Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) handled 421,000 tonnes of cargo in November, its highest monthly volume this year, with most of the growth coming from North America and South East Asia.
The November figure comes as part of an upward trend since volumes dipped to 364,000 tonnes in September. Cargo figures have risen and fallen throughout the year. In January, HKIA handled 350,000 tonnes, dropping to 247,000 tonnes in February before rising to the previous yearly record in March of 397,000 tonnes.
Between April and September cargo figures were similar. In April, HKIA handled 362,000 tonnes, rising to 367,000 tonnes in May, before dropping to 361,000 tonnes in June. It rose again to 370,000 tonnes in July before dropping to 365,000 tonnes and 364,000 tonnes in August and September, respectively. In October, HKIA handled 383,000 tonnes. During those first 11 months of 2014, HKIA handled four million tonnes of cargo.
Airport Authority (AA) Hong Kong general manager for strategic planning and development, Julia Yan, says: “This is the first time HKIA has handled over 400,000 tonnes of cargo in a single month. We expect across-the-board growth in traffic volume to continue as we approach the end of the year, setting new annual records.”
For the six months ending 30 September 2014, HKIA made a profit of 3.8 billion Hong Kong dollars ($490 million), a 19.3 per cent improvement on March to September 2013, when it made 3.2 billion Hong Kong dollars. When the results were announced in November, AA chief executive officer, Fred Lam Tin-fuk said the results reinforced the need for expansion. He said: “Because air traffic volume at HKIA is growing at a faster-than-expected rate, we have been working on a number of projects, including the West Apron and the Midfield, to ensure that the airport is well equipped to meet its anticipated medium-term demand.”
The West Apron offers 28 new parking stands, including four for longer fuselage aircraft including the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8, which is due to be finished by the end of 2014. The Midfield Concourse to the west of Terminal one will have 20 new aircraft parking stands, and is due to be finished by the end of 2015. In the longer term, HKIA is planning to have a third runway constructed and operational by 2023.