Boosted by strong Chinese New Year traffic, Hong Kong International Airport handled 4.9 million passengers in January – 12.5% up on the corresponding month a year ago.
A new daily record of approximately 187,000 passengers was also registered on 28 January, the sixth day of the Chinese New Year (CNY).`
The growth in passenger traffic last month was mainly driven by Hong Kong resident traffic, which reported a yearly increase of 36% amid the CNY peak travel season. Traffic to/from the Mainland and South East Asia performed particularly well.`
Cargo throughput declined 17.5% against January 2011 to 275,000 tonnes as a result of sluggish seasonal demand during CNY. `
Exports dropped by 20% year on year, while imports and transshipments decreased by 18% and 11% respectively compared to the same month last year.`
Stanley Hui Hon-chung, CEO of Airport Authority Hong Kong, said holiday factors should be taken into consideration when viewing January’s figures.
“The impact of CNY falling in January this year, but February last year, has given rise to a biased base for year-on-year comparisons. The changes in passenger and cargo traffic would be smaller were we to average out CNY’s impact by looking at January and February together,” he remarked.`
“Nonetheless, the strong start in terms of passenger and aircraft movements is encouraging. Although cargo is expected to be slow following a general decline last year, there have been signs of a slowdown in the rate of decline since the last quarter of 2011.
"We are therefore confident that the aviation industry’s performance will continue to be vibrant in the long run.”`
On a rolling 12-month basis, passenger and aircraft movements were up 6.1% to 54.5 million and 8% to 335,350 respectively over the same period last year.`
The amount of cargo handled was 3.9 million tonnes, down 6.7% year on year.