COVID-19 Pandemic Continues to Seriously Impact Air Traffic in March

Direct News Source

Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) today announced that Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) handled 576,000 passengers and 12,115 flight movements in March 2020, representing year-on-year decreases of 91.0% and 67.0%, respectively. Cargo throughput dropped 12.4% to 378,000 tonnes compared to the same month last year.

As countries and regions worldwide continued to impose immigration restrictions and implement quarantine measures, a sharp decline of passenger traffic was recorded in March. Locally, starting from 25 March, all transit and transfer services at HKIA have been suspended, and all non-Hong Kong residents coming from overseas countries and regions by plane are denied entry to Hong Kong. All these factors led to a very weak travel demand in March, and airlines have suspended more flights. Visitor traffic, which was impacted the most, experienced 97% year-on-year decrease. Transfer/ transit traffic and Hong Kong resident travel also declined by 91% and 83%, respectively.

On the cargo front, amongst the key trading regions, traffic to and from Southeast Asia and Europe decreased most significantly in March. The decline in cargo throughput was mainly attributed to 42% decrease in transshipments. Exports was stable while imports grew slightly by 1% year-on-year.

Vivian Cheung, Executive Director, Airport Operations of the AA, said, "The whole airport community is encountering unprecedented hardship amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to assisting in the implementation of quarantine measures by the Department of Health, our airport staff have been working diligently to ensure the protection against the virus at HKIA. I would like to express my appreciation of their professionalism, dedication and endurance. Members of the airport community shall continue to work closely during this very challenging time and tide over the difficulties together."

To support business partners and airport staff, the AA has introduced an array of relief measures since the COVID-19 outbreak, including rental concessions, reduction or waiver of fees, and a staff training allowance scheme, among others. The latest round of AA's relief measures was announced on 8 April, worth up to HK$2 billion, providing further support to airlines and aviation support services operators through helping to ease their liquidity pressure."

Over the first quarter the year, HKIA handled 8.2 million passengers and 63,345 flight movements, representing year-on-year decreases of 56.5% and 40.1%, respectively. Cargo throughput fell 10.9% to 988,000 tonnes compared to the same period last year.

On a 12-month rolling basis, passenger volume and flight movements respectively dropped 18.9% and 12.0% to 60.9 million and 377,420. Cargo throughput decreased by 7.3% to 4.7 million tonnes.

This press release was sourced from Hong Kong Airport on 15-Apr-2020.