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Robust Cargo Demand Helps Set New Record at HKIA

(HONG KONG, 16 June 2010) – Cargo tonnage at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) reached a record high monthly total of 367,000 tonnes in May, up 41.9% year on year.  The speedy and significant recovery in cargo traffic at HKIA further lends support to HKIA's status as the world's busiest international air cargo centre.

Air traffic movements in May were also healthy, registering yearly growth of 8.4% to 25,380. Passenger volume for the month reached 4.1 million, up 14.4 % over the same period last year.

Cargo throughput to and from all major HKIA markets showed double-digit growth over the same month last year. The substantial growth was in part due to the relatively low base recorded in May 2009, as well as the continued recovery of key export markets, particularly Europe and North America. Exports recorded strong growth of 61%, while imports and transshipments surged 32% and 14% respectively.

The double-digit growth in the passenger market was also partly due to the lower base for comparison from last May, when passenger traffic was badly affected by the human swine flu outbreak. This May, visitor numbers grew by 27% as the economy continued to rebound, with those from South East Asia and North Asia showing the highest increases. Hong Kong resident travel also registered a year-on-year increase of 19%, and transfer/ transit traffic remained at a similar level with the same period last year.

Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Chief Executive Officer of Airport Authority Hong Kong, said, "We are delighted with the growth in all three air traffic categories, especially the huge increase in cargo throughput. Although the figures from last May were low by comparison, we have nevertheless seen a continuation in the rebound of cargo demand thanks to the sustained recovery of the economy. More than 10,000 tonnes of cargo were handled each day on average for three consecutive months, and traffic has returned to the pre-crisis level.

"Furthermore, summer is traditionally a peak travel season, and the propensity to travel this year is boosted by the Shanghai Expo as well as the return to normal life in Bangkok in early June. Hence, we are confident that the growth momentum will continue in the coming months," Mr Hui added.

From January to May 2010, all three traffic categories recorded healthy growth. The airport received 20.3 million passengers, moved 1.6 million tonnes of cargo and handled 120,205 aircraft movements, representing year-on-year increases of 6.4%, 36.6% and 3.0%, respectively.

On a rolling 12-month basis, cargo throughput was up by 14.4% to 3.8 million tonnes, while passenger volume recorded flat growth at 47.4 million and air traffic movements slid 3.4% to 282,875.

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