Hong Kong, April 22 (Xinhua-ANI): The Hong Kong International Airport set a new monthly record with 29,600 flight movements this March, up 5.2 percent over a year earlier, the airport said in a statement on Sunday.
The previous record was set in December 2011 when the airport handled 29,300 movements. Year on year, passenger traffic grew 9 percent this March to 4.6 million, while cargo throughput saw a marginal decline of 0.4 percent to 368,000 tons.
The growth in passenger traffic in March was mainly driven by Hong Kong resident and visitor traffic, which registered increases of 20 percent and 8 percent, respectively, over the same month last year. Passenger traffic to/from the Chinese mainland and Southeast Asia performed particularly well, said the statement.
The decline in cargo throughput last month was mainly attributed to the 4.5 percent year-on-year drop in imports. Exports registered a growth of 3 percent, while transshipments decreased by 3 percent compared to the same month last year. During the month, cargo throughput to/from Southeast Asia outperformed other key regions.
Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Airport Authority Stanley Hui said there was an improvement in cargo performance despite economic uncertainty, in addition to the good growth in passenger traffic and flight movements.
With runway capacity at the airport having increased to 63 flights per hour since late March, daily scheduled flights are close to 1,000 for the summer operating season. Passenger volume and flight movements are likely to sustain their growth trends, while cargo tonnage should continue to improve at a slower pace, he said.
"Apart from being the world's busiest cargo airport for the second consecutive year, the Hong Kong International Airport has also become one of the world's 10 busiest passenger airports for the first time after handling about 54 million passengers last year," he added.
In the first quarter of 2012, passenger traffic registered a yearly 8 percent increase, reaching 13.6 million. Cargo volume declined 1.5 percent to 930,000 tons, while aircraft movements grew by 6.6 percent to 85,170 over the same period last year, according to the statement. (Xinhua-ANI)
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