The FINANCIAL — Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) experienced strong growth in cargo throughput in November.
During the month, cargo volume increased sharply by 7.1% year on year to 436,000 tonnes, setting a new monthly record. Passenger volume and flight movements dropped 3.5% and 4.1% from the same period last year to 5.4 million and 32,590, respectively.
November is the traditional peak period for air cargo. Imports, exports and transshipments all grew by 7% compared to the same month last year. Amongst the key trading regions, traffic to / from Southeast Asia and Europe increased most significantly during the month, according to Hong Kong International Airport.
The drop of passenger traffic in November was associated with the special one-off flight movement arrangements implemented by the Civil Aviation Department to facilitate transition to the new Air Traffic Management System. During the month, transfer / transit traffic and visitor traffic declined, Hong Kong resident travel grew by 6% year on year. Passenger traffic to / from Southeast Asia, Mainland China and Taiwan recorded the most noticeable drops.
C K Ng, Executive Director, Airport Operations of Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) said, “We expect to see a travel peak at HKIA for the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays, with around 110 additional flights arranged during the period to meet the surge in travel demand. The most popular destinations for additional flights are Taipei, Sapporo and Taichung. We are working closely with business partners and the airport community to ensure smooth operations during the festive period.”
In the first eleven months of 2016, HKIA welcomed 64.4 million passengers and witnessed 375,870 flight movements, marking year-on-year increases of 3% and 1.4%, respectively. Cargo throughput grew 2.4% from the same period in 2015 to 4.1 million tonnes.
On a rolling 12-month basis, HKIA handled 70.4 million passengers, 411,270 flight movements and 4.48 million tonnes of cargo, recording year-on-year increases of 3.3%, 1.6% and 2.3%, respectively.
Furthermore, the AA was awarded with a Platinum Award in the Public Sector / Not-for-profit Category – and a Special Mention in the Sustainability and Social Responsibility Reporting Awards in the same category – at the 2016 Best Corporate Governance Awards organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The judges complimented the AA for a well-presented report with clear and effective illustrations of its corporate governance structure and internal control systems. Judges also commended the AA’s annual report for its detailed business comparisons with other airports, and a clear and concise financial review.