Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) has retained its position as the busiest cargo airport for the seventh consecutive year as it celebrates a “fruitful” 2016/17 fiscal year.
Cargo volumes grew 6.7 per cent to 4.6 million tonnes, an all time high, and passenger numbers and flight movements also broke all time records.
Revenue increased 2.4 per cent to 18.2 billion Hong Kong dollars ($2.3 billion) though profit attributable to shareholders was down one per cent to HK$8.2 billion.
During the fiscal year, HKIA started working on a third runway, known as the ‘three-runway system’ (3RS), and Chinese premier Xi Jinping visited HKIA to see how the project was progressing while touring Hong Kong.
Airport Authority Hong Kong chairman, Jack So Chak-kwong says: “We were honoured that amidst his recent short visit to Hong Kong, President Xi Jinping made a stop at our office tower to inspect the progress of the 3RS construction.”
“We are grateful for his expression of the Central Government’s support of our airport’s third runway project and Hong Kong’s status as an international aviation hub.”
Cargo facilities have been upgraded to cater for fast growing high-value segments including fresh produce and temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals.
Cargo handling agent Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals gained IATA Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) in February 2017, and the airport is working on becoming fully certified by the third quarter of 2017.
E-commerce keeps growing stimulating demand for express and air mail, and Airport Authority Hong Kong says it has been exploring collaboration opportunities with Hong Kong Post and China Post to capture more cross-border e-commerce.
The airport also says land in the South Cargo Precinct has been reserved for high-growth segments including cross-border e-commerce, high value temperature controlled cargo and transhipments.
HKIA has welcomed four new carriers, Austrian Airlines, Bismillah Airlines, T’way Air and Vietjet Air.
The network expanded with 14 new destinations to London Gatwick, New York La Guardia, Portland, Madrid, Saipan, Ahmedabad in India, Chiang Rai in Thailand, Daegu in South Korea, Manado in Indonesia, Mandalay in Myanmar, Toowoomba in Australia, and the Japanese cities of Ishigaki, Takamatsu and Yonago.