Hong Kong aviation recovery expected by end of 2024

A view over Hong Kong International Airport
Baycrest, CC BY-SA 2.5 , via Wikimedia Commons

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revised its projections for the recovery of the Hong Kong aviation industry, suggesting a recovery to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024.

Hong Kong’s aviation industry is set to witness a significant recovery in the short term, thanks in particular to the efforts of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government.

With China’s reopening and increased passenger traffic projections, the city is on track to return to pre-crisis levels by the end of 2024.

Willie Walsh, the Director General of IATA, expressed his optimism with regards the situation, stating, “The situation is looking bright for Hong Kong. China’s earlier than expected reopening is providing a much-needed boost to the passenger recovery. By the end of 2024, we expect to see traffic return to pre-crisis levels.”

Walsh further acknowledged the government’s proactive measures to address the forthcoming recovery and ensure an adequate workforce to support it.

Labour importation scheme

To alleviate the labor crunch faced by the aviation sector, the Hong Kong government has implemented a labor importation scheme, aiming to recruit 6,300 workers from Mainland China.

This move seeks to augment the airport workforce and counterbalance the supply chain issues and labor shortages experienced by airlines in Hong Kong.

The past three years have posed significant challenges for the aviation industry, leading to devastating consequences.

As the industry looks towards recovery and future growth, it becomes crucial for all stakeholders, including airlines, airports, regulators, and the government, to collaborate effectively.

Addressing these challenges and being well-prepared to seize future opportunities necessitates the collective effort of the entire Hong Kong aviation community.

Hong Kong Aviation Day

To foster collaboration and knowledge sharing, IATA and the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) are joining forces to organize the Hong Kong Aviation Day, scheduled to take place from 2-3 August 2023.

This event will serve as a platform for industry leaders, professionals, and stakeholders to engage in fruitful discussions, explore opportunities, and devise strategies to steer the aviation sector towards a prosperous future.

Importance of the HK aviation sector

The region’s aviation sector is important to the global aviation market for a number of reasons. First, Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is a major hub for air traffic in Asia.

In 2019, HKIA handled over 74 million passengers and 4.2 million tonnes of cargo, making it the world’s eighth busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic and the world’s busiest airport in terms of cargo traffic.

As a major financial center, the aviation sector plays a key role in supporting the city’s financial activities. For example, many of the world’s major banks and financial institutions have offices in Hong Kong, and they rely on the city’s aviation sector to connect them with their clients and partners around the world.

Thirdly, as a major tourist destination, the regional aviation sector plays a key role in supporting the city’s tourism industry. In 2019, it welcomed over 65 million visitors, and many of them arrived in the city by air.


Hong Kong’s aviation sector is poised for a robust recovery, with the government’s labor importation scheme and IATA’s support playing vital roles.

By addressing challenges and embracing future prospects, Hong Kong’s aviation industry aims to regain its pre-crisis stature and contribute to the region’s overall economic growth.

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