Tourism sector lawmaker Yiu Si-wing is urging the government to quickly roll out a third round of the anti-pandemic fund to keep the travel industry afloat, RTHK reports.
Yiu warned on Saturday that if aid doesn’t come soon, many travel agencies will go under or will have to lay off staff by November.
He hopes the government could soon come up with concrete measures to help the industry survive the first half of next year.
Yiu also said the government should set up “travel bubbles” with one or two countries as soon as possible and facilitate journeys between Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong by introducing the city’s own health code system.
Yiu’s comments come a day after both Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon warned that they won’t be applying for the second round of the government’s subsidy scheme, which will pave the way for the two major airlines in Hong Kong to reduce staff.
In a statement, Cathay’s general manager for corporate affairs Andy Wong said the operating environment remains extremely challenging and it’s inevitable that it will need to “right-size” the carriers to address the reduced travel market.
Cathay’s chairman Patrick Healy had earlier warned that “tough decisions will need to be made” by the fourth quarter of this year.
In June, the SAR government stepped in with a significant capital injection for the beleaguered carrier, which has been hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak.