HONG KONG. Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) posted record annual passenger traffic of 53.9 million in 2011, a rise of +5.9% on a year earlier. The airport handled 333,760 aircraft movements, up by +8.9%, also a record.

HKIA closed the year with an all-time high monthly performance in December for aircraft movements. The figure of 29,275 topped the previous record of 28,951 in August 2011 and represented +5.5% year-on-year growth. During the month, passenger traffic increased +7.5% to 4.8 million.

The rise in passenger traffic in December was mainly driven by visitor traffic, which registered +8% growth over the same month in 2010. Passenger traffic to and from the Mainland and South East Asia performed particularly well. Cargo traffic declined during the month and in the year as a whole.

Airport Authority Hong Kong Chief Executive Stanley Hui Hon-chung said: “It was a challenging yet exciting year overall for HKIA in 2011, in terms of operational excellence as well as growth and development. This year, we received ten Best Airport awards. Our commitment to quality service continues to be widely recognised by travellers and the industry.”

He added: “We have also taken an important step toward securing HKIA’s long-term prospects by completing the three-month public consultation on HKIA Master Plan 2030 (MP2030) and making recommendations to the Government to first, approve for planning purposes, adopting option 2 of the MP2030 i.e. a three-runway system at HKIA and second, to proceed to the next stage of Environmental Impact Assessment work and preparation of its associated design details.”

As the economy of Hong Kong is integrated with the Mainland and in particular, the Pearl River Delta, Hui said HKIA would continue to enhance multi-modal connections with the Pearl River Delta region. Cross-boundary passenger trips via limousines/ coaches and the SkyPier ferry services registered yearly growth of +11% and +7%, to 1.9 million and 2.4 million, respectively.

The year 2011 saw 13 new airlines start operations at HKIA, bringing the total number of airlines serving Hong Kong to over 100. Multiple expansion and improvement projects are underway to maintain and improve services. HKIA has started a HK$500 million rejuvenation programme to upgrade a range of utilities, and in December 2011 the airport broke ground on the HK$9 billion Midfield project to meet growth demand for the medium term.

Hui said: “Looking ahead, passenger volume and aircraft movements will likely continue their growth trend, though at a slower pace. Cargo tonnage may decline further due to the slowdown in global trade but the pace of decline will likely be less than what we have seen in 2011. Notwithstanding worldwide economic uncertainty in the near term, we are confident about the medium- and long-term growth prospects of HKIA. We will continue to enhance services at HKIA and strengthen Hong Kong’s competitiveness as a leading international and regional aviation centre.”

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