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HKIA throuhgput decreases stabilise at single digit

Cargo traffic at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) saw an improvement from the double-digit plunges that had been recorded since November 2008. A total of 291,000 tonnes of cargo was handled at the airport in July, representing a YoY decrease of 8.3%. Passenger traffic further stabilised in July, with year-on-year drop of 4 million passengers or 9.5%, while air traffic movements decreased 9.9% for the month of July.

While the volume of cargo exports declined by approximately 13% YoY, imports and transshipments showed a low single-digit decrease as compared to the same period last year. Key export markets experiencing double-digit drops included Europe, North America, South East Asia and Japan. On the passenger side, Hong Kong residents showed a yearly growth of around 3%, while visitors declined by around 17% and transfer/ transit passengers dipped approximately by 10%. Key visitor markets impacted included South East Asia, Chinese Mainland, Taiwan, North America and Japan.

Stanley Hui Hon-chung, the Airport Authority Hong Kong’s CEO, said the public's receding concern over Influenza A (H1N1) and the summer travel peak were the two major reasons behind last month's comparatively better performance in passenger traffic. He added, "The latest figures indicate that the downward momentum may have slowed. While we believe air traffic figures will see milder drops in the months ahead, it will take some time before overall traffic performance returns to pre-crisis levels. The business climate is still challenging as economic activities remain low and this couples with the difficult operating environment for the aviation industry would continue to affect the pace of recovery."

For the first seven months of the year, HKIA's passenger traffic was down by 8.4% to 26.4 million, while cargo throughput dropped 18.1% to 1.8 million tonnes and aircraft movements slid 8.0% to 161,605. On a rolling 12-month basis, the airport handled 46.2 million passenger trips and 3.2 million tonnes of cargo, representing year-on-year declines of 6.7% and 16.1%, respectively. Cumulative air traffic movements showed a reduction of 5.1% to 287,055.