Hong Kong airport's passenger and cargo business has bounced back to levels seen before the global financial crisis hammered the aviation industry, the city's airport authority said Sunday.
Crediting a surge in travel during last month's Lunar New Year holiday, the authority said Hong Kong International Airport's February passenger and cargo figures rose 17 percent and 30.1 percent respectively from a year earlier.
That translated into 3.9 million passengers and 257,000 tonnes of cargo, the Airport Authority Hong Kong said in a statement.
Combined January and February figures, which balance out the seasonal impact of the Chinese holiday period, showed an increase of 15.3 percent in Hong Kong resident traffic and 9.2 percent in visitor numbers, the agency said.
Stanley Hui, the airport authority's chief executive, called the February figures "encouraging."
"Both passenger and cargo traffic have returned to the pre-crisis levels in 2008, although aircraft movements were still 5.7 percent below the first two months of 2008," he said in a statement.
"Based on these figures, we have confidence that this growth trend will continue," he added.
The results come several days after Hong-Kong based carrier Cathay Pacific said it had returned to profitability in 2009, after posting a massive, 8.7-billion-Hong-Kong-dollar (1.1 billion US dollar) loss in 2008.
The shortfall was caused largely by losses from the carrier's fuel-hedging bets and a downturn in air travel demand.
Cathay said it was "cautiously optimistic" about its business in 2010.Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.