Blaming it mainly on a 7-percent, year-over-year, drop in exports, Hong Kong International Airport saw cargo throughput for December decline 4.3 percent when compared to December 2010.
Asian imports routed to the airport declined by 5 percent. Transshipments, when compared to December 2010, registered a 3-percent rise.
Passenger traffic at HKIA set a record last month, with the December total of 29,275 aircraft movements representing a 5.5-percent, year-over-year, rise. This increase in passenger traffic was brought on, in part, by the 13 new airlines that started services to HKIA in 2011.
Calling last year “challenging yet exciting,” Stanley Hui Hon-chung, HKIA’s CEO, predicted that 2012 will be a good year for passenger traffic at the airport, but that the rate of growth may slow down a bit. Cargo, on the other hand, could be in for more rough skies.
“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,” Hui said. “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 center.”