Hong Kong sees August pax and cargo numbers fall
Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) handled 6 million passengers and 35,655 air traffic movements in August 2019, representing year-on-year declines of 12.4 percent and 3.5 percent respectively, according to figures published by Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) on Sunday (15 September). Cargo throughput dropped 11.5 percent year-on-year to 382,000 tonnes in August.
The drop in passenger volume was mainly attributable to a decrease in visitor traffic to and from mainland China, Southeast Asia and Taiwan, which all experienced significant declines compared to August 2018, the authority said.
Amid global trade uncertainties, cargo volume continued to contract in August. Trans-shipments and imports declined by 19 percent and 15 percent year-on-year, respectively. The figures for Southeast Asia and mainland China decreased most significantly among key trading regions.
The airport has been a target of anti-government protesters for months and was forced to shut down for two consecutive days in August when demonstrators swarmed the facility. The Airport Express train was also forced to shut down or curtail operations on several days due to protesters throwing things like bricks on to the tracks.
CK Ng, executive director for airport operations of the Airport Authority, said: “In the past few months, there have been huge challenges to airport operations at times. Thanks to the concerted efforts of the airport community, we managed to maintain normal operations and minimise impact on travellers. I would like to express my gratitude to all airport staff who continue to perform their duties with admirable professionalism and dedication.”
Over the first eight months of the year, HKIA handled 50.6 million passengers and 285,495 air traffic movements, up 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year. Cargo throughput recorded 3.08 million tonnes, down 7.4 percent compared to the same period last year.
Hong Kong has also seen airlines cut services to the city. United Airlines announced it has downsized its Hong Kong flights and has switched all flights over the winter to Hong Kong from Newark and San Francisco to its smallest Boeing 777-200 aircraft.