Hong Kong International Airport suffers huge drop in passenger volume


Hong Kong International Airport suffers huge drop in passenger volume

Figures released Sunday (15 December) by the Airport Authority of Hong Kong showed the city’s international airport suffered one of its largest drop in passenger volume during the month of November. The authority said the airport handled 5 million passengers in November, representing a year-on-year decrease of 16.2 percent. Flight movements dropped 8.3 percent to 32,510 compared to the same month last year. Cargo throughput fell 3.4 percent year-on-year to 450,000 tonnes. The decline in passenger is the largest fall since June 2009, when the figure fell by 18.7 percent, according to Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department data.

The airport has been a target of anti-government protests and was forced to close for two consecutive days in August when protesters shut down transport to and from the airport.

During November, transfer/transit traffic showed strong year-on-year growth of 6 percent while Hong Kong resident travel increased 5 percent, the authority said. Passenger volume continued to be affected by weak visitor traffic, with passengers to and from Mainland China and Southeast Asia experiencing the most significant decreases.

The authority said while overall cargo exports recorded a 1 percent decline year-on-year, cargo exported to Japan and Europe saw positive growths among key trading regions.

Over the first 11 months of the year, the airport handled 65.8 million passengers and 385,730 flight movements, representing year-on-year decreases of 3.4 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. Cargo throughput fell 6.6 percent to 4.4 million tonnes compared to the same period last year.

Passengers trying to reach the Hong Kong International Airport in August after anti-government protesters had shut down transport links to the facility. (PHOTO: Shutterstock)
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Matthew Driskill is the Editor of Asian Aviation and is based in Cambodia. He has been an Asia-based journalist and content producer since 1990 for outlets including Reuters and the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong. He frequently appears on international broadcast outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC and has taught journalism at Hong Kong University and the American University of Paris. Driskill has received awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting and Business Writing and in 1989 was named the John J. McCloy Fellow by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York where he earned his Master's Degree.


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