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HKIA Sees Overall Traffic Growth in February

(HONG KONG, 18 March 2012) – Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) recorded growth in all three traffic categories in February 2012. Among them, cargo traffic reported a double-digit increase of 18.6% over the same period last year, to 287,000 tonnes. Four million passenger trips and 26,600 aircraft movements were handled during the month, up 2% and 9.3% year on year respectively.

Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Chief Executive Officer of the Airport Authority, said, "While it is encouraging to see the uptick in cargo volume, we must note that the gain is partly on account of the low base for comparison, as Chinese New Year fell in February in 2011, while this year it was in January. Combined figures for January and February are therefore preferred indicators as the holiday factor is eliminated."

Looking at the two months together, HKIA has served a total of 9 million passengers and handled 55,600 aircraft movements, registering increases of 7.5% and 7.4% respectively. Aggregate cargo volume declined by 2.3%, to 562,000 tonnes, when compared with the same two-month period last year.

"Both passenger traffic and flight movements continue their steady upward trend, while the decline in cargo volume is seemingly stabilising. We remain optimistic that the overall positive trend will continue in view of the latest, more encouraging economic signals coming from Europe, the US and the Chinese Mainland. For the coming summer operating season, with runway capacity at HKIA having increased to 63 flights per hour, we are seeing airlines scheduling a 4.7% increase in flight frequencies compared to summer last year, bringing daily scheduled flights to nearly 1,000. We will plan ahead to cope with the anticipated growth in air traffic and continue our efforts in providing high-quality service," Mr Hui added.

HKIA's leading position as an air cargo centre has again been recognised recently. HKIA clinched Air Cargo World Magazine's "Air Cargo Award of Excellence" and achieved the highest overall rating in the category of "Airports Asia – 1,000,000 or more tonnes". Voted by the magazine's readers, the awards recognise the performance, value, facilities and regulatory operations of airports in handling air cargo. HKIA has won the "Air Cargo Award of Excellence" seven times and secured the highest overall rating three times over the years.

The combined growth in passenger volume in January and February was mainly driven by visitor traffic, which registered growth of 8.5% over the same period last year. Passenger traffic to/ from the Mainland and South East Asia performed particularly well.

The combined decline in cargo throughput for the first two months was mainly attributable to a 7% year-on-year drop in exports. Imports decreased by 2% while transshipments registered growth of 2% compared to the same period last year.

On a rolling 12-month basis, aircraft movements climbed 8% to over 337,600 and passenger traffic rose 6.1% to 54.5 million over the same period last year. Cargo tonnage registered a year-on-year drop of 5.3% to 3.9 million tonnes.

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