Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) last week released the traffic figures of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) for February 2021. During the month, cargo throughput was 310,000 tonnes, up 23.3 percent year-on-year increase, whilst freighter movements surged 36.8 percent to 4,615, from the 3,374 recorded during the same month last year. Meanwhile, the airport handled 47,000 passengers and 8,475 flight movements, representing year-on-year drops of 97.5 percent and 53.0 percent, respectively.
“Combining the figures for the first two months of this year, which eliminates the effect of Chinese New Year falling in different months in 2020 and 2021, HKIA handled 118,000 passengers and 19,840 flight movements, reporting declines of 98.4% and 61.3%, respectively. Cargo throughput saw 17.9% growth to 719,000 tonnes,” the airport authority said.
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The combined increase of cargo volume in January and February was largely driven by a surge in exports, it added.
“Transshipments experienced a double-digit decline due to a shortage of belly capacity on passenger flights. Overall cargo to and from North America, the Middle East and Europe saw the most significant increase during the period,” AA noted.
Passenger traffic remained weak in February as the COVID-19 pandemic persisted. During the first two months of the year, passenger traffic for Hong Kong residents, visitors, and transfer/transit passengers all dropped significantly compared to the same month last year.
On a 12-month rolling basis, passenger throughput and flight movements plummeted 98.0 percent and 67.9 percent year-on-year to 1.4 million and 129,260, respectively. Cargo throughput fell 3.5 percent to 4.6 million tonnes.