Hong Kong's Airport Authority (AA) is cutting landing and parking fees at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) by 15% from 1 January in response to criticism over high charges at the new Chek Lap Kok airport, which opened last year.

The AA says the move should "increase the competitive edge" of the airport, the third most expensive in the world after Tokyo Narita and Osaka Kansai. It charges HK$44,000 ($5,700) to land a Boeing 747-400; Bangkok charges HK$19,000; and Kuala Lumpur HK$9,000.

Ten airlines, including Cathay Pacific, applied for judicial review of the terms of use of HKIA but, following the climb-down, the action has been dropped. SAS withdrew from HKIA in March, citing high charges and "terrible" traffic, while British Airways warned that HKIA risked losing business to Singapore Changi Airport. The charges have been seen as a bid to recoup the airport's $20 billion cost.

AA chairman Victor Fung Kwok-king says fee cuts are possible because of improving economic conditions. AA initiatives include a tender for new logistics centres at the airport and the construction of a sea cargo terminal. HKIA's annual passenger capacity will rise from 35 million to 45 million next year.

Source: Flight International