Hong Kong Airport sees September volumes dip

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Hong Kong International Airport handled 364,000 tonnes of cargo in September, down from both July and August, when it handled 370,000 tonnes and 366,000 tonnes, respectively.

Cargo volumes have proved volatile throughout the year, with each month rising and falling. In January it handled 352,000 tonnes, dropping to 248,000 tonnes in February before hitting the yearly high in March, when it handled 397,000 tonnes. It dipped again in April to 362,000 tonnes, before posting figures of 367,000, 361,000, 370,000, 366,000 and 364,000 in May, June, July, August and September, respectively. Year-to-date the airport has handled 3.2 million tonnes, up 6.7 per cent on the same period last year.

The new Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) chief executive officer (CEO), Fred Lam Tin-fuk says he expects the airport to get busier as the winter season starts, which begins next month. “During the upcoming winter flight schedule, our airport will be handling a maximum 66 flight movements per hour and 1,110 scheduled flights daily. The airport will be operating very close to its practical maximum capacity.”

September saw the smallest increase in cargo handled, up 5.2 per cent on 2013, not including the one per cent decline in February. In January it was up 5.3 per cent, then the airport was down one per cent in February, with the biggest increase of the year coming in March at 10.4 per cent. This was followed by increases of six per cent, 8.3, 7.3, 8.3 and 8.8 in April, May, June, July and August, respectively. It says the increases are because of a rise in transhipments to South East Asia and North America.

Lam took over as CEO of AA on 1 October, replacing Stanley Hui Hon-chung, who stepped down in July. AA executive director of airport operations, CK Ng was acting CEO between Hui stepping down and Lam taking over. Lam says his priorities include implementing medium and long-term development projects, including the Midfield, North Commercial District and third-runway system expansions. The authority has also appointed a human resources executive director, Florence Chung. Chung began her work on 6 October.

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