Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) has signed five-year loan facilities worth HK$35bn ($4.5bn) with 21 local and international banks.

The facilities include a term loan tranche worth HK$17.5bn ($22.25bn) and a revolving credit facility tranche worth the same.

AA plans to use the loan facilities to fund its capital expenditure such as the Three-runway System (3RS) project and other general corporate purposes.

The airport operator initially launched HK$20bn ($2.5bn) facilities and stated that it received a large demand from the banks.

Considering the funding requirements that may arise in the future, the operator increased the facilities amount to HK$35bn.

AA chairman Jack So said: “We are very pleased with the financial community’s overwhelmingly positive response towards our term and revolving credit facilities amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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“This support demonstrates their confidence in the AA and the long-term development prospects of Hong Kong International Airport. Much more than a financial instrument, the facilities represent the global banking community’s faith in Hong Kong’s future.

“The pandemic crisis has not distracted us from our long-term vision of securing the airport’s position as a leading international aviation hub, for which the development of the 3RS holds the key. The project is progressing well, and we are on track to commence operation of the third runway in 2022 and the entire 3RS in 2024.”

This April, AA introduced a new relief package worth HK$2bn ($258m) to aid the airlines’ aviation support services operators during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In March, Hong Kong Airport Authority introduced a new relief package worth HK$1bn ($129m).