The FINANCIAL — Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) recorded strong growth in passenger volume in March, handling 6.39 million passengers with a year-on-year surge of 8.5%.
Flight movements increased by 2.8% to 36,240 compared to the same month last year, while cargo throughput decreased by 2.5 % to 422,000 tonnes.
Passenger volume experienced a strong growth in late March as a result from the Easter travel peak as compared to 2017. Hong Kong resident travel, which registered a year-on-year growth of 18% over the same month last year, contributed the most to the growth in passenger traffic, while passenger traffic to and from Mainland China and Japan recorded the most significant increases.
While imports recorded a 13% growth in March, the decline in cargo throughput was mainly attributed to the 12% year-on-year drop in exports. Among the key trading regions, South Korea and Europe registered the most significant drop during the month.
Over the first three months of the year, HKIA handled 18.3 million passengers and 1.15 million tonnes of cargo, representing year-on-year increases of 4.4% and 4.2% respectively. Flight movements increased 2.7% to 104,545 compared to the same period in 2017, according to Hong Kong International Airport.
On a rolling 12-month basis, HKIA handled 5 million tonnes of cargo with a year-on-year increase of 7.5%. Passenger throughput and flight movements increased 4.5% to 73.6 million and 3.2% to 423,390 respectively.
HKIA has been ranked the world’s busiest cargo airport by Airports Council International for 2017, occupying the top spot for the eighth consecutive year. In 2017, HKIA achieved record-breaking cargo throughput of 4.94 million tonnes, a year-on-year increase of 9.2%. Together with the 112,000 tonnes of airmail the airport handled in 2017, HKIA’s total cargo and airmail throughput exceeded the 5 million tonne mark for the first time. HKIA also remained the world’s third-busiest international passenger airport, handling more than 72 million passengers.
Meanwhile, HKIA has recently received a number of international awards. These included the “Airport of the Year” award from long-established aviation magazine Air Transport World, which recognised HKIA for its excellent airline partnerships, high standards for environmentally friendly operational practices, innovation and superior service as well as good working relationships with local authorities to deliver excellence and strengthen the airport’s leading position as a regional and international aviation hub. HKIA also received awards for “World’s Best Transit Airport” and “World’s Best Airport Dining” from Skytrax, a London-based air transport research organisation.
C K Ng, Executive Director, Airport Operations of Airport Authority Hong Kong said, “It is a tremendous honour to win these accolades. Credit goes to the more than 73,000 airport staff who work diligently every day to serve our passengers. HKIA will continue to work closely with its business partners to maintain smooth and efficient operations and provide a world-class airport experience.”