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LCQ9: Campaign to distribute free air tickets to travellers from around world
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     Following is a question by the Hon Lam San-keung and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Logistics, Mr Lam Sai-hung, in the Legislative Council today (March 22):
 
Question:

     ‚ÄčIt is learnt that in support of the "Hello Hong Kong" global promotional campaign launched by the Government on February 2, 2023, the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) will give away 500 000 free air tickets to travellers in major passenger markets to encourage them to come to Hong Kong. Home-based airlines will distribute such tickets outside Hong Kong in phases. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council if it knows:

(1) the details of the purchase of the aforesaid 500 000 air tickets by AAHK from home-based airlines, such as the names of the airlines involved, the number of air tickets purchased from each airline, the amount of expenditure and the payment schedule;

(2) the details of the distribution of the aforesaid air tickets outside Hong Kong by the various home-based airlines (including the criteria adopted); and

(3) whether AAHK has established a mechanism to monitor how the home-based airlines concerned distribute the aforesaid air tickets and to assess the effectiveness of the air tickets giveaway campaign; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:
 
President, 

     With regard to the three parts of the question, the reply is as follows:

(1) The COVID-19 pandemic seriously affected Hong Kong's air traffic and caused severe impact on Hong Kong's aviation industry. To support locally-based carriers and relieve pressure on their cashflow, as well as to increase the passenger throughput at Hong Kong International Airport, speed up airlines' recovery and in turn boost the business of upstream and downstream supporting services in the post-pandemic era, the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) announced in April 2020 that it would purchase in advance around 500 000 air tickets from three locally-based carriers, namely Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong Express and Hong Kong Airlines. The AAHK paid the relevant airlines for the air tickets in full in 2020. As for the number of air tickets purchased from each locally-based carrier and the cost involved, we cannot disclose the information due to commercial sensitivity.

(2) To complement the Government's "Hello Hong Kong" global promotional campaign, the AAHK launched the "World of Winners" Tickets Giveaway Campaign on March 1, 2023, to give away the aforementioned air tickets. Most of the tickets are to be distributed in Hong Kong's major air passenger markets (such as Southeast Asia, the Mainland, Northeast Asia and other markets) by such means as lucky draw, first-come-first-served registration, "Buy One (or More) Get One Free" promotions or games, through the respective channels of the three locally-based carriers concerned and in accordance with the laws and regulations of the respective markets. Some tickets have also been given to the tourism sector and public organisations for distribution to stimulate the tourism industry and promote Hong Kong. Visitors to Hong Kong holding the free tickets are also entitled to special offers on hotel accommodation, shopping, entertainment, etc, provided by participating airport business partners. The whole campaign will last for six months, and the response has so far been overwhelming.

(3) Before the commencement of their ticket giveaway activities, the relevant carriers and organisations are required to submit detailed proposals for approval by the AAHK. They shall also submit to the AAHK a report within two months after the end of the activities for auditing purpose.
 
Ends/Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Issued at HKT 14:35
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