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Exports, transshipments lag at HKIA

By control on August 21, 2012

Despite a 4-percent, year-over-year, surge in imports last month, declining export and transshipment levels led to Hong Kong International Airport’s 1.6-percent, year-over-year, drop in cargo volumes in July. In a press release, HKIA also revealed that Southeast Asia “outperformed” other key regions for cargo last month.

HKIA, which surpassed Memphis International Airport as the world’s busiest cargo airport in 2010, saw transshipments slide 3 percent, year-over-year, in July. Exports out of Hong Kong took an even steeper tumble last month, falling 4 percent, year-over-year.

Lagging cargo volumes aside, HKIA’s passenger traffic soared in July. The airport welcomed a record-breaking load of more than 5 million passengers last month; this figure represents a 0.5-percent increase from July 2011, when the previous record was set. The airport also saw a marked increase in air traffic movements in July, with 29,880 total landings and takeoffs — another record-breaking figure.

“We are pleased that both passenger and air-traffic movements have once again set records, and we believe that the growth trend will continue in the coming months,” Stanley Hui Hon-chung, CEO of Airport Authority Hong Kong, said in a statement. “Meanwhile, we will keep a close eye on the latest situation in the cargo market.”

From a 12-month perspective, the situation doesn’t look so promising. Freight volumes at HKIA plunged 3.1 percent, year-over-year, from July 2011 to July 2012, dropping to 3.9 million tonnes. Industry insiders hope Cathay Pacific’s HK$5.9 billion freight terminal at HKIA, which is slated to open in early 2013, will lead to cargo gains in the near future.

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