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Passenger and Cargo Figures Set New Records in First Half

(HONG KONG, 19 July 2010) – Passenger and cargo traffic of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) hit record highs of 24.5 million and 2 million tonnes during the first six months of the year, representing yearly growth of 9.3% and 35.1% respectively. Air traffic movements also rose 4.9% over the same period last year to 144,970.

The strong first-half performance was supported by robust traffic in June. During the month, passenger traffic recorded a yearly increase of 26.2%, reaching 4.2 million; air traffic movements were up 15.3% to 24,795; and cargo throughput surged 28.6% to 347,000 tonnes. This was the first time since July 2005 that the airport saw double-digit growth in all three traffic categories, partly due to the low base for comparison in 2009.

In June, Hong Kong resident travels grew by 28% while visitors surged by close to 40% year on year. The number of transfer/ transit passengers also saw healthy growth of 13%. Passenger traffic to/ from South East Asia, the Mainland, Japan and Taiwan showed more than 20% growth when compared with June 2009, when travel was dampened by the outbreak of Influenza A (H1N1).

For cargo, almost all of HKIA's key markets recorded double-digit growth last month, driven mainly by strong exports, which registered overall growth of over 40%. In particular, exports to Europe and North America increased by 44% and 81% respectively as the global economy continued to rebound. During the month, imports grew 26% while transshipments were up 4%.

Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Chief Executive Officer of Airport Authority Hong Kong, said, "We are pleased with the airport's strong performance over the first half of this year. During the past few months a number of new records have been set, and our average passenger throughput now reaches about 150,000 per day. Meanwhile, cargo growth remains healthy despite having slowed down to a more normal pace in June after months of extraordinary growth.

"We are confident that this momentum will continue into the summer, which is a seasonally busy time for holiday travel. We are seeing more airlines, both passenger and cargo, launching new routes, re-launching routes that had previously been suspended, and new airlines commencing new services to HKIA. In light of the expanded aviation services at HKIA and the continued rebound of the economy, we believe our annual passenger and cargo volume this year will likely exceed pre-crisis levels," Mr Hui added.

From April to June this year, the airport handled a total of 12.5 million passengers, 1.1 million tonnes of air cargo and 74,900 flight movements, representing cumulative growth of 11.9%, 36.1% and 8.6% respectively.

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