Hong Kong airport passenger numbers down 5.1% in January

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Hong Kong International Airport's (HKIA) total passenger numbers decreased by 5.1% to 4.63 million in January, compared with the same period last year.

The decline was a result of the Lunar New Year that falls in February this year, instead of January last year, says the airport.

Hong Kong resident travel dropped by 21% year on year, while visitor traffic grew by 2%. Transfer and transit traffic fell by 1%.

Total aircraft movements at the airport for the month increased by 4.4% to 30,300, whereas cargo volumes climbed by 21% to 334,000t.

Passenger and cargo aircraft movements went up by 3.2% and by 18% respectively.

All major HKIA cargo markets showed year-on-year growth, with Taiwan and North America outperforming other key regions. Imports, exports and transshipments grew by double digits.

"We expect to see a surge in travel by Hong Kong residents over the Chinese New Year holidays in mid-February. Likewise, with most factories on the mainland closed for the Chinese New Year holidays, air cargo is expected to decline in February", says Stanley Hui, chief executive, Airport Authority Hong Kong.