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Hong Kong Airport Authority (AA) has introduced a new relief package worth HK$1bn ($129m) to aid the airport community during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The relief package was announced with backing from the government.

It includes a government waiver worth HK$670m ($86m), which will be contributed towards the air traffic control charges to the AA for the previous year.

The money will be given entirely to the airport community, along with AA’s contribution of HK$330m ($42.5).

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Measures will be implemented from February to June 2020 and will be targeted towards three major groups: the aviation industry, airport retail tenants and restaurants, and airport staff.

The aviation industry has been allocated approximately HK$630m. For a period of five months, airlines will not have to pay the parking and airbridge fees for idle passenger aircrafts.

In addition, Hong Kong Airport Authority has reduced the passenger aircraft landing charges by 40% for four months, along with other airline measures regarding ramp handling, maintenance and airside vehicle-related fees.

The commercial service counter licence fees, in-terminal service licence fees, and fees levied on cross-border transport operators have also been waived for four months.

The franchise fees for aviation support services such as aircraft catering, into-plane fueling and maintenance, along with the rental of offices and lounges in the terminal, will be decreased by 10% to 50% for three to four months.

A sum of HK$320m has been allocated towards helping airport shops and restaurants to pay a fixed rent.

The AA will provide rental concession of 70% for three months until May and 50% in June. This is a significant increase from the 20% fixed rental discount introduced in October last year.

Finally, AA also set aside HK$50m to offer training allowance to ‘frontline airport staff who are on no-pay leave, with a view to encouraging staff to enhance competencies and skills’.

In February, HKIA introduced other relief measures in the wake of the Covid-19 epidemic and anti-government protests that disrupted airport operations.