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Hong Kong International Airport Sets New Flight Movement Records in March

(HONG KONG, 17 April 2011) – Flight movements at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) in March rose 15.5% year on year to a monthly high of 28,140. A new single-day record of 971 flight movements was also set on 31 March, breaking the previous record made on 20 April 2008.

HKIA also handled a total of 4.2 million passengers and 369,000 tonnes of cargo during the month, representing increases of 1.8% and 6.2% respectively compared to March 2010.

The growth in passenger traffic was mainly driven by Hong Kong resident travel, which registered an increase of 6% over the same period last year. Passenger traffic to/ from South East Asia and the Mainland also performed particularly well.

The growth in cargo tonnage was attributed primarily to the respective 7% and 8% growth in exports and transshipments, while imports grew by 4% in March. Cargo to and from North America continued its strong momentum with double-digit year-on-year growth.

Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Chief Executive Officer of Airport Authority Hong Kong, said the strong increase in flight movements was attributable to airlines increasing flights on the back of robust economy of the region, while the moderate growth in passenger traffic reflected partly the high growth rate in March last year and the immediate aftermath of the recent earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan, which has led airlines to reduce flights to Japan quickly.

"Airlines around the world will continue to reduce flights to Japan until the nuclear threat is cleared.  In the case of Hong Kong based airlines, we have seen capacity being redeployed from Japan to other destinations in the region, which is why we continue to see reasonable increase in flight movements at HKIA.  The situation with Japan may persist for a while, but we remain cautiously optimistic that the aviation market in general will continue to grow," he added.

In the first quarter of 2011, passenger traffic registered a yearly 4.6% increase, reaching 12.5 million. Cargo volume rose 4.3% to 944,000 tonnes, while flight movements jumped 14.0% to 79,845.

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