Fee hikes and staff shortages are being blamed for the delay by
regional airlines in restarting services to Hong Kong International
“Around 20 regional Asian airlines have been unable to restart or
increase services to the city despite months of negotiations with ground
handling services,” according to a report by news agency AFP.
Several airline executives complained to AFP that ground handling
companies were upping fees by 30 to 100% and "prioritising parent
companies or mostly Chinese airlines that they have close, or direct,
business ties to”.
More than 35% of the staff – about 16,550 people – left the industry by the end of 2021, according to official figures.
The Airport Authority told AFP that it "has been closely monitoring
the manpower situation" and has been supporting job fairs and adopting
autonomous technology to reduce reliance on labour.
Hong Kong has wound back its Covid restrictions, prompting a return
of traffic through HKIA. Some 1.6 million passengers passed through in
December, taking the total for the year to 5.7 million passengers.
airlines affected by the staff shortages, Qantas has held back until
late June the restart of services from Melbourne to Hong Kong.
It is, however, operating a daily Sydney-Hong Kong service using an A380 superjumbo.