Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) recorded slight decreases in all three air traffic categories in September due primarily to Typhoon Mangkhut, which resulted in the airport’s closure for more than 20 hours.
During the month, cargo and airmail throughput was 431,000 tonnes, a drop of 1.4 per cent compared to the same month last year, while flight movements declined by 2.7 per cent to 33,705 and passenger volume decreased by 0.3 per cent year on year to 5.6 million.
Following the flight cancellations, HKIA implemented extensive rescheduling involving more than 1,000 flight movements in one day as the storm gradually moved away from Hong Kong. Overall passenger traffic to and from Japan and Southeast Asia experienced the most significant drop as a result of the typhoon.
The reduction in cargo throughput was mainly attributed to a 4.0 per cent decrease in exports. Transshipments continued to be the relatively stronger cargo category, achieving during the month a 3.0 per cent year-on-year growth. Amongst the key trading regions, traffic to and from Europe and Japan declined most significantly.
Over the first nine months of 2018, HKIA handled 3.75 million tonnes of cargo and airmail, representing year-on-year increases of 2.6 per cent. On a 12-month rolling basis, HKIA recorded cargo and airmail throughput of 5.1 million tonnes, representing a 3.3 per cent year-on-year surge.
Passenger volume and flight movements on a 12-month rolling basis grew by 4.0 and 2.5 per cent to 74.5 million and 426,205, respectively.
Steven Yiu, deputy director, Service Delivery for Airport Authority Hong Kong, said: “I would also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to our colleagues for performing their duties admirably in the face of Typhoon Mangkhut, enabling us to handle the affected flights efficiently and resume normal operations within a short period.”