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Record highs for cargo throughput volumes at HKIA

Cargo traffic at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) hit a record high of 2 million tonnes during the first six months of the year, representing yearly growth of 35.1%. Air traffic movements also rose 4.9% over the same period last year to 144,970. Passenger throughput also registered a record high of 24.5 million during the first six months of the year, representing yearly growth of 9.3%.

For the second quarter, from April to June this year, the airport handled a total of 12.5 million passengers, 1.1 million tonnes of air cargo and 74,900 flight movements, representing cumulative growth of 11.9%, 36.1% and 8.6% respectively.

The strong first-half performance was supported by robust traffic in June. During the month, passenger traffic recorded a yearly increase of 26.2%, reaching 4.2 million; air traffic movements were up 15.3% to 24,795; and cargo throughput surged 28.6% to 347,000 tonnes. This was the first time since July 2005 that the airport saw double-digit growth in all three traffic categories, partly due to the low base for comparison in 2009.

Similar results were achieved in July when the strong summer traffic momentum continued as all three traffic categories recorded double-digit growth. Passenger throughput and aircraft movements were up 17.5% and 14.7% from a year ago, reaching new monthly highs of 4.7 million and 26,720 respectively. Cargo tonnage jumped 24.5% year-on-year to 363,000 during the period.

Passenger traffic to/ from the Mainland and South East Asia performed particularly well in July. While overall visitor numbers registered a 29% yearly increase, Hong Kong resident traffic rose 21% against July 2009.

On the air cargo front, almost all of Hong Kong’s major trading markets showed yearly double-digit growth in July. Exports, especially those to North America and Europe, continued to be the dominant growth driver, surging 36% over the same period last year. Import and transshipment volume also saw year-on-year growth of 23% and 2% respectively.

According to the latest report by Airports Council International, HKIA has retained its position as the world’s busiest international cargo airport for the 14th consecutive year and handled the world’s third largest international passenger volume in 2009.

Meanwhile, robust demand has seen cargo throughput at HKIA increase 33.3% year-on-year to 2.3 million tonnes over the first seven months of 2010. Cumulative passenger volume for the period reached 29.2 million after rising 10.4%. Air traffic movements grew 6.3% to 171,650.