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Air Traffic in February Impacted by Epidemic AA Steps up Cleaning and Disinfection at Airport

March 17, 2020 Airport No Comments Email Email

Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) today announced the traffic figures for Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) in February 2020. During the month, HKIA handled 1.9 million passengers and 18,005 flight movements, representing year-on-year decreases of 68.0% and 44.5%, respectively. Cargo throughput dropped 8.9% compared to the same month last year, to 251,000 tonnes.

Combining the figures for the first two months of this year, which eliminates the effect of Chinese New Year falling in a different month in 2019 for a more meaningful comparison, HKIA handled 7.6 million passengers and 51,215 flight movements, representing year-on-year decreases of 38.5% and 25.7%, respectively. Cargo throughput fell 9.8% to 611,000 tonnes compared to the same period last year.

The combined decline of passenger volume in January and February was mainly caused by the 63% year-on-year decline in visitor traffic. During the period, passenger traffic to and from Mainland China and Southeast Asia recorded the most significant decreases.

Passenger traffic was particularly impacted in February due to weak travelling demand amid the outbreak of COVID-19, in addition to immigration restrictions and quarantine measures implemented by authorities in different countries and regions. Traffic to and from Mainland China and Southeast Asia recorded the most significant decreases in the month. It is expected to see continued drop in traffic figures in March as airlines have suspended more flights, and authorities in different markets continue to implement immigration restrictions and quarantine measures.

With the impact of epidemic and the late resumption of Mainland China factories production, cargo traffic remained weak in first two months of the year. Decreases of 14% and 11% were recorded in transshipments and exports, respectively. Among the key trading regions, traffic to and from North America and Europe decreased most significantly in the period.

On a 12-month rolling basis, passenger volume and flight movements dropped 11.1% and 6.2% to 66.8 million and 402,030, respectively. Cargo throughput declined by 6.2% to 4.7 million tonnes.

The AA has been facilitating the Port Health Division of the Department of Health (DH) in their implementation of infection control measures and quarantine procedures at HKIA since the outbreak of the epidemic. Steven Yiu, Deputy Director, Service Delivery of the AA, said, “The AA has strengthened dissemination of messages regarding prevention of pneumonia and respiratory tract infection through public announcements, posters, pamphlets and videos. Latest information on quarantine requirements at the airport is also provided on HKIA’s website and HKG My Flight mobile app. Cleaning and disinfection efforts in the terminal and passenger facilities have also been stepped up, while additional alcohol hand sanitizers are provided at all major passageways in the terminal. We will continue to maintain close communication with DH and our business partners in keeping the industry abreast of the latest situation regarding COVID-19.”

“Separately, the AA has recently facilitated the arrival of chartered flights arranged by the Government to bring back Hong Kong residents who were onboard the Diamond Princess cruise and stranded in Hubei Province, respectively. The AA deployed additional manpower to coordinate logistical arrangements for the seven chartered flights so far, and kept close liaison with Port Health Division, concerned  Government departments and airlines, etc. I would like to express my gratitude to the airport community for their professionalism and dedication in ensuring smooth operation of these chartered flights,” Yiu added.

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