CAPA predicts huge growth for Macao aviation market – 19/03/07

CAPA’s Peter Harbison outlines the growth potential for Macao

CHINA. Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), the Sydney-based information and data services group, has highlighted Macao as one of the key strategic locations in the rapid development of the region.

In the latest of its “˜Aviation Outlook’ report series, the Centre highlights the construction of new casinos and hotels within the region as a driver for the development of aviation infrastructure in Macao. According to the report the aviation traffic profile of Macao will look much different by the end of 2007 as a result of five years of new market entrants.

Historically Macao has been heavily dependent on transfer passengers to/from the Chinese mainland, and as a destination in its own right it has been somewhat overlooked. “Macao’s extensive bilateral aviation rights have gone unutilised for too long,” says CAPA Executive Chairman Peter Harbison, adding: “Much-needed diversification of the Macao aviation market has come initially via new LCC services from carriers based in Southeast Asia. But more home-grown carriers, including Viva Macau, hold the key to securing Macao’s aviation future.”

The expansion and growth in Macao is typical of the region in general. According to CAPA, Macao International Airport now has to harness a programme of infrastructure development, because at present it is growing faster than forecast.

This paints a bright picture for the region overall, but the report is also keen to stress the uncertainty of predicted traffic figures that could ultimately affect Macao. “Expansion programmes at traditional Pearl River Delta rival airports in Shenzhen and Guangzhou also augurs for increased competition for passengers and freight”, warns Harbison.

Zhuhai in particular presents a competitive conundrum for Macao. Under new management control of Airport Authority Hong Kong, Zhuhai has made no secret of its desire to serve more Mainland carriers and in the medium term this must be a consideration in any infrastructure programme, stresses the report.

The Aviation Outlook report covers the big issues facing Asia Pacific aviation in 2007, including LCCs, liberalisation, restructuring, aircraft orders/deliveries, skills, funding, security, the environment and the economy.

It is available for download

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