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Macau Airport Breaks Traffic Records in 2016

The Macau International Airport Company Ltd. (CAM) has released a report on Monday, the 2nd of January 2017 revealing record numbers of passenger and airline movements through the Macau International Airport (MIA) for 2016. They also mentioned in a statement the full year targets for this year. The statement included targets for passenger numbers, volume of cargo, and number for commercial flights; as well as general aviation aircraft movement.

Report for 2016 Figures

According to the report by The Xinhua News Agency, the airport saw around 6.6 million passengers travel through their facility in the 12 months of last year. This marked a 14 per cent year over increase compared to the passenger numbers from 2015. The Xinhua News Agency is the official press agency of the People's Republic of China. It is a ministry- level institution that is subordinate to the Chinese Central Government. Xinhua is also the biggest and most influential media organisation in the country. The media outlet further announced that aircraft numbers in MIA in 2016 also showed a 2 per cent year over year increase compared to 2015. The airport witnessed more than 56,000 aircrafts movements over the course of the year.

The report also mentioned that last year alone the mainland market showed a 4 per cent year over year increase in passenger movement. Number of passengers flying in from Taiwan rose by a steep 15 per cent, while passengers coming in from Southeast Asian cities showed a 20 per cent year over year increase compared to the previous comparative period. Demand for flights on both low cost and regular airlines had also gone up in 2016. Passengers taking regular airlines into MIA reflected a year over year increase of 16 per cent; while those using budget airlines went up by 9 per cent.

Ma Lao Hang, the Chairman of the Board of Directors at CAM, announced that the growth of the local civil aviation industry has remained steady under the current circumstances. This is particularly important as Macau has seen successive drops in income in the gaming and tourism industries in recent months.

Ma also summarised the results concerning the overall performance of the airport over the first six months of 2016. He mentioned that MIA has handled more than 3.25 million passengers and over 28,000 aircraft movements in the first half of the year. This reflected a 16.7 per cent year over year growth in passenger numbers compared to the same period in the previous year. Aircraft number also showed a 5.8 per cent year over year growth during the time. Cargo traffic also saw a year over year growth of 8.3 per cent, which was recorded at 15,117 tons for the first half of 2016. General aviation saw 1,276 aircraft movements by the end of June 2016. This already represented 41.1 per cent of their annual target for the airport. With the increase in traffic volume and the proper management of non- aviation related incomes, the total income for MIA in this first semester showed an 8.8 per cent increase compared with the same period of the pervious year.

Flights Serving New Cities

The report cited by Xinhua also mentioned that the 21 year old airport had added three new international routes to their portfolio in the year 2016. Passengers can now be brought directly to Macau from Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province located in the south west of mainland China. The other two routes will allow passengers to be carried between Macau and Manado, the capital city of the North Sulawesi province of Indonesia and thirdly, Fukuoka, the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture, which is situated on the northern shore of the island of Kyushu in Japan. With the new additions, the airport now serves 41 cities in the mainland of China, Taiwan, several cities in Southeast Asia as well as a number of cities located in North Asia.

New Airlines Serving MIA

With regards to the passenger market, the airport saw four new routes and four new airline companies join MIA just in the first half of 2016.  Around mid- 2016, the airport already operated 42 routes out of Macau. However, the launch of a new route between Moscow and Macau has opened up a new pattern for MIA.

The airport has attracted several new airlines to their list of providers in the year 2016. Seven new airlines have started offering routes to and from the Macau International Airport in the last year.

AirExplore, the Slovakian airline with a small fleet of three vessels have started taking passengers to the city of Macau.

Vietjet Air, the first privately owned, Vietnamese, new- age airline that serves 53 other destinations has added Macau as their 54th. It became the second private airline to offer domestic service in Vietnam in 2011.

Far Eastern Air Transport, which is headquartered in the Shongshan District of Taipei in Taiwan, is also carrying passengers to Macau as of last year. The airline owns eight vessels and regularly serves 19 destinations.

Air Seoul is a South Korean budget airline. It is a subsidiary of Asiana Airlines and is based in Seoul. The airline was launched on the 11th of July last year and by November they were serving 11 international destinations. It now also includes Macau as one of its listed destinations.

PT Lion Mentari Airlines that operates as Lion Air has also added a route to Macau in 2016. It is an Indonesian low- cost carrier based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Lion Air is the country's largest privately run airline and flies to more than 79 destinations domestically and internationally within Asia. The airline also offers charter routes to China and Hong Kong.

JSC Royal Flight Airlines is a charter airline based in Abakan, Russia that operates services between Russian cities and several destinations around Asia. With a fleet of nine vessels, the airline flies to Sri Lanka, Egypt, Turkey, India, United Arab Emirates, Thailand and Bulgaria. Starting in 2016, they have commenced serving the city of Macau as well.

Finally, Nok Air, the low- cost Thai airline has also started carrying passengers to and from Macau in 2016. The airline has a fleet of 32 vessels and mostly operates domestic services out of Bangkok's Don Mueang International Airport.

Improvements Made to MIA in 2016

The airport saw several efforts to optimise their services and make it more efficient over the course of 2016. Construction on the main structure of the Passenger Terminal Building North Extension, which was officially commenced in November 2015, was completed at the end of last year. In turn, the optimisation of the parking apron was commenced. This aimed to not only increase the number of slots from 24 to 40 but also to incentivise the more efficient use of existing resources. The airport has long relied on a strategy of frequent short steps. To elaborate, there has been a number of engineering programs carried out in MIA in order to optimise the equipment and to realise an airport extension.

Future Plans for MIA

The Macau International Airport Company Limited announced in a statement that the full- year target for flight numbers in 2017 will be set at 55,000 flights. This will include 3,105 general aviation aircraft movements, 30,659 tonnes of cargo and 6.4 million passengers.

The airport management also mentioned that they will complete several infrastructure projects this year. This includes the airport’s north terminal building expansion. They will also increase the airport capacity to 7.5 million passengers per year. A new hangar will also be constructed for business jets. Finally, the management expects to generally enhance the carrying capacity and safety performance of the single runway at MIA in 2017.

Macau International Airport Company Ltd.

Macau International Airport Company Ltd. owns and operates the Macau International Airport (MIA). The company was founded in 1989 and is based in Taipa, Macau. They offer airport transportation services as well as other airport services. This includes the provision of terminal maps, duty free and dining facilities. CAM is also in charge of looking after the airport lounge, baggage storage, banking, currency exchange, smoking lounge and virtual tour services at MIA.

Macau International Airport

Macau International Airport (MIA) is the international airport serving the special administrative region of Macau, which is situated at the eastern end of Taipa Island. The island and neighbouring waters opened for commercial operations in November 1995. Since then the airport has been in use for transfer of people and goods between Mainland China and Taiwan; as well as Southeast Asia. The airport is operational round the clock and has 24 parking spaces for aircraft in the apron. They have four jetways and 10 gates. The airport's runway was built on a strip of reclaimed land in the sea, adjacent to the Taipa Island. Despite its small size, the airport is able to handle large vessels and a growing number of passengers.

Gambling in Macau

Macau, which is officially known as the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is an autonomous territory on the western side of the Pearl River Delta. Macau was administered by the Portuguese Empire and its inheritor states from the mid-16th century until late 1999, when it constituted the last remaining European colony in Asia. Macau is among the world's richest regions and it became the world's largest gambling centre in 2006. Their economy is heavily dependent on gambling and tourism.

Gambling in Macau has been legal since the 1850s. Gambling tourism is accountable for 50 per cent of Macau’s economy. The region originally thrived on Chinese games; western- style casino games were only introduced in the 20th century. It is the only place in China where casinos are legal and the business there has grown at an astounding pace since the turn of the millennium.

In 2002, the Macau government ended the monopoly system for the region and first three and subsequently six casino operating concessions were granted. Wynn Resorts Ltd., Las Vegas Sands Corp., Galaxy Entertainment Group Plc. in partnership with MGM Resorts International Ltd. and Pansy Hi Chiu King in partnership with Melco and PBL started work on developing casino projects in the region. Today, there are 16 casinos operated by the Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau (STDM) in Macau, and they are still crucial in the casino industry in Macau.

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