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  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 7:55am
NewsHong Kong

Chek Lap Kok airport slips to fifth place in world ranking

Chek Lap Kok facility no longer on top, but it is still one of the cheapest places to land: report

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 August, 2013, 10:18am

It used to be a high-flier, but if latest research is anything to go by, Hong Kong International Airport is no longer the best in the world.

The Chek Lap Kok facility's ranking has slipped from first to fifth in the annual study on the performance of 195 airports worldwide.

But the report shows it is still among the least expensive airports, with the average landing and other charges for a passenger costing just slightly more than US$1,000. Beijing and Shanghai are over US$2,000, while London's Heathrow is US$8,000.

These were the key findings of the 2013 ATRS Global Benchmarking project that drew information from airports' financial statements, annual reports and direct data requests. Annual traffic statistics, capacity, airport charges and general information surveys were also taken into account in the project.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Chek Lap Kok came out tops in efficiency from 2008 to 2011, but last year fell behind Seoul's Gimpo International Airport and Sydney Airport.

Hong Kong also has some of the lowest combined and landing passenger charges in the region for a Boeing 737- 800, while passenger traffic rose by 8,000 travellers last year. The Asia Pacific review included 35 airports in Asia and 16 in Oceania.

Carlson Wagonlit Travel also released its 2014 travel price forecast, which showed worldwide travel prices would increase moderately next year, in line with limited economic growth.

Mainland airlines were expected to lead the region in price increases next year, with fares likely to rise as much as 6.5 per cent. Hong Kong was expected to see relatively modest increases of 2.2 to 4.2 per cent.

Hotel rates, meanwhile, could rise up to 4.1 per cent on the mainland, as the market continues to experience strong demand with new supply from global chains and emerging brands tailored to Chinese travellers.

Hong Kong, a market that boasts some of the highest occupancy rates in the world, is expected to see increases of up to 4.2 per cent in hotel rates.



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Oh please.. I do 200,000 airmiles a year with no rest days (like a pilot gets), so I know more about which airports cause me to be late for meetings or feel like a warzone versus ones that are smooth sailing, efficient and just good all round performers. For the record, I am based at LHR and hold an Australian passport and get told to fly AirFrance where possible. To suggest that Seoul Incheon (ignoring muppet author) airport is above Hong Kong is absurd on every level. Rubbish passenger stat's or slot-landing prices mean nothing. The Airport Limousine (ie: bus) rather than an airconditioned express train into the city centre in 20 minutes like HKG? Or you mean the in-town checkin at an airport express, not just the inner city mess that is Seoul's air-bus checkin terminal. As for someone mentioning SYD, that airport is a catastrophe and holds the record of the only airport transit on earth to lose my luggage 5/5 visits in the last 5 years. Madrid did do 3/3 though!! Remembering I do 200k airmiles a year and as a Diamond flyer have little to complain about, these are facts. AMS is probably in the top 5 now after renovations, it had no mention... FRA, LGW and CDG are disasters, US airports except for Denver (new build) are all terrible. LHR with all of its age-flaws turns out impeccable efficiency even though they are useless with snow compared to MUC or Moscow SVO. As for DUB or SIN, they are terrible hubs unless you fly the national carriers Emirates or Singapore Air
What the....?

Hello, where is the common sense at the SCMP today? Costs of $1000~8000 per passenger? No of course not. Those are landing costs (airport fees, taxes, and surcharges) PER PLANE.

Also, the ATRS report only looks at efficiency of airports. Pure cost measurement vs productivity (as in: number of planes handled etc). HKG is therefore no longer the most efficient airport in the world. Nothing to do with being the 'best' airport in the world.

If your reporting is this sloppy, better not report at all.
Please can one of SCMP's Commentatotrs (like Jake or Tom, for example) do an article on why SCMP's editorial and particularly journalistic standards have gone down >50% in the past 6-12 months?
Most of what I read is now asinine and generally contains internal inconsistencies within the same article.
What I did not clearly express is the following. Hong Kong is the best airport in the world, by design, and by its incredibly hard working staff and associated infrastructure team. The bus team, the train team, the lost baggage team, even the thermal imaging scanning crew have a laugh with you when stopped.. To ask why you are so hot in the face.. Whilst it is definitely ageing, the carpet mings in those outer more humid terminals -- HKG as an airport and regional hub for APAC is still the winner.. I have to wonder outloud whether the journalist was speaking statistics or the Emirates (go DUB!) or Singapore Air (go SIN!) clubs who are vying for increased business.. Hong Kong wins globally BY FAR and if anyone thinks my views lack objectivity, I would be delighted to revisit ANY airport in my list of 400+ worldwide to alter or correct my current views.
Dear Sir,
Are you talking about landing a passenger flight instead of per passenger?
George Chow
The article was about the 'best' airport. It was not made clear that 'best' was defined by 'efficiency' or operating costs. If so, please make clear and we wouldn't be quite so outraged for our clearly superior facility.
The sky is falling reporting. There is no clear explanation why the rating has slipped. You think the readers especially the paying ones they should do their own search on the websites to find out why?
Hong Kong Airport behind Sydney Airport? You must be jet-lagging. The latter is so stupid even domestic transit passengers with adequate between time almost miss their planes. I know because I was one. You come out from the arrival area, rush to the departing area, WAIT for a coach to take you, WAIT to pass through customs with no special provisions made for connecting passengers. And I got smirking remarks from the attendant checking boarding passes to the plane. I didn't have time to tell him how stupid the airport was, otherwise I would have.
Agree, agree. And the slim Chinese ladies in red uniforms with their placards searching for particular passengers...
Agree with jve here that this reporting is sloppy.
"$1000. It costs an airline on average this amount, in US dollars, to fly in a passenger".
It is equivalent as saying the average purchase price of a passenger flying into HK has to be over US$1000 for the airline to profitable. And this $1000 doesn't even include the fuel, staff, and the departing airport costs.
Assuming the $1000 is the average plane landing charge, it also doesn't make sense to compare this as one airport that handles mostly smaller planes like Boeing 737, Airbus 319 compared to those handling larger planes like Boeing 747 and Airbus 380 will average out to cost much less.
The efficiency comparison has to be per passenger cost but surely it doesn't cost US$1000 to move one passenger through an airport.
The cost is per plane, on average (it will vary for the size of the plane).

Mr Carney of the SCMP does not know what he is talking about in this article. It is plainly wrong. You can see the key findings of the report yourself here (the last 10 slides or so display costs per plane (a large 747 is taken as an example, average will be lower of course), and also costs per passenger, which are in the 5~25 USD range): ****www.atrsworld.org/docs/Key_Findings_of_2013_ATRS_Global_Airport_Performance.pdf

And yes, if you were indeed implying it, then I agree with you that HK's landing fees are 'too low' by regional standards, and by taking into account the environmental and economic costs of having a large (and ever larger) airport.

We should ask ourselves why we have so many flight movements with tonnes of transfer passengers. Part of the answer: it is cheap for Cathay and others to use Hong Kong as a hub. It is questionable if that is a desirable policy now that we are beating whether to spend billions of HKD to pour more concrete into the sea for another runway.

Let's bring Chek Lap Kok's landing fees into line with other in the region and then re-evaluate if the growth remains so steep that we need to enlarge the airport.
Bad in-house reporting and poor judgment on use of other news source are becoming more frequent at SCMP. I think the managing editors aren’t doing a good job in helping your reporters or screening incoming news. Is SCMP paying comparable remuneration of its competitors which I find of better quality? Or is the SCMP keeping its staffs working long hours to pump up quantity.
Under pay and long hours – what a typical life in Hong Kong.
Seoul's Gimpo International Airport??? Aren't you mistaking it for the Incheon International Airport?? Plz get your facts right.
No, it is actually Gimpo. Incheon takes the second spot in Asia.

Gimpo is international as well. But this whole thing is just a measure of airport efficiency, purely an exercise in accounting (operating costs vs traffic handled), there is no question of being the 'best' airport.

scmp can't get any facts right, very poor reporting and article write ups. What a disgrace to journalism.
can someone remind me what is the prize for coming in number 1?
It is possible that the cost is $1000-$8000 per passenger for over the year range. It doesn't make sense to just compare the cost on a per plane basis as the goal of ATR is to look at efficiency. It make more sense to compare the number of passengers that moves through the airport and see how much per passenger costs than per plane.
For a per plane cost, $1000-8000 per plane can be either too low or too high depending on the MTOW of the plane.
On the other hand, it seems ridiculous also to cost $1000 to move one passenger through an airport.
They have seen the full report (which costs $950), so presumably SCMP knows what it is reporting.


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