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HK Airport Numbers Up 5.7% in June


Hong Kong International Airport recorded a significant rise in passenger numbers in June and is expected to register further increases over the summer vacation months, the Hong Kong Airport Authority said. The airport accommodated 3.85 million passengers last month, a 5.7 percent increase over the same period a year earlier. "Passenger volumes are expected to be robust as Hong Kong people take summer holidays (augmented by) strong inbound traffic from Europe, the mainland and Southeast Asia," said the authority's Chief Executive Officer Stanley Hui. "Over the summer, we will offer a range of special events and activities to ensure that individual travelers and families have a pleasant, memorable airport experience," Hui said. Flight traffic also grew by 5.6 percent year-on-year in June, to 24,180 flights, with cargo transported growing by 5.3 percent to 305,000 tons. For the first six months of this year passenger numbers rose 6.4 percent to 22.7 million, while cargo traffic grew 1.5 percent to 1.7 million tons. The number of flights increased 4.4 percent to 143,000. In the past 12 months, arrivals and departures totaled 45.8 million passengers, a 7.4 percent jump, while cargo throughput rose 2.8 percent to 3.6 million tons. Aircraft traffic rose 4.1 percent to 287,000 flights. The airport operates around the clock and is capable of handling 45 million passengers and 3 million tons of cargo a year. It is the primary hub for the city's flagship carrier Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary airline Dragonair. The airport made its commercial debut in 1998 and is now an important regional trans-shipment center, passenger hub and gateway for destinations on the mainland and East and Southeast Asia. Despite its relatively short history, the airport has won several notable international awards. It currently has a rating of five stars awarded by Skytrax, a United Kingdom-based research and consulting firm. To better entertain passengers who might find waiting for flights tedious, the airport plans to offer magic shows, handicraft workshops, nail painting, story telling, balloon art, temporary tattoos, a photo exhibition and more, Hui said.

(Source:China Daily, 2007-07-19)