The FINANCIAL -- Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) recorded growth in all three air traffic categories in the first half of 2017, highlighted by significant growth in cargo throughput.
From January to June this year, HKIA handled 2.3 million tonnes of cargo, soaring 11.3% over the same period last year. Passenger throughput and flight movements climbed 1.3% and 0.9% year on year to 35.7 million and 206,560 respectively.
Passenger traffic was driven by the continued growth of travel among Hong Kong residents. The strong cargo throughput was largely due to higher exports coinciding with an improvement in global trade, according to Hong Kong International Airport.
In June, cargo throughput was 410,000 tonnes, representing year-on-year growth of 11.4%. Passenger traffic and flight movements amounted to 5.9 million and 34,590 respectively, representing increases of 0.5% and 2.4%.
The modest growth in the number of passengers was mainly due to 3% year-on-year growth in Hong Kong resident travel. The Japan market recorded the most significant increase in passenger traffic.
A 17% year-on-year increase in June exports led to high growth in cargo tonnage for the month. Transshipments also registered strong 10% growth. Amongst key trading regions, Europe and North America saw the most significant increases in June.
"As we see growth in air traffic, flight services at HKIA also continue to expand," said Henry Ma, General Manager, Airport and Industry Collaboration of Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) said. “Recently two new airlines started operating at HKIA to provide more choices and convenience to passengers. Virgin Australia started operating five return flights per week between Hong Kong and Melbourne in July, while Air Japan commenced the operation of daily flights to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport in June. Also, Hong Kong Airlines expanded their service to include daily direct flight to Vancouver in June.”
On a rolling 12-month basis, cargo throughput increased 9.0% to 4.8 million tonnes year on year. Passengers and flight movements grew 1.1% and 0.5% to 71.0 million and 413,345 respectively.