HK's air cargo volume continues to slide with a 11.5pc dip in August throughput

HONG Kong International Airport (HKIA), a major international hub, handled 382,000 tonnes of cargo volume in August, a decline of 11.5 per cent year on year in cargo throughput.

HKIA said in a statement that the decline in air cargo volume was mainly attributed to global trade uncertainties pointing out that among the key trading regions, the figures for Southeast Asia and Mainland China decreased most significantly.

The airport reported a 7.3 per cent cargo volume decline in July.

HKIA statistics showed that August transshipments and imports declined by 19 per cent and 15 per cent year on year, respectively.

Meanwhile, passenger traffic dipped 12.4 per cent, handling 5.59 million passengers and 35,655 air traffic movements in August.The decline was mainly due to a decrease in visitor traffic from around the region.

"Passenger traffic to and from Mainland China, Southeast Asia and Taiwan experienced significant declines compared to August 2018," said a statement from HKIA.

The fall in air traffic numbers comes as Hong Kong's anti-government protests over a now-withdrawn extradition bill run into their 15th consecutive weekend. Further violent clashes broke out on Sunday after an unauthorised march went ahead, with riot police firing tear gas and water cannons and protesters launching petrol bombs.

The airport has also been a key protest target. In August, protests inside the terminal forced operations to temporarily close and grounded hundreds of flights, while rallies outside blocked transport routes including the freeway leading to the airport. Dozens of countries have issued travel warnings for Hong Kong and the number of visitor arrivals fell substantially in the first half of August, according to official preliminary data, reports CNN.

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