The FINANCIAL — Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) recorded solid growth in passenger volume and flight movements during the first half of 2016. From January to June this year, passenger throughput and flight movements rose by 5.1% and 2.6% year on year to 35.2 million and 204,750, respectively. Cargo volume saw a slight drop of 0.8% to 2.1 million tonnes.
The growth of passenger traffic in the first six months of the year was mainly attributed to continued growth in travel by Hong Kong residents; while the narrowing decrease in cargo throughput was attributed to an increase in transshipments, according to Airport Authority Hong Kong.
In June, passenger traffic and flight movements grew by 5.4% and 2.7%, respectively, to 5.9 million and 33,770, compared to the same month last year. The growth in passenger traffic in June was mainly driven by Hong Kong resident travel, which grew 15% compared to the same month last year. Passenger traffic to / from North Asia, Southeast Asia and Mainland China recorded the most significant increases.
Cargo volume recorded a 5.3% year-on-year increase in June to 368,000 tonnes. Transshipments contributed most significantly to the increase in cargo volume during the month, growing by 11% year-on-year. Exports and imports registered 5% and 2% growth, respectively, compared to June 2015. Traffic to / from Southeast Asia and Mainland China outperformed other regions.
Julia Yan, General Manager of Strategic Planning and Development of Airport Authority Hong Kong, said, “Looking towards the second half of the year, passenger traffic is expected to grow steadily, while cargo tonnage is expected to consolidate for the rest of the year. Meanwhile, we are closely monitoring whether there will be any impact on external economic environment and air traffic figures in the medium-term caused by Britain’s referendum to leave the European Union.”
Separately, airlines continue to expand their flight service at HKIA. Hong Kong Airlines began offering direct twice-weekly passenger service to Saipan on 6 July, while HK Express began offering a four-times-per-week service to Kagoshima on 11 July, providing additional options for travellers during the summer holidays.
On a rolling 12-month basis, HKIA handled 70 million passengers, up 6.2% annually, while flight movements rose 2.9% to 411,150. Cargo throughput dropped slightly by 0.6% to 4.4 million tonnes during the past 12 months.