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Hong Kong International Airport Achieves Record-setting 2017/18

  • 27 Jun 2018

Two decades of excellence shaping a brighter future


Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) posted a strong performance in the fiscal year ended 31 March 2018, setting new annual records in all three air traffic categories. The airport welcomed 73.6 million passengers and handled 423,390 flight movements, registering year-on-year increases of 4.5% and 3.2%, respectively. Cargo and airmail rose 7.6% to 5.1 million tonnes, not only securing HKIA’s status as the world’s busiest cargo airport for the eighth consecutive year, but also establishing it as the world’s first airport to process more than 5 million tonnes of cargo and airmail in a single year.

HKIA celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018, marking two decades that have seen significant development since the airport’s relocation from Kai Tak. Over the past 20 years, the number of destinations served by HKIA increased to over 220 from 120, while the number of airlines operating at HKIA rose to more than 120 from 60. Passenger and cargo volumes more than doubled, making HKIA one of the busiest airports in the world.


The airport has been highly recognised for its excellent service and efficiency. In 2017/18, HKIA received awards that recognised various aspects of its operations, from efficiency to passenger service to technological innovation, and was named “Airport of the Year” by Air Transport World for the second time.


Jack So Chak-kwong, Chairman of Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA), said, “HKIA has achieved remarkable growth over the past two decades. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the 73,000-strong airport community and to everyone who has contributed to HKIA’s success. HKIA is at the heart of Hong Kong’s economy, driving the development of our pillar industries. Without an efficient airport, our city would not have achieved its current level of success. We are committed to HKIA’s continuous development to meet the aviation needs of this part of the world.”


During the reporting year, HKIA continued to undergo a series of enhancements to ensure that its capacity will cater to the growing demand and to further enhance passenger experience. The Three-runway System (3RS) has been progressing well since construction began in August 2016.


To cater for the demand in the short- and medium-term until the 3RS enters service, enhancement works in the terminal have been kicked off. Fred Lam, Chief Executive Officer of the AA, said, “Terminal 1 expansion started during the financial year, after its completion, 48 check-in counters and two new baggage reclaim carousels will be added. The interior of Terminal 1 is also under renovation to create a more attractive, comfortable environment. In addition, a 200-metre long, air-conditioned Sky Bridge between Terminal 1 and the North Satellite Concourse (NSC) is under construction, which will reduce travel time to gates in the NSC and become an attraction in its own right.”


Meanwhile, the food court in the East Hall of Terminal 1 is being revamped to enhance the dining ambience and introduce a wider variety of cuisines. Two anchor stores opened during the year, offering passengers a greater variety of duty-free products and innovative retail experiences such as a whisky-tasting corner and an interactive skincare and make-up section.


In addition, HKIA continues to leverage the latest technologies to create a smooth and hassle-free airport experience. This year the airport launched an advanced, mobile self check-in kiosk where passengers can simultaneously validate their travel documents, print boarding passes and tag their luggage. New features such as car park reservations, in-terminal virtual navigation aids and signage translation were added to the ‘HKG My Flight’ mobile app. Biometrics technology will be introduced shortly to facilitate passenger flow and enhance security at the airport.


To further consolidate its leading, high-value cargo hub status, HKIA expanded its capacity to capture the potential of rapidly growing business segments. In 2017/18, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) recognised HKIA as a Partner Airport of its Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) programme. And to capture the rapid growth of e-commerce, a new logistics centre equipped with innovative features will be built at Kwo Lo Wan to serve the e-commerce, temperature-controlled airfreight and transshipment segments.


On the other hand, construction of the first new hotel at SKYCITY has commenced. SKYCITY integrates commercial development with a new tourism and business hub that comprises hotels as well as retail, dining and entertainment facilities. The entire project is expected to be operational by 2023. 


The enhanced connectivity provided by the soon-to-open Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) is expected to further strengthen HKIA’s role as a regional aviation hub. HKIA is building an Intermodal Transfer Terminal (ITT), which will be linked to the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities by a 360-metre bonded vehicular bridge. Adjacent to the SkyPier and scheduled for completion in 2022, the ITT and the bonded bridge will eliminate the need for air passengers arriving or departing via the HZMB to clear immigration in Hong Kong, providing more convenience for passengers.


Apart from enhancing HKIA’s hardware and software, the AA has also been placing emphasis on people development. The Hong Kong International Aviation Academy, opened in April 2017, welcomed 7,400 students since its operation. During the year, the AA worked with its business partners in launching EXTRA MILE, a community investment project with a view to attracting and retaining talent through three pilot programmes in cooperation with non-governmental organisations targeting working youth, non-Chinese speakers and airport staff with young children.


In 2017/18, nine destinations were added to HKIA’s extensive network, including Christchurch, Prague, Sendai, Sihanoukville, Tokushima, Verona, Warsaw, Yuncheng and Zhangjiajie, while 13 new airlines began serving HKIA, including Air Cargo Global, Air Japan, Air Seoul, CargoLogicAir, Hong Kong Air Cargo, JC (Cambodia) International Airlines, Lanmei Airlines (Cambodia), National Air Cargo, Shandong Airlines, Sky Gates Cargo Airlines, Small Planet Airlines, Virgin Australia International Airlines and Western Global Airlines. 


The AA’s Annual Report 2017/18 with finance performance was published today and can be viewed at

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