Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) handled 4.7 million of passengers in February, representing a 14.5 per cent growth over the same period last year. Cargo volume dropped by 13.3 per cent to 248,000 tonnes, while flight movements increased by 4.1 per cent to 27,665. Combining the first two months of 2013, which evens out the timing difference of the Chinese New Year, HKIA served 9.3 million passengers and handled 582,000 tonnes of cargo in January and February, representing 3.8 per cent and 3.6 per cent growth, respectively, year-on-year. Flight movements grew 4.2 per cent to 57,955.
The growth in passenger volumes in January and February was mainly driven by visitor traffic, which registered growth of 5 per cent over the same period last year. Passenger traffic to/ from South East Asia, the Mainland and Taiwan performed particularly well, according to the statistics. The increased cargo throughput for the first two months is mainly attributed to an eleven per cent year-on-year increase in transshipments. Cargo throughput to/ from Taiwan and North America outperformed other key regions, according to the data.
“It is encouraging to see solid and healthy traffic growth in all three categories at the beginning of 2013. Preliminary figures show that on February 16, during the Chinese New Year peak travel period, we handled a record-breaking daily flow of more than 198,000 passengers,” said Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Chief Executive Officer, Airport Authority Hong Kong. “Processing such a high number of passengers presents considerable operational challenges, yet as always, HKIA and its business partners worked hard to deliver the highest level of customer service and provide travellers with a delightful airport experience.”
On a rolling 12-month basis, passenger volume reached 56.8 million, registering a 4.2 per cent year-on-year increase, cargo increased by 3.1 per cent to 4.05 million tonnes, while flight movements increased by 4.8 per cent to 354,035 over the previous 12-month period. “Cargo recorded slower tonnage in February due to the closure of Mainland factories during the holiday period. We expect that cargo will gradually stabilise in the coming months as factories resume operations and we remain cautiously optimistic for the cargo growth in longer run,” added Hui.