Macau scrambles to off-set declining business

Faced with not only the worldwide economic downturn but the loss of direct air links between mainland China and Taiwan, Macau International Airport is facing a serious drop in its air cargo import and export business, forcing it to take pro-active action to reverse the trend.

According to Menzies Macau Airport Services Limited ground operations manager, Peter Chan, the management company, which provides aviation support services at Macau International Airport, is working closely with CAM (Sociedade do Aeroporto Internacional de Macau S.A.R.L.), the public concessionaire of the airport, to attract new business by offeringincentives.

“Menzies Macau Airport Services Limited management has just approved a 25 to 50 per cent discount scheme for airlines for their first two years of operations depending on their frequencies, arrival and departure time and relationships with Menzies Worldwide,” he says.

Chan added that Menzies is working closely with CAM to get new customers. “We share information together and understand the target countries CAM want to develop in 2009. We work together with CAM to give incentives to attract airline customers in target countries flying to Macau,” he adds.

The airport services provider says it handled 70,000 tonnes in 2008, down 39.13 per cent compared with 115,000 tonnes in 2007, impacted by the global financial crisis and the slowdown of the Macau economy due to shrinking exports from China to Europe and the US.

“The total tonnage forecast in 2009 is around 47,000 tonnes, down a further 32.85 per cent year-on-year,” Chan says, but points out that the figures include import, export and transshipment cargo and excludes transit cargo that stays onboard an aircraft.