Macau’s airport will likely see regular flights of wide-body aircraft from March, according to the airport’s management.
Eric Fong, marketing director of the Macau International Airport Company, the local airport’s management entity, made the revelation at a press event yesterday to announce this year’s outlook for the airport.
In commercial aviation, a wide-body aircraft has more than one aisle in its fuselage, like the Boeing 777 and the Airbus A350.
Last November, at his Policy Address press conference, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said the government had met Air Macau, the city’s flag-carrier, and agreed the airline would acquire wide-body aircraft.
The government’s demand was made to lure longer-haul flights to Macau.
Aviation enthusiasts believed that it would be an A330 aircraft leased or transferred by Air China, the local flag-carrier’s parent company.
It is also believed the airline will undertake Middle Eastern destinations, such as Doha or Dubai, the Times has learned.
Echoing the head of the government, Fong said Air Macau plans to roll out wide-body aircraft services in March.
The airport will announce additional incentives to boost longer-haul flights to and from Macau, or to attract more passengers on each flight.
While discussing new operators at the airport, Fong said China Southern Airlines and AirAsia Cambodia will enter the Macau market.
As per current plans, the former offers a daily flight to Istanbul, Turkey, and Moscow, Russia, from Macau (and return) with a transit stop in Beijing’s Daxing International Airport.
The latter will operate a daily flight between Phnom Penh and Macau.
South Korea’s flag-carrier, Korean Air, has plans to serve the Seoul-Macau route with wide-body aircraft.
The airport will handle 271 additional flights to regional destinations in the first quarter of this year, said Fong.
He also said the additional flights will cover 11 destinations, such as Seoul, Hanoi, Bangkok and Shanghai.
The additional flights have been added to accommodate the possible increase of passenger numbers during the Lunar New Year period, he said. Moreover, he expects the number of flights handled by the airport to gradually increase this year.
Currently, there are 26 airline companies operating at the airport, offering flights to 43 destinations. On the segmentation of origins, there are 46% mainland residents, 16% Taiwan and 38% from other territories, and he said that the segmentation is like that in 2019.
On ground transfer, the marketing executive disclosed plans on transferring passengers from the Inner Harbour Ferry Terminal to and from the local airport “to provide greater convenience for incomers from Guangxi West.”