2023 sees air traffic recovery at Hong Kong International Airport

View across Hong Kong International Airport
Photo Credit: Hong Kong International Airport

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) witnessed a remarkable resurgence in 2023, with performance figures showing a robust recovery in both passenger numbers and flight movements.

According to the latest data released by Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK), the figures for December 2023 rose to new post-pandemic heights, capping off a year which witnessed the aviation sector’s rebound.

2023: A Year in Review

Passenger Numbers Reach 40 Million

The year 2023 saw HKIA handling an impressive 40 million passengers, a staggering 600% increase compared to the previous year.

This substantial surge indicates not only a recovery but a resurgence in air travel, demonstrating the resilience of the aviation industry amidst challenging times.

276,000 Flight Movements

Accompanying the surge in passenger numbers was a parallel increase in flight movements. In 2023, HKIA recorded 276,000 flight movements, a remarkable 100% surge compared to the previous year.

This surge in activity not only signifies a revival but also underscores the pivotal role HKIA continues to play as a global aviation hub.


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Cargo: 4.3 Million Tonnes Handled

While passenger numbers and flight movements took center stage, the cargo sector at HKIA also experienced positive growth.

Total cargo throughput witnessed an annual growth of 3.2%, reaching 4.3 million tonnes. This balanced growth in passenger and cargo traffic highlights the holistic recovery of HKIA as a multifaceted transport hub.

Photo Credit: Hong Kong International Airport

December Rebound

Passenger Volume Surges

December 2023 proved to be a pivotal month, with passenger volume reaching 4.3 million, a remarkable 1.7 times increase year on year.

The Christmas peak witnessed a recovery to 80% of the pre-pandemic passenger levels, signifying a festive rebound in air travel.

Flight Movements Exceed Expectations

Flight movements in December soared by 89%, reaching 30,000 and surpassing 80% of the pre-pandemic level.

This robust resurgence is a testament to the increasing confidence of travelers and the aviation industry’s ability to adapt and thrive in challenging circumstances.

Photo Credit: Hong Kong Int’l Airport

Cargo: Record-Breaking Throughput

December’s festive cheer extended to the cargo sector, with throughput increasing by 19.3% year on year to 418,000 tonnes.

Notably, exports recorded an impressive 33.4% surge, emphasizing the global connectivity and trade importance of HKIA.

Trade Routes Reinvigorated

Overall, traffic to and from key trading regions such as North America, the Middle East, and Europe saw the most substantial increases in both passenger and cargo movements.

This resurgence in global connectivity further reaffirms HKIA’s position as a crucial player in international trade and travel.

Clear Skies Ahead

The positive trajectory observed in 2023 sets the stage for a promising future for HKIA.

With passenger traffic expected to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024, the skies over Hong Kong are poised for a sustained and resilient ascent.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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