Shanghai Pudong Airport's passenger traffic poised to overtake Hong Kong International Airport

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The result of increasing activity and complex growth in the Pearl River Delta is that Hong Kong International Airport is often compared to nearby airports in Shenzhen and, further afield, Guangzhou.

But Hong Kong's rival for hub supremacy is Shanghai. China's eastern city is a financial capital that will shape and lift Shanghai's traffic to be similar to Hong Kong's, but although Shenzhen and Guangzhou are large volume markets, they will not be able to achieve that ranking.

A decade ago, Hong Kong International was 65% larger than Shanghai Pudong. In 2017, Pudong narrowed the gap and Hong Kong International was only 4% larger.

Shanghai Pudong is on course to overtake Hong Kong in passenger traffic in 2018 or, more conservatively, in 2019. Long term positioning is less clear as Hong Kong prepares growth for its singular airport, whereas Shanghai may shift growth to a number of all-new commercial airports.

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