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HKIA: Decline in cargo throughput in 2008

Air cargo throughput at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) decreased by 3.1% in 2008, as compared to 2007 when 3.6 million tonnes passed through HKIA cargo facilities. The global financial turmoil and the resultant shrinkage in foreign trade also dealt a heavy blow to demand for freight services, and air cargo was no exception. In December, HKIA saw cargo throughput plunge by 28.2% to 243,000 tonnes – the largest single-month drop since the airport's opening in 1998.

"2008 was very tough for the aviation industry, with skyrocketing oil prices in the first half of the year followed by the financial tsunami and the ensuing weakening demand for travel and air cargo services in the second half. The foreseeable future in 2009 will remain challenging, as the full effects of the recession are felt here in Hong Kong and across the globe,” said Stanley Hui Hon-chung, CEO of the Airport Authority (AA). "However, we hope to see the economy gradually stabilise in the latter part of 2009. While the near-term uncertainties will continue to pose challenges, we remain confident over the long-term traffic performance of HKIA. And we are as committed as ever to maintaining Hong Kong's status as a regional and international aviation centre, serving the overall economic development of Hong Kong and Mainland China. We will continue to work closely with our business partners to enhance services at HKIA with a view to better meeting the changing needs of passengers and logistics providers." The study for HKIA Master Plan 2030 began last year and will be completed in mid-2009, after which it will be released following approval by the AA Board. In addition, the AA will continue to render its full support to government-led infrastructural projects such as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link, and the feasibility study for the HKIA-Shenzhen Airport Rail Link. All of these initiatives will enhance HKIA's local and cross-boundary accessibility, hence bringing busier passenger and cargo flow to Hong Kong and strengthening HKIA's competitiveness in the long run.