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HKIA sees further decline in air traffic


Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) handled 296,000 tonnes of cargo in November 2008, representing a year-on-year drop of 18.7%. The steep fall in cargo volume was mainly a result of global recession, said the Airport Authority. Trade activities continued to shrink across the board, and cargo exports showed the strongest decline in North American markets, followed by Europe, Southeast Asia and Taiwan.

Passenger throughput, meanwhile, declined by 5.6% to 3.8 million passengers, driven mainly by contracting visitor volume, particularly from long-haul markets including North America and Europe. The Chinese Mainland and Southeast Asian markets also showed a considerable decline. In addition, the closure of Suvarnabhumi Bangkok Airport from 25 November to 3 December 2008, during which over 230 flights were cancelled, also contributed to the drop in passenger and cargo throughput lastmonth.

Passenger volume and air traffic movements in the first 11 months of this year grew 2.4% and 2.5% over the same period in 2007, to 44.5 million and 276,535, respectively. Cargo tonnage recorded a decrease of 0.6% to 3.4 million tonnes. For the 12 months ended 30 November 2008, cargo throughput remained at 3.7 million tonnes.