Mon, Nov 17, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Hong Kong handles record cargo volume


Hong Kong Airport Authority, which runs the world's fifth-busiest airport, handled record cargo volume in October as manufacturers shipped more goods to the US and Europe in preparation for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Cargo volume rose 5.1 percent to 262,000 tonnes, from 249,000 tonnes a year earlier, as cargo flights increased by 4.7 percent, the airport authority said in a statement. In the 12 months ended October, the Hong Kong International Airport handled a record 2.59 million tonnes of cargo, 7.9 percent more than in the previous year.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, Taiwan's EVA Airways Corp and other carriers have benefited from an increase in demand for China-made electronic goods and other products. Asian airlines have been relying on cargo gains to reduce the effect on sales of a slump in passenger numbers earlier this year because of severe acute respiratory syndrome.

Passenger traffic in October fell 5.2 percent to 2.86 million, from 3 million a year earlier, as passenger flights declined by 0.5 percent. Compared with September, the airport handled 9 percent more passengers, the statement said.

Hong Kong's visitor arrivals have rebounded since SARS was contained in June. Cathay Pacific, the larger of Hong Kong's two carriers, fully restored its flights by the end of September.

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