Passenger traffic and aircraft movements at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) continued a trend of steady growth in November as HKIA handled 4.3 million passengers and 27,865 aircraft movements, 4.7% and 4.2% more than the corresponding figures a year ago respectively. Cargo volume declined 6.6% to 343,000 tonnes.
The growth in passenger volume was driven primarily by visitor traffic, which registered an increase of 7% over the same month last year. Passenger traffic to/ from the Mainland performed particularly well.
The cargo decline was mainly attributed to the 10% year-on-year drop in exports. Imports decreased by 3% while transshipments registered a growth of just 0.1%. Europe and North America experienced double-digit year-on-year declines in overall cargo traffic during the month.
Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Chief Executive Officer of Airport Authority Hong Kong, said, "The growth momentum in passenger traffic underlines the need to develop and enhance our facilities. Recently we embarked on the Midfield development, and phase 1 of the project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2015, providing a total of 20 aircraft stands. When phase 1 is completed, HKIA will be able to handle an additional 10 million passengers per annum. Despite the recent drop in cargo throughput due to the slowdown in imports and exports, I am confident that our long-term prospects remain promising as the Mainland's economy continues to boom and Hong Kong also remains on a steady growth path.
"In the meantime, this Christmas represents the traditional travel peak season. Our staff will work closely together as always to maintain smooth and high-quality airport operations," Mr Hui added. For the holiday season, HKIA is staging a series of festive activities and events for travellers from around the world. These include Christmas carol singing, dance performances, Chinese variety shows and LED Christmas tree workshops.
Over the first 11 months of the year, HKIA recorded 5.7% and 9.2% year-on-year growth in passenger volume and aircraft movements, reaching 49.1 million and 304,450 respectively. Airfreight handling declined 4.6% to 3.6 million tonnes during the period.
On a rolling 12-month basis, passenger volume and aircraft movements rose by 5.8% and 9.6% yearly, to 53.6 million and 332,190 respectively. Cargo volume registered a decrease of 3.4% to 4 million tonnes.