Hong Kong International Airport’s September passenger traffic volume increased by 133% from a year earlier, after authorities scrapped some of the city’s harshest travel restrictions, including requirements for hotel quarantine and a pre-boarding Covid test.
Passenger throughput climbed to 525,000, 10% higher than in August. The growth was boosted by visitors to and from Southeast Asia, the Airport Authority said in a statement Sunday.
Hong Kong is under mounting pressure to reopen as its isolationist travel curbs left the city struggling to maintain its status as a global financial hub. Authorities addressed one of the biggest complaints from the business communities when they scrapped the hotel quarantine requirement last month. Still, other restrictions remain, including three days of health monitoring for people who arrive in the city. While they are allowed to travel to work and take public transport, they are banned from visiting restaurants and bars.
Cargo throughput dropped 25% to 341,000 tons last month, continuing a months-long slump amid geopolitical headwinds and disruptions to the global supply chain. Cargo traffic to and from key trading regions in North America and Europe is among the worst hit, the authority said. Both exports and imports have slumped more than 25%.
Flight movements slid 16% to 11,665 from a year earlier. In the first nine months of the year, passenger traffic surged 140%, while cargo volume fell 13% and flight movements dropped 4.7%.