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February Traffic Shows Across-the-board Increase

 (HONG KONG, 14 March 2010) – Boosted by strong Chinese New Year (CNY) traffic, passenger and cargo throughput at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) registered year-on-year growth of 17.0% and 30.1% respectively, to 3.9 million and 257,000 tonnes, in February 2010. Air traffic movements also rose by 4.9% from the same month in 2009, to 22,270.

Benefiting from the CNY holidays, Hong Kong resident travel surged by    45.3% and visitors by 17.5% year-on-year. Combined January and February figures—which balance out the seasonal impact of CNY—show an increase of 15.3% in Hong Kong resident traffic and 9.2% in visitor numbers. During the first two months, traffic to/ from South East Asia, Chinese mainland, Taiwan and Japan all showed healthy growth.

On the cargo side, February’s imports jumped 28% year-on-year while exports grew 44% and transshipments rose 8%. Combined statistics for the first two months show that imports and exports both increased by over 40%, while transhipments also grew by more than 10%. Strong import and export growth was experienced across all HKIA major markets.

Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Chief Executive Officer of the Airport Authority, said, "February’s performance was encouraging as it was the first month since July 2008 that all three traffic figures recorded growth, fully reflecting a continued recovery in the economy.

"Aggregate figures for January and February also showed across-the-board increases. During those two months, the airport handled 7.9 million passengers, 558,000 tonnes of cargo and 45,730 flight movements, which represented increases of 6.9%, 36.9% and 0.6% respectively over the same period in 2009. Both passenger and cargo traffic have returned to the pre-crisis levels in 2008, although aircraft movements were still 5.7% below the first two months of 2008. Based on these figures, we have confidence that this growth trend will continue," Mr Hui added.

Mr Hui also said according to operating schedules that the airlines have filed with the Civil Aviation Department, flight movements during the summer operating season will increase by about 15% over the same season last year, indicating that the aviation industry is ramping up flights to meet the anticipated market demand of the coming months.  

On a rolling 12-month basis, cargo throughput increased slightly by 0.2% year-on-year to 3.5 million tonnes. Passenger volume decreased by 3.0% to 46.6 million, and air traffic movements recorded a decline of 6.2% to 279,755.

Aggregate air traffic figures for January and February: 

  2008 2009 2010 
Passenger (million) 7.9 7.4 7.9
Cargo (’000 tonnes) 542 408 558
Air traffic movements 48,475 45,450 45,730

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