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Epidemic prevention restrictions endanger Hong Kong's "World One" status as an aviation hub?

2022-01-21T00:13:28.144Z

With the Hong Kong government implementing stricter epidemic prevention restrictions, air freight capacity is further limited, logistics costs are likely to soar by 40% in the next few weeks, and fruit import costs will increase by 10%. The person in charge of a Japanese restaurant said that based on the



With the Hong Kong government implementing stricter epidemic prevention restrictions, air freight capacity is further limited, logistics costs are likely to soar by 40% in the next few weeks, and fruit import costs will increase by 10%.

The person in charge of a Japanese restaurant said that the import of some Japanese sashimi has been stopped due to the rising prices of incoming goods.

Stricter epidemic prevention and control measures are more likely to affect Hong Kong's status as an international aviation hub.


Chief Executive Carrie Lam had predicted on the 12th of this month that after further tightening air transport measures, some goods would not be able to come to Hong Kong, and said that the consequences of the government's tightening of some air transport measures would soon appear, with fresh goods, electronic products and The supply of medicines also predicts that "soon to see the goods will become very expensive, or some will not be available", including fresh food in Japanese restaurants.

Since this week, the impact of the above-mentioned tightening of air transportation measures has begun to emerge, and the incoming prices of fresh ingredients such as sashimi and fruit have gradually increased.

Liu Haoran, chairman of the Hong Kong Freight and Logistics Industry Association, said recently that the tightening measures taken by the Hong Kong government will increase the cost of logistics by 30 to 40%, affecting meat, seafood, fruit and electronic parts, and it is expected that the cost will be passed on to consumers. .

Huang Jiahe, president of the Hong Kong Catering Association, said that incoming goods from Japan, Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia have all been affected, and it is expected that the price increase will continue for some time.

The supply of Hong Kong people's favorite Japanese sashimi may be affected in the short term.

(Getty)

Imported fruit shops: the impact has yet to emerge

Mr. Yang, the head of Dr Fruits, a fruit doctor who deals in imported fresh fruits, told Hong Kong 01 that the Omicron epidemic has had the biggest impact on their business since several waves of epidemics in Hong Kong. , which is the biggest blow to our operation.” He pointed out that most of the fresh goods in his stores are also delivered by air, especially fresh imported fruits such as strawberries in Nara, Japan, are now less, mainly because of the rising cost of air transportation. .

Mr. Yang also pointed out: "The government has also tightened the arrangements for the transfer of cargo planes recently, and it will take time for the relevant impact to emerge." However, he pointed out that since the epidemic, air freight has increased by 30% to 40%, aggravating the situation. Operating costs.

As for the impact of the epidemic on business, he admitted that he did not have high expectations for business during this period, and he did not dare to estimate the losses suffered.

He reluctantly said: "We understand that the government has their overall consideration when making decisions, and those of us who do business can only find our own living space in a difficult environment."

Mr. Yang admitted to reporters that business operations have been affected to a certain extent since the epidemic, but he added: "Fortunately, food is a necessity at any time, and the demand is always there, but there are also many different fruit choices in the market. , customers also tend to spend cautiously in the past two years.”

Is Hong Kong's Air Cargo Hub Status Or Affected?

(Getty)

Will the status of Hong Kong's aviation hub be replaced?

Excluding the impact of food and cargo shortages, perhaps more people will be concerned about tightening measures or affecting the status and role of Hong Kong's air cargo.

As Chief Executive Carrie Lam said last week, Hong Kong's air cargo has done very well in the past year, with 4.6 million tons in the first November, exceeding the 4.5 million tons for the whole of 2020. Therefore, they do not agree to further tighten air restrictions. Her MP: "Hong Kong has always been the No. 1 freight hub in the world. Do you have the heart to destroy this industry?"

Indeed, the incident not only affected the short-term import and export of goods in Hong Kong, but also the status and role of Hong Kong air cargo is not completely irreplaceable. The tightening measures may force the air cargo industry to find alternative locations in the long run.

For example, as a key hub airport in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport achieved a new breakthrough in cargo volume last year.

Last year, the airport has achieved a cumulative cargo and mail throughput of more than 2 million tons, doubling from 2010, of which international and regional cargo and mail throughput increased by more than 20% year-on-year.

Baiyun Airport is vigorously promoting the construction of an "international aviation hub". It is expected that by 2025, the cargo and mail support capacity of Baiyun Airport will be close to 4 million tons, which will be closer to the volume of Hong Kong.

The impact may depend on whether other airlines supplement capacity.

(Getty)

Some analysts also pointed out that although Hong Kong's status as an international freight hub may not be fundamentally changed, its importance as a hub for re-exports in the Mainland has gradually diminished.

In addition, as an important fulcrum in the strategic game between China and the United States, the cooling of trade relations with the United States will weaken the role of the mainland as a re-export hub via the United States, as well as competition with Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Hainan.

This shows that the status of Hong Kong's aviation hub is not unbreakable.

Associate Professor Huang Huihong of the Department of Supply Chain and Information Management of Hang Seng University told Hong Kong 01 that Hong Kong plays two roles in international air cargo, the hub and the gateway to the Greater Bay Area and even the whole of China.

"The tightening of quarantine arrangements does have a temporary impact on capacity, as higher cargo prices and lower demand will shift some capacity elsewhere," she said.

However, she pointed out that at the same time, it is necessary to consider whether the demand for freight in the region is large enough. For example, the United States and Hong Kong have a large demand for this aspect, and the impact will be relatively small.

She explained: "Hong Kong is a transit port, the gateway to the Greater Bay Area and even the whole of China. The possibility of airline suspension and restrictions will only make customers less choices."

Huang Huihong pointed out that the above-mentioned measures are not the only problems faced by Hong Kong Airport in terms of the impact on Hong Kong's status as an international air cargo hub.

She said: "Hong Kong originally ranked first in the world in (air) freight for ten consecutive years, but was replaced by the United States under the epidemic. The reason is that the capacity of Hong Kong's airport has been full, and it has become overloaded, resulting in the price of air freight being too expensive and uncompetitive."

She believes that in the long run, the construction of the Three Runs in the future may truly solve the hub crisis, but it will take a few years. By then, it is expected to attract more passenger aircraft to Hong Kong, giving the aviation industry, cargo logistics, and customers more choices.

She added: "After all, the aviation industry needs to do a network and a multiplier. I hope that the construction of the three-run will add more destinations and make Hong Kong Airport more attractive." She hopes that with the construction of the three-run in the future, Cooperating with the cooperation and division of labor between airports in the Greater Bay Area, we can make better achievements in the aviation industry.

Omicron drags down international air transport "national shortage" is expected to alleviate Omicron in the second half of the year Tighten air transport measures│Increase prices for imported ingredients/out of stock Sushiro: Worry about being affected

Source: hk1

All news articles on 2022-01-21

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