Fred Lam, CEO of Airport Authority Hong Kong, says: “We are delighted to see another record breaking year of growth, and we must thank our more than 73,000 colleagues of the airport community for their concerted efforts in achieving this remarkable accomplishment, which will further strengthen HKIA’s leading position as an international and regional aviation hub.
"During the past year, HKIA also achieved new daily records in flight movements and cargo volume, reaching 1,270 flight movements and handling over 16,700 tonnes of cargo.
"In addition, we welcomed five new airlines, namely Austrian Airlines, Bismillah Airlines, Malindo Air, T’way Air and VietJet Air during the year.
"We also expanded our air network – adding eight new destinations, including Madrid, Saipan, London Gatwick, Nha Trang, Chiang Rai, Ishigaki, Takamatsu and Yonago.".
In the month of December 2016, all three traffic categories also experienced steady growth, with aircraft movements reaching a new monthly record of 35,650 – registering 0.7% year-on-year increase.
Passenger volumes handled during the month rose 2.8% yearly to reach 6.16 million, while cargo throughput climbed 11.3% over the same period in the previous year to 435,000 tonnes.
During the month, HKIA welcomed two new airlines – VietJet Air has commenced scheduled passenger flight services between Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City from December 9, while T’way Air began offering direct flights to Daegu in South Korea three times weekly from December 13.
Hong Kong resident travel, which saw robust 11% year-on-year growth over the same month in 2015, was the main driver behind the growth in passenger traffic.
Passenger traffic between Japan and Europe recorded the most significant increases.
According to the airport, the strong growth in December cargo throughput was largely driven by transshipments and exports, which registered 15% and 12% year-on-year growth, respectively.
Among the key trading regions, traffic to/from from Southeast Asia, North America and Europe increased most significantly in the month.
"To meet the medium and long-term growth demands of today’s aviation landscape, we are pushing forward a number of developments at HKIA, including the expansion of Terminal 1 and the Three-runway System," notes Lam.
"We are also launching the Hong Kong International Aviation Academy this year, providing various courses to nurture talent for the industry.
"We will continue to work closely with our business partners to maintain smooth operations and a world-class travel experience for our passengers."