22nd March 2023 – (Hong Kong) In April 2020, the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) announced its plan to purchase approximately 500,000 air tickets in advance from three locally-based carriers to support them financially and increase passenger throughput at Hong Kong International Airport amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong Express, and Hong Kong Airlines are the three carriers that will benefit from this initiative. The AAHK has paid the relevant airlines for the air tickets in full last year. However, the exact number of air tickets purchased from each carrier and the cost involved cannot be disclosed due to commercial sensitivity.
To stimulate the tourism industry and complement the Hong Kong government’s “Hello Hong Kong” global promotional campaign, the AAHK launched a “World of Winners” Tickets Giveaway Campaign on 1st March, 2023. The AAHK plans to distribute most of the tickets in Hong Kong’s major air passenger markets, such as Southeast Asia, the Mainland, Northeast Asia, and other markets, using various means such as lucky draw, first-come-first-served registration, “Buy One (or More) Get One Free” promotions or games, through the respective channels of the three locally-based carriers concerned and in accordance with the laws and regulations of the respective markets.
The tickets have also been given to the tourism sector and public organisations for distribution to promote Hong Kong and stimulate the tourism industry. Visitors to Hong Kong holding the free tickets are also entitled to special offers on hotel accommodation, shopping, entertainment, etc, provided by participating airport business partners. The AAHK aims to boost the business of upstream and downstream supporting services in the post-pandemic era.
The “World of Winners” Tickets Giveaway Campaign will last for six months, and the response has been overwhelming since its launch. Before the commencement of their ticket giveaway activities, the relevant carriers and organisations are required to submit detailed proposals for approval by the AAHK. They shall also submit to the AAHK a report within two months after the end of the activities for auditing purpose.
The AAHK’s initiative to purchase air tickets in advance from locally-based carriers is commendable, given the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Hong Kong’s aviation industry. This initiative will not only relieve the pressure on the carriers’ cashflow but also speed up airlines’ recovery and increase passenger throughput at Hong Kong International Airport. The “World of Winners” Tickets Giveaway Campaign is an excellent way to promote Hong Kong and stimulate the tourism industry while supporting locally-based carriers.