Macau aviation: Massive potential about to be realised

(Sydney: 16 March 2007) Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation predicts

Macau’s aviation traffic profile will look much different by the end of

2007 than it did just five years ago, due to impact of new entrants.

According to a new Aviation Outlook report released by The Centre, Macau has been heavily dependant on transfer passengers to/from the Mainland, but the nonstop construction of new casinos and hotels is expected to benefit every link in Macau’s aviation chain, making it a major regional aviation centre.

Macau’s extensive bilateral aviation rights have gone unutilised for too long”, said Peter Harbison, Executive Chairman of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation. “But with new carriers finally entering the market under specially negotiated sub-concession agreements with Air Macau, some of this potential looks set to be realised”.

“Much-needed diversification of the Macau 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 Macau’s aviation future”, said Mr Harbison.

According to the report, Macau International Airport has the enviable problem of growing faster than forecast, meaning it must now embark on an expensive expansion project. But the future holds some traffic uncertainty as well. Competition from Zhuhai (particularly as it seeks to serve more Mainland carriers) under its new management control of Airport Authority Hong Kong adds a new competitive dimension for Macau over the medium term.

“Expansion programmes at traditional Pearl River delta rival airports in Shenzhen and Guangzhou also augurs for increased competition for passengers and freight”, said Mr Harbison.

These findings from part of the Centre’s 181-page outlook report, available now at centreforaviation.com. This year’s 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.

The overall themes of ‘Outlook 2007: Dawn of a New Era’ include an impending “full frontal attack” on flag carriers commencing in 2007, and the continued unfolding of the influential LCC story in Asia.