Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is pleased to see steady performance across all three major air traffic measurement figures during the first eight months of 2016. Since the beginning of the year, HKIA has welcomed 47.7 million passengers and recorded 274,765 flight movements, marking year-on-year increases of 4.2% and 2.2% respectively. Cargo throughput recorded a mild growth of 0.5%, reaching 2.84 million tonnes, compared to the same period last year.
HKIA’s extensive flight network has been further enhanced with the recent addition of several direct flight services. Austrian Airlines has started to operate five flights per week to Vienna, Austria, while Cathay Pacific has begun four flights per week to London Gatwick. Hong Kong Airlines has also launched a twice-weekly service to Yonago, Japan; and American Airlines now offers daily flights to Los Angeles after service enhancement.
Henry Ma, General Manager, Airport and Industry Collaboration of Airport Authority Hong Kong said, “We are delighted to see airlines enhancing their services and providing more flying options for passengers. For instance, this month we welcomed the non-stop flight service to Vienna, enhancing our airport’s reach to this important hub for Central and Eastern Europe. The additional connectivity will further strengthen HKIA’s status as an international aviation centre.”
As for the air traffic performance in August, HKIA continued to see an increase in the cargo tonnage handled. During the month, the airport saw a year-on-year increase in cargo throughput by 3.6% to 374,000 tonnes. A slight yearly drop is seen in the numbers of passengers and flight movements during the month. A total of 6.2 million passengers and 34,795 flight movements handled in August, representing a decrease of 2.2% and 0.3% respectively, when compared to the same month last year.
The bad weather and typhoon in early August led to a reduction in passenger volume in the full month. On the other hand, the high base for comparison with regard to South Korean routes was another factor for the drop in passenger traffic in August. South Korea traffic was robust in August 2015 after the removal of Red Outbound Travel Alert for South Korea due to MERS. These reductions diminished the overall contribution of the 6% year-on-year growth of Hong Kong resident travel in August.
The growth in cargo last month came mostly from a robust 11% year-on-year growth in transshipments. Traffic to / from key trading regions in Europe and Taiwan increased most significantly during the month.
On a rolling 12-month basis, HKIA handled 70.4 million passengers and 412,080 flight movements, recording year-on-year increases of 5.1% and 2.6% respectively. Meanwhile, cargo throughput also increased by 0.4% to 4.39 million tonnes.