Kansai International Airport (KIX) enjoys September cargo growth despite the dismal global trade environment, with volumes more than doubling – up 119 per cent – compared to 2018 and up 6.0 per cent compared with 2017.
The airport saw total cargo volumes of 65,185 tonnes in September, while international cargo stood at 63,995 tonnes (up 117 per cent and 6.0 per cent on 2018/17 respectively).
For the first half of the fiscal year, total cargo volume stood at 379,576 tonnes (down 4.0 per cent YoY), while international cargo volume stood at 372,131 tonnes (also down 4.0 per cent YoY).
The airport, which has a strong freighter base, has seen substantial growth on the passenger side, helping boost belly volumes at KIX.
In the winter schedule, a record 1,409 flights per week are expected, up by 72 flights from 2018 winter with a peak of 1,553 expected to be reached in December.
A key element of the growth has come from new passenger flights due largely to what Kansai Airports says is “a greatly expanded network to China”.
For passenger flights to mainland China, KIX will be connected to a total of 38 destinations (increase of five destinations vs winter 2018), and the number of flights will dramatically increase to a total of 583 flights per week (increase of 168 flights vs winter 2018).
Hainan Airlines (HU) will launch two weekly flights to Lanzhou via Lianyungang while Juneyao Airlines (HO) will introduce three-weekly service to Changzhou – both Lianyungang and Changzhou will be connected to KIX by scheduled flights for the first time.
Furthermore, China Eastern Airlines (MU) and Shenzhen Airlines (ZH) will offer flights on the KIX-Nanchang route, and Juneyao Airlines (HO) will launch service on the KIX-Wenzhou route.
Other airlines also plan to add more flights to the existing routes. For other international routes, Nepal Airlines (RA), which resumed service to KIX on August 29 after 12 years of absence, will maintain three-weekly service to and from Kathmandu.
Philippine AirAsia (Z2), which started offering flights to KIX on 1 July, will also continue to operate seven weekly flights to Manila. Moreover, Swiss International Air Lines (LX) is scheduled to introduce service on the KIX-Zurich route on 2 March 2020.
Although flights to and from South Korea are expected to decrease, the total number of shorthaul flights between KIX and Asian destinations will significantly increase to 1,087 flights a week (increase of 50 flights vs winter 2018). This is mainly due to new and increased flights to and from mainland China as well as doubled daily flights of Air Macau (NX).