Hong Kong International Airport: A strong close to 2023

A view over Hong Kong International Airport
Baycrest, CC BY-SA 2.5 , via Wikimedia Commons

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) continued a strong recovery through the last quarter of 2023. Passenger traffic at HKIA is expected to fully recover to the pre-pandemic level by the end of 2024.

The last quarter of 2023 showcased a robust recovery, with promising indicators hinting at a return to pre-pandemic figures by the end of 2024.

Soaring Through November


November witnessed a remarkable surge, with HKIA steering through 3.8 million passengers and 27,855 flight movements.

These figures, soaring 2.6 times and marking a staggering 104% year-on-year increase, paint a vivid picture of a reinvigorated aviation hub.

Cargo Triumph

Cargo throughput mirrored this exuberance, escalating by 17.8% to reach 417,000 tonnes. Notably, exports surged by 31.8%, underlining HKIA’s pivotal role in global trade.

Regions like North America, the Middle East, and Europe experienced a cargo traffic surge, further solidifying HKIA’s strategic importance.

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Interior view of Hong Kong International Airport
Andrew Martin, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A Panorama of Growth

Passenger segments across the board contributed to this upswing. Noteworthy is the robust growth in passenger traffic to and from Southeast Asia, Mainland China, and Japan, illustrating the airport’s renewed magnetism.

Sustaining Momentum – 11 Months in Review


The first 11 months of 2023 witnessed a phenomenal eight-fold rise in passenger volume, reaching an impressive 35 million.

Concurrently, flight movements doubled to 246,240, showcasing a skyward trajectory. Even cargo volume, while experiencing a modest 1.7% uptick, contributed to this crescendo, totaling 3.9 million tonnes.

On a 12-month rolling basis, HKIA maintained its upward trajectory. Passenger volume ascended eight-fold to 36.8 million, while flight movements surged by 90.6% to 262,015.

Despite a marginal 1.4% dip in cargo throughput to 4.3 million tonnes, the overall performance remained stellar.

An aerial view of Hong Kong International Airport
Wylkie Chan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

December – A Grand Finale


As 2023 drew to a close, HKIA’s passenger traffic rebounded to an impressive 80% of the pre-pandemic level, aligning seamlessly with Airport Authority Hong Kong‘s predictions.

Holiday Surge

During the Christmas travel peak, Hong Kong International witnessed an unprecedented surge, handling over 160,000 passengers daily on 22 and 23 December consecutively. A historic daily record was set on 23 December with 164,000 passengers – a feat unimaginable during the throes of the pandemic.

Sky’s the Limit

Flight movements mirrored this upward swing, surpassing 80% of pre-pandemic levels since mid-December. The pinnacle was reached on 23 December, with a post-pandemic record of 1,034 flight movements in a single day.

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Hong Kong International Airport closed out 2023 strongly, and now expects to return to pre-pandemic numbers by the end of 2024.
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