Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport was the world’s fourth-busiest airport in terms of international freight handled last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, up from No. 6 in 2019, an Airports Council International (ACI) ranking showed.
The top three airports in the category were Hong Kong International Airport, Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Incheon International Airport, according to the rankings, which were released on Thursday.
Taoyuan airport was ranked seventh in terms of the total air cargo traffic, up from ninth spot in 2019, the rankings showed.
Photo: Ann Wang, Reuters
Taiwan’s largest airport handled a record 2.323 million tonnes of international freight last year, up 7.3 percent from 2019, Taoyuan International Airport Corp (TIAC) said in a statement.
“Taiwan’s air cargo industry was able to continue to operate normally and achieve extraordinary growth because of collective disease-prevention efforts of the public and private sectors,” TIAC president Jerry Dan (但昭璧) said on Saturday.
Airlines also fully utilized their flight routes and transport capacity, as well as the airport’s geographical advantage to meet demand for international cargo transport, he said.
Airport data also showed that intermediary air cargo to the US last year rose 25.2 percent to 32 percent of all of the airport’s intermediary air cargo, whereas that from China rose 8.5 percent to 15 percent, showing that the US had a strong demand for goods produced in Asia, and Taoyuan airport served as a bridge between the two continents, he said.
TIAC estimates that cargo transport at Taoyuan airport would continue to increase this year, Dan added.
Aside from exports of high-tech products, many companies have switched from sea transport to air transport due to a global container shortage, he said.
Demand created through the distance economy and e-commerce would further push an increase in intermediary goods traveling through the airport, Dan added.
“We are planning to maximize Taiwan’s advantage in air transport by building a new air cargo park and a second free-trade port zone, where air cargo would be handled more efficiently through streamlined procedures and smart technology,” he said.
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