Lunar New Year – How it impacts business aviation ops
Lunar New Year (also known as Chinese New Year) has a huge impact on business aviation in terms of airport congestion and sold-out hotels/services throughout much of Asia. This year, the first day of Lunar New Year will be on February 5, 2019, but congestion and service limitations are likely to start as soon as January 30th and continue through February 11th.
If you’re planning a business aviation operation in Asia, during this time, here’s what you need to know.
1. What is Lunar New Year?
In China, as well as other parts of Asia, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea, and Laos, Lunar New Year is one of the biggest holidays of the year. It is based on the lunar calendar and occurs annually between late January and mid-February. During this period, business activity slows down for a week or more, so be prepared if you are in the region during this time.
2. Expect Civil Aviation closures – so get permits in advance
Many Civil Aviation departments will shut down for the holiday, such as Chinese CAA, which will be off duty from 0400z 03FEB to 0030z 11FEB and Hong Kong CAD, which will be closed from 05th Feb to 07th Feb and half day on 04th Feb.
3. Hong Kong and Macau will be even more congested
All major airports in China will see an increase in international traffic, but Macau (VMMC) and Hong Kong (VHHH) will be extremely busy. Starting January 30th and through the holiday and the day after February 11th, operators can expect difficulty finding parking and slots at either airport.
4. Third-party services will be in high demand
Throughout the holiday, third-part services, such as catering and ground transportation will be in extremely high demand. Last-minute requests are unlikely to be accommodated. Hotels are also likely booked. For future years, it’s best practice to book hotels during Chinese New Year up to three months in advance.
For many Asian nations, Lunar New Year is one of the biggest and most widely celebrated holiday of the year. If you are planning a trip to the region during this period, you should ensure all permits, parking and slot requests are made in advance. You should also be aware that hotels and all services may be limited or not available due to high demand and business closures.