Cathay Pacific's new cargo terminal at Hong Kong International Airport will start partial operations on 21 February.

The terminal will take a three-stage approach to achieve full operations in the second half of 2013, says Cathay Pacific Services.

When it starts operations in February, the terminal will handle valuable cargo, transit civil mail and interface transfer transshipments for launch customers, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair.

This will be followed by stage two operations in the summer, where it will handle all transshipments, import cargo and empty unit load device release.

To ensure smooth operations, eight-week trials will be conducted before each opening stage. The stage one operation trial was completed in December 2012.

The new Hong Kong dollars (HK$) 5.9 billion ($761 million) terminal, specially designed for cargo hub operations, can handle 2.6 million tonnes of throughput annually. This increases Hong Kong airport's annual capacity by 50% to 7.4 million tonnes.

"At the core, this new terminal is designed to support the long-term growth of air cargo in Hong Kong," says Cathay Pacific director of cargo Nick Rhodes.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news