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HKIA Ranked World’s Busiest Cargo Airport for the Eighth Consecutive Year


(HONG KONG, 11 April 2018)  –  Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) has been ranked the world’s busiest cargo airport by Airports Council International for 2017, occupying the top spot for the eighth consecutive year. In 2017, HKIA achieved record-breaking cargo throughput of 4.94 million tonnes, a year-on-year increase of 9.2%. Together with the 112,000 tonnes of airmail the airport handled in 2017, HKIA’s total cargo and airmail throughput exceeded the 5 million tonne mark for the first time. HKIA also remained the world’s third-busiest international passenger airport, handling more than 72 million passengers. 

Cissy Chan, Executive Director, Commercial for Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA), said, “HKIA is honoured to remain the world’s busiest cargo airport since 2010. This is a direct result of the high operational standards practised by HKIA and its cargo operators as well as the airport’s excellent connectivity. To further capture the growing demand HKIA is experiencing, we are developing our cargo strategy in three key areas according to industry trends. These are e-commerce, transshipments and high-value logistics, including the transportation of temperature-controlled goods such as pharmaceutical products. We will also continue to work closely with our business partners to maintain HKIA’s place as the world’s leading air cargo hub.” 

HKIA has been undergoing a series of developments to expand its cargo business further. Since July 2017, HKIA has been recognised as a Partner Airport of the International Air Transport Association’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma), a certification that was awarded based on HKIA’s competency and preparedness in handling by air pharmaceuticals that require stringent temperature control at globally assured standards. HKIA handles temperature-sensitive shipments using more than 5,000m² of cold room storage in its three cargo terminals, which provide dedicated rooms that maintain temperatures ranging from -20ºC to 25ºC to cater to the specific needs of various pharmaceutical products. The AA said it will continue to invest in its cold chain facilities, for instance by investing HK$16 million to purchase 21 more cool dollies this year. 

To meet the demand arising from the continuous growth of e-commerce shipments and premium warehousing in Hong Kong, the AA recently launched a tender to develop a premium logistics warehouse in Kwo Lo Wan in HKIA’s South Cargo Precinct. Response to the tender has met expectations, and the result will be announced in mid-2018. The new premium warehouse will occupy a site of 5.3 hectares and have an expected gross floor area of approximately 4 million square feet, making it the third-largest warehouse in Hong Kong. It is scheduled to commence operation in 2023

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