Hong Kong’s aviation sector will receive an extra HK$2 billion ($254 million) under a follow-on government relief package which includes the advance purchase of half a million airline tickets to be given away when the coronavirus pandemic subsides.

Airport Authority Hong Kong says it has put together the package on behalf of the government to ease liquidity pressures on the sector amid the Covid-19 crisis. The authority will offer to buy 500,000 tickets from four Hong Kong-based airlines with a view to giving them away “to global visitors and Hong Kong residents” in a “future market recovery campaign to be launched when the pandemic is over”.

Additionally, the authority is offering to purchase ground-services equipment – upfront and in cash – from aviation support companies based at Hong Kong International airport.

Operators will be given “a rent-free period for using the equipment after the sales”.

The authority says it “will go to the financial market in the next two months to raise the necessary funds, in order to maintain its own liquidity for funding the airport operation and the committed capital projects”.

There have now been four rounds of relief measures amounting to HK$4.5 billion of support for Hong Kong’s aviation sector.