The extension of the north part of the Macau airport has come into operation on Monday (February 12), just before the Chinese New Year holiday period.
The north expansion project (pictured) – covering a total area of 14,000 square metres (151,000 sq feet) – will increase the terminal’s capacity to 7.8 million passengers a year, according to facility operator Macau International Airport Co Ltd, a body known locally as CAM.
The firm stated in a Saturday press release it expected to handle a daily average of 20,000 passengers during the first five days of Chinese New Year, a 5-percent increase compared to normal weekdays.
China’s State Council has designated the 2018 Chinese New Year festive period as running from February 15, a Thursday; to February 21, a Wednesday.
CAM said in a January press release it expected the airport to handle 7.38 million passengers in full-year 2018. Last year, the facility handled 7.16 million passengers, an “all-time record” supported by growth in the Southeast Asia and mainland China passenger markets.
The airport operator is also planning to expand the south part of the facility. The project aims to raise the overall airport capacity to 10 million passengers per annum.
The Macau airport opened in 1995, four years before the handover of Macau from Portuguese administration to that of China.
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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Chief executive of Singapore Tourism Board