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   Vol. 16 No. 10
Tuesday January 31, 2017

Wins Again HKIA Busts Loose

Wins Again HKIA Busts Loose

     Leading handlers at the world’s largest international freight hub expect the good times to continue rolling in 2017.
      Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) set a swathe of new records in 2016. Passenger and flight movements reached all-time highs while air cargo throughput rose 3.2 percent year-on-year to 4.52 million tons to maintain the hub’s position as the world’s leading freight airport.

On The Lam

Fred Lam      Fred Lam, (right) Chief Executive Officer of Airport Authority Hong Kong, welcomed HKIA’s final year figures, lauding its achievement of handling over 16,700 tons of cargo in one day—another record.
      “In addition, we welcomed five new airlines during the year, namely Austrian Airlines, Bismillah Airlines, Malindo Air, T’way Air, and VietJet Air,” he said.
      “We also expanded our air network, adding eight new destinations including Madrid, Saipan, London Gatwick, Nha Trang, Chiang Rai, Ishigaki, Takamatsu, and Yonago.”

Hike The Spike

      Freight volume throughput spiked in December when it rose 11.3 percent compared to a year earlier, driven by transshipments and exports, which registered 15 percent and 12 percent year-on-year growth, respectively.
      Amongst the key trading regions, traffic to/from Southeast Asia, North America, and Europe increased most significantly in the month.

Mark WhiteheadThey Can Handle It

      HKIA’s two leading handlers—HACTL and CPSL—also reported that volumes had improved through the year before spiking in Q4.
      “2016 began slowly, but traffic levels improved in the second half of the year, ending 1.7 percent ahead of 2015.
      “Our best performance was on transshipments, which grew 29.6 percent over 2015,” Mark Whitehead, Chief Executive of HACTL, told FlyingTypers.
      “Mail, courier and other express traffic meanwhile were up by 8.4 percent, and exports showed 2.1 percent growth. Imports declined, down 8.3 percent on 2015, but a negative trend throughout the period January-September was reversed in the last quarter, with growth achieved in every month.
      “HACTL set a new weekly cargo handling record through SuperTerminal 1, processing 41,926 tons in the week of November 28-December 4.
      “This was the second time we broke our previous record in the space of two weeks.
      “At the same time, our ramp handling business continued strong growth, setting three new all-time records: 101 freighters in a single day (Nov 23); 628 freighters in a single week (November 28-December 4) and 2,579 freighters in a month (November).”

Laying Low

Kelvin Ko      Kelvin Ko, (left) Chief Executive Officer, Cathay Pacific Services Limited, said CPSL had handled some 1.8 million tons in 2016, up 100,000 tons compared to a year earlier. “With the addition of new customers and organic growth observed, we saw around eight percent growth in tonnage compared to a year ago,” he told FlyingTypers.
      “In 2016, CPSL extended its customer portfolio to a total of 15 customer airlines with the addition of All Nippon Airways, Austrian Airlines AG, China Eastern Airlines, China Cargo Airlines, Lufthansa Cargo AG, Shanghai Airlines, and Raya Airways.
      “We will continue to make further investments in facilities, products, and services, offering our customers enhanced visibility, reliability, and efficiency.
      “We will also keep abreast of latest technology trends to strive for customer-centric service and operations excellence.”

Recent Signs

      HACTL recently signed Bismillah (Bangladeshi 747 freighter operator), a new 747F service for Sto Express (operated by SW Italia) and Vietjet (a daily low-cost narrowbody operation).
Bulk System      Whitehead said the handler was also getting ready to launch a new Charter Department to smooth operations via HKIA.
      This would bring together all the service elements necessary for charterers to identify and book suitable capacity, with priority given to HACTL’s regular freighter customers.
      “We want to attract more freighter charters to Hong Kong, as well as to HACTL,” he said. “Our value-added logistics arm, Hacis, will continue to expand its RFS system and depot network to enhance its coverage of the Pearl River Delta region, and capitalize on growing e-commerce imports traffic.”

No Guarantees

      Asked if HACTL could boost volumes again in 2017, he was optimistic.
      “Nothing is guaranteed in air cargo,” he explained. “A good year can be marred by a single incident, such as the ash clouds in Europe, and a weak year can turn good with the unexpected pre-Christmas collapse of an ocean carrier.
      “That said, HACTL continues to do all it can to support its carrier customers in their quest for new traffic. We invest in improving our systems to reduce dwell times and enhance service quality. We invest in resources, training, and accreditation for special commodities such as pharma, perishables, and express. And our sales drive continues to succeed in winning almost every new carrier to serve Hong Kong. Within those factors that we can control, we remain confident that HACTL will continue to compete and win in a challenging and highly competitive market.”

Back To The Future

      Future growth of freight at HKIA will also be determined by building new capacity. “To meet the medium and long-term growth demands of today’s aviation landscape, we are pushing forward a number of developments at HKIA, including the expansion of Terminal 1 and the Three-runway System,” added Lam.
      “We are also launching the Hong Kong International Aviation Academy this year, providing various courses to nurture talent for the industry. We will continue to work closely with our business partners to maintain smooth operations and a world-class travel experience for our passengers.”

Sky King

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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Letters to the Editor for January 25, 2017

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