(Yicai Global) Aug. 13 -- Shares in southern Chinese airports have surged today after Hong Kong International Airport shut down yesterday and led to the cancellation of over 300 flights.
Shenzhen Airport [SHE:000089] closed up 10 percent at CNY10.43 (USD1.48), while Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport [SHA:600004] leapt 4.5 percent to CNY19.11. China Express Airlines [SHE:002928] also rose 2.7 percent to CNY10.26 and China Eastern Airlines [SHA:600115] finished 1.2 percent higher at CNY5.15.
The airport protest could cost its operator as much as 206,000 passengers, 13,863 tons of cargo and CNY10.1 billion (USD1.4 billion) in revenue a day, according to public data.
Air China has cancelled another 13 flights to and from Hong Kong today and China Eastern has canceled six, with both carriers offering to send passengers on to either Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai or Macao, or put them on later flights to Hong Kong.
That comes after the Civil Aviation Administration of China said last night that in order to ensure normal travel between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland it would increase airport capacity, do a better job of refunding and renewing tickets and improve the transit capacity in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Travelers heading to Hong Kong in the near future can then head to Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai or Macao instead, while those on long haul flights out of Hong Kong can transfer in Guangzhou or Shenzhen.
Transit passengers have long been the most important source of growth at Hong Kong International. Chinese mainland travelers made more than 3.7 million transfers there last year and were its largest source of transit passengers.
Shenzhen Airport is less than 80 kilometers from Hong Kong's and welcomed nearly 50 million passengers in 2018. It also unveiled a CNY9.3 billion expansion plan in April. Baiyun is about 200 kilometers from Hong Kong International and had passenger throughput of about 70 million last year. Hong Kong has annual traffic of about 74 million passengers.
Editor: James Boynton