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HKIA 2020 Passenger Volume Drops under Pandemic, Cargo Operations Remain Resilient


(HONG KONG, 15 January 2021, 1600hrs)  –  Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) today announced the 2020 air traffic figures for Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). Due to the impact of COVID-19, in 2020 HKIA handled a total of 8.8 million passengers and 160,655 flights, which represent year-on-year decreases of 87.7% and 61.7%, respectively. However, total cargo throughput at HKIA in 2020 remained relatively stable at 4.5 million tonnes, a year-on-year decline of 7.0%. The airport handled 68,660 cargo flights during the year, an 18.3% surge compared to 2019.

Despite a challenging year, HKIA continued to be recognised by the industry as a leading aviation hub. It was named “Best Global Airport” by Asia Cargo News and “Asia’s Leading Airport 2020” by the World Travel Awards.

In 2020, HKIA added a number of new destinations to its extensive flight network, including Beirut, Darwin, Frankfurt-Hahn, Indianapolis, Khabarovsk, Maastricht, Moscow Vnukovo, Ostend and Pittsburg.

In the single month of December 2020, HKIA saw a 0.2% year-on-year drop in cargo handled to 443,000 tonnes. The airport registered passenger volume and flight movements of 90,000 and 12,650, which represent decreases of 98.4% and 62.8%, respectively, compared to the same month in 2019.

Travel demand remained weak in December as a result of the continuous COVID-19 pandemic. During the month, passenger traffic decreased significantly compared to the same month last year in all categories, namely Hong Kong residents, visitors and transfer/ transit passengers.

Cargo imports and exports continued their strong growth, climbing 18% and 8% year on year, respectively. Transshipments decreased significantly due to shortage of belly capacity on passenger flights.

Vivian Cheung, Executive Director, Airport Operations for the AA, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause grave impacts on the airport community, particularly on passenger traffic. The AA is deeply grateful for the community’s dedication and resilience in these difficult times, including adapting to new travel requirements, adjusting operations to fluctuating passenger numbers, and implementing new health measures to ensure the safety of staff and passengers. In 2021, we will continue to work closely with the airport community in managing the continuing challenges and prepare for the recovery of passenger traffic when the pandemic subsides.”

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