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HKIA Reports August 2009 Traffic

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Hong Kong International Airport's traffic figures continued to improve in August 2009, with passenger throughput growing 2.8% to 4.3 million from the same period last year. Meanwhile, the decline in cargo volume slowed to a single-digit figure of 5.2%, recording 295,000 tonnes, while air traffic movements decreased by 6.7% to 23,710.

Though cargo exports and transshipments still experienced volume declines in the range of 7 to 8% year on year, imports grew at approximately 4%, the first sign of positive growth since June 2008.

 A number of export markets including Europe, North America and Japan continued to record double-digit drops, though Taiwan was the only transshipment market to register a double-digit decline.

 On the passenger side, Hong Kong residents and transfer / transit passengers showed year-on-year growth of 12% and 1%, respectively. Visitor numbers, however, fell slightly by 1%.

Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Chief Executive Officer of Airport Authority Hong Kong, said, "August performance is in line with the stabilisation trend we have noted in recent months. Following double-digit drops in cargo throughput for eight consecutive months from November 2008, the 5.2% decrease in August shows further improvement from July's 8.3% decline. However, the narrowed drop should be viewed against the background that both passenger and cargo volumes started to show first signs of slowdown in August 2008.

"Looking ahead, we expect to see further improvement in air cargo demand and load factor as a result of reduced freighter capacity supply and a seasonal demand increase in the market. Meanwhile, although August saw mild growth in passenger traffic, we maintain a cautious outlook on the performance as global economy and aviation are only in the very early stage of a slow and possibly volatile recovery."

From January 2009 to August 2009, the airport received some 30.7 million passengers, processed 2 million tonnes of cargo and handled 185,290 aircraft movements, representing yearly declines of 6.9%, 16.5% and 7.9%, respectively.

On a rolling 12-month basis, passenger throughput was down 6.1% year-on-year to 46.3 million. While aircraft movements dropped slightly by 5.6% to 285,340, cargo volume slid 16.2% to 3.2 million tonnes.

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