Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) saw steady growth in all three air traffic categories over the first two months of the year. Combined traffic for January and February showed that passenger volume grew a remarkable 6.6% year on year to over 9.9 million. Flight movements and cargo throughput increased 6% to 61,435 movements and 2.6% to 600,000 tonnes, respectively.
In February alone, HKIA handled nearly 4.8 million passengers and 28,750 flight movements, representing year-on-year increases of 2.1% and 3.9%, respectively. Cargo throughput was 248,000 tonnes, a marginal dip of 1% compared to the same month last year.
The combined growth of passenger volume in January and February was mainly driven by visitor traffic and Hong Kong resident traffic, each of which grew by 8% over the same period last year. Passenger traffic to/ from Mainland China and Japan recorded the most significant increases. As for cargo throughput, growth reported in the first two months was mainly attributed to a 4% year-on-year growth in imports and a 3% growth in exports. Cargo throughput to/ from Southeast Asia and Mainland China improved most significantly.
Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Chief Executive Officer of Airport Authority Hong Kong, said, "We are pleased to notice a continuous overall growth during the first two months of the year. As the Chinese New Year travel peak fell in different months in 2013 and 2014, the aggregate figures for January and February provide a more meaningful comparison in demonstrating healthy and sustained traffic growth at HKIA.
"Spurred by recent weakness in the Yen, Japan is one of the more popular destinations for Hong Kong residents; and we are delighted to note that scheduled flight service to Kagoshima, Japan, will be available in late March. Kagoshima is the eighth destination in Japan accessible from HKIA, providing passengers with greater choice and travel convenience," added Mr Hui.
On a rolling 12-month basis, passenger traffic increased by 6.5% to over 60.5 million, flight movements rose 6.1% to 375,525 and cargo volume increased 2.2% to 4.14 million tonnes year on year.