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Hong Kong Airport Authority (AA) has introduced a new relief package worth HK$2bn ($258m) to aid the airlines’ aviation support services operators during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The AA has announced that it will buy approximately 500,000 air tickets from the four home-based airlines in advance.

This measure is expected to inject liquidity into the airlines and the purchased tickets will be used in the future market recovery campaign to be given to global visitors and Hong Kong residents after the pandemic.

AA has also proposed that aviation support services operators at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) can sell the ground services equipment (GSE).

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GSE will be bought by the AA and will offer cash and pay upfront, which is expected to boost the cash flow of operators.

AA has also offered a rent free period for the operators to use the equipment after the completion of the sale.

An AA spokesperson said: “During this difficult time, the AA has been trying its best to support business partners. As an integral part of the aviation industry, the AA is also facing a significant shortfall in revenue because of the traffic plummet.

“The AA will go to the financial market in the next two months to raise the necessary funds, in order to maintain its own liquidity for funding the airport operation and the committed capital projects. The loan will also be used to finance the new relief package.”

Until now, the AA has provided four rounds of relief measures with a total value of HK$4.6bn to support the airport community.

Earlier this week, in a bid to limit the spread of Covid-19, HKIA extended the suspension of transit / transfer services at the airport.

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