(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong expects air passenger traffic to recover to as much as 70% of pre-pandemic levels by the end of next year and return to normality by 2024, South China Morning Post reported, citing an official.

Deputy Director of Airport Operations Steven Yiu Siu-chung brushed aside concern about the airport’s status as an aviation hub, the newspaper reported. The end-2023 forecast of between 60% to 70% of the traffic levels before Covid is in line with a prediction by Hong Kong’s main carrier, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd.

A total of 755,000 passengers passed through the airport in October, 13% of pre-pandemic levels.

Hong Kong Airport Authority yesterday officially opened its third runway, capable of handling an additional 30 million passengers a year. Yiu said he is confident the new facility will be fully utilized by 2024, SCMP said.


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