Boosted by the increased demand over the Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday, Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) handled 4 million passengers and 24,295 flight movements in February, representing a year-on-year growth of 2.0% and 9.2% respectively. However, cargo tonnage experienced a 5.9% drop at 242,000 tonnes in the month.
Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Chief Executive Officer of Airport Authority Hong Kong, said, "The negative growth in cargo tonnage was mainly due to the seasonal impact of CNY. The combined cargo volume for the first two months of the year showed a year-on-year growth of 3.1% reaching 575,000 tonnes. This was driven by the strong performance of import and transshipment. Strong momentum continued with the North America market as it saw double-digit year-on-year growth in the same period."
As for the passenger market, the traffic growth in February was largely driven by Hong Kong resident travel during the holiday. The aggregate figure for January and February registered a year-on-year increase of 6.0% reaching 8.3 million. Passenger traffic to/ from South East Asia and the Chinese Mainland performed particularly well during this period. Meanwhile, the combined flight movements of the past two months also reached 51,705, a corresponding rise of 13.1%.
Mr Hui added, "Despite the slower start to the year, we are confident that the prospects of the aviation market remain positive this year. We are also delighted to see more new airlines launching air services to HKIA. These new services provide passengers with a greater variety of flight choices, as well as strengthening HKIA's international and regional aviation hub status."
In January, Indonesia AirAsia launched its services to/ from Medan, which is a new destination for the airport. Another new airline, South East Asian Airlines, is due to inaugurate flights to Clark in the Philippines this month.
On a rolling 12-month basis, HKIA handled 51.4 million passengers and 4.1 million tonnes of cargo, an increase of 10.1% and 18.6% over the corresponding period last year. Flight movements also registered a growth of 11.8% reaching 312,530.