Simple Flying - Andrew Curran

Hong Kong Airport faces an uphill battle to recover its global aviation hub status, says the boss of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). With Hong Kong authorities continuing to temporarily ban flights from certain airlines and ongoing isolation requirements in place, Hong Kong airport is falling off the map as people start planning and booking flights again.

The Director-General of the airline trade group IATA, Willie Walsh, told a press briefing last week that Hong Kong Airport was "off the map now" and would be difficult for the airport to recover.

"Hong Kong can (be an aviation hub again), but it's going to be a real challenge. Hong Kong has lost ground to a number of other hubs, who will have taken significant advantage of the problems in Hong Kong.

"Hong Kong is always going to be an important market, but it's not going to spring to mind for a lot of passengers when they're looking at how they'll travel unless they are specifically traveling to Hong Kong.

"Hong Kong as a hub option? I think it has certainly slipped down the list significantly as a result of what's happened there in the last two years."

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