HKIA points to ‘challenging 2019’ as full-year passenger traffic down 4.2%

By Luke Barras-hill |


HKIA cancelled flights for two consecutive days in August in the face of in-terminal protests.

Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) says it will continue improving the Terminal 1 facilities at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) as air traffic slipped to 71.53 million (-4.2%) in full-year 2019.

Flight movements and cargo output also suffered declines of -1.9% and -6.1%, respectively.

Early optimism evidenced by passenger traffic gains to July gave way to declines from August as violent clashes between anti-government protestors and the police over mooted extradition legislation began to hit tourism to the city.

In August, protestors targeted the airport causing disruption to operations, including in the commercial zones where CDF-Lagardère, The Shilla Duty Free and Gebr. Heinemann all run key concessions.


The impact on passenger traffic did not improve by year-end, with HKIA netting 5.7 million visitors in December, equating to 813,000 fewer than in December 2018.

Pax to and from Mainland China and Southeast Asia suffered the biggest hits, although transfer/transit traffic and HK resident travel grew by 14% and 9%, respectively.

Vivian Cheung, Executive Director of Airport Operations for AAHK said: “We went through a challenging year in 2019. Looking ahead, we will continue to enhance the airport’s facilities to improve the passenger experience at HKIA even more.

“Following the commissioning of the Terminal 1 extension and the revamp of the East Hall food court in 2019, our enhancements of T1 will continue with gate transformation, the commissioning of Sky Bridge and the extension of Car Park 4. HKIA will always emphasise passenger-centric features to provide a vibrant, world-class experience for travellers.”

The airport confirms it expanded its route network by 17 destinations in 2019 to Beijing Daxing International Airport, Borg El Arab, Dover Cheswold, Doncaster, Guwahati, Hefei, Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Jieyang, Labuan, Nagasaki, Niigata, Phu Quoc, Puerto Princesa, Shimojishima, Yangzhou, Yekaterinburg and Yinchuan.

*All images courtesy of HKIA


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