Macau International Airport is expected to handle more than 8 million passengers in full-year 2018, according to the facility’s operator.
The estimate by Macau International Airport Co Ltd, a body known locally as CAM, represents a 12-percent increase in year-on-year terms. The airport handled 7.16 million passengers in 2017, an all-time record, supported by growth in the Southeast Asia and mainland China passenger markets.
In January, CAM had said it expected the airport to handle 7.38 million passengers in full-year 2018.
CAM said in a Tuesday press release it expected the airport to record more than 60,000 flight movements in 2018. Last year, the facility saw 58,000 aircraft movements, representing an increase of 2.8 percent on 2016.
Macau International Airport handled a total of 4 million passengers in the first half of 2018, up 20 percent from the prior-year period, CAM announced earlier this month. The airport operator said at the time that the passenger traffic in the six months to June 30 was boosted by three “major markets”: mainland China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia, which recorded year-on-year growth of, respectively, 37 percent, 4 percent and 16 percent.
The airport completed in February an expansion of the north part of its terminal building, according to CAM’s statement.
The airport operator is now expanding the south part of the terminal building. The project aims to raise the overall airport capacity to 10 million passengers per annum, according to previous announcements by CAM.
The majority of gamblers in Macau’s casinos are tourists to the city. Some tourists arriving by air are likely to be overnight visitors, a segment generally regarded as of higher value to the local casino industry than day-trippers. But several investment analysts have said that Macau’s headline visitor numbers historically are not directly correlated to overall gaming demand, as gross gaming revenue in the Macau market has been typically skewed to high-end play.
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