HONG KONG – Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) announced the suspension of all check-in processes at around 4:30 p.m. local time this afternoon after protesters occupied much of the passenger terminal, resulting in the cancellation of a large number of flights scheduled to depart in the evening. However, the scale of the cancellations was nowhere as widespread as yesterday, and freighter flights once again appeared mostly unaffected and continued to take off and land.
According to information from HKG, the only cargo flights that were canceled today were the following:
- Yangtze River Express from and to Chengdu (CTU)
- China Cargo Airlines from and to Shanghai (PVG)
- UPS from Louisville (SDF) via Anchorage (ANC) and to Ontario (ONT) via ANC
- AirBridgeCargo from Moscow (DME)
- SpiceJet from Guwahati (GAU)
Despite the disruptions to businesses over the past few weeks, the airfreight industry is still not overly worried. Sunny Ho, executive director of the Hong Kong Shippers’ Council, told Air Cargo World that, while the delivery of shipments carried in the bellies of passenger flights would inevitably be affected, freighter flights would have spare capacity to cater for this abnormality, especially given that the summer months are generally not the peak season for air cargo.
Ho said that whether shippers will decide to make alternative arrangements for airfreight, such as using the neighboring airports of Macau (MFM), Shenzhen (SZX) and Guangzhou (CAN), will depend on how the situation develops. “It would be too early to make any significant changes,” he said. “There are still advantages to shipping via Hong Kong that nearby airports cannot match. At present, any decision to divert is more of cost rather than the latest protests. Cargo is not affected too much.”
He added that Hong Kong’s shippers would keep a watchful eye on future developments.