Cebu in the Philippines; and Daegu in South Korea.
CAM had mentioned previously that design work on a new southern extension of the passenger terminal would begin this year, which would allow the airport to handle 10 million passenger journeys a year.
Most of the gamblers in Macau’s casinos are tourists, and those who arrive by air are said – according to local government data – to have a greater value to the city’s tourism industry than day-trippers or those who arrive by ferry from Hong Kong or mainland China.
For 2019, CAM noted in its Thursday release that it would “fully develop” long-haul routes. It didn’t give specifics but noted it was part of an effort to change the structure of its passenger business, including attracting a greater number of international as well as local travellers.
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”The upswing in visitation and gaming revenue is likely to aid Fitch-rated casino operators with a presence in Macau in reducing their debt levels”