Airlines liaising with passengers affected by short-term slot reduction

     The new Air Traffic Management System (ATMS) has commenced operation incrementally since June this year and is expected to be fully commissioned in October/November 2016.  The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) will adjust the number of air traffic movements during peak hours in the final transitional period. Having agreed with the CAD on the details of the short-term slot adjustment plan for the four weeks commencing from the end of October this year, all local airlines concerned have approached affected passengers to offer, among others, refunds or alternative flight arrangements.

     A spokesman for the CAD today (September 21) said that, under the safety-first principle and with reference to overseas experience, the CAD decided to take forward the initiative to facilitate a smooth transition under the most optimal conditions. After extensive consultation and deliberation for nearly a year, 25 airlines with relatively frequent scheduled flights (at Annex) have adjusted the number of flights to be operated during the period, taking into account various operational factors including passenger demand during the off-peak season. There will be a reduction of some 90 flights per day, accounting for about 8 per cent of the daily available slots.

     "This short-term slot adjustment is a one-off measure, lasting only for four weeks which fall within the off-peak season for travellers. The airlines concerned have adjusted the number of flights to be operated and the seating capacity after taking into account operational needs and market demand. Larger aircraft can be deployed when necessary. Hence, it is expected that the effect on the overall passenger throughput in those four weeks will not be significant," the spokesman said.

     "The CAD has been in close contact with the airlines concerned to keep in view of the latest development. According to the information provided by them, four local airlines have taken the initiative to get in touch with affected passengers either directly or through travel agencies or other agents. Refunds or alternative flight arrangements have been offered according to the terms and conditions of the tickets. Most non-local airlines concerned are making similar arrangements with their affected passengers as well. In this connection, the CAD will continue to maintain close liaison with the other non-local airlines concerned.  Passengers may approach the respective airlines or their ticketing agents for enquiries related to flight arrangements between October 30 and November 26," said the spokesman.

     The new ATMS is equipped with advanced technology which will further enhance the capability and efficiency of air traffic management. The new ATMS, coupled with the Three-Runway System of the Hong Kong International Airport, will bring long-term benefits to the community, including the aviation and tourism sectors.

Ends/Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:42