Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) said cargo throughput in 2021 at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) rose by 12.5% year on year to 5m tonnes, exceeding the 4.8m tonnes recorded in 2019.
The number of cargo flights surged to an all-time record of 82,935, a year-on-year increase of 19.8%, confirmed AAHK. Monthly cargo throughput also reached a new monthly high in November 2021.
Peak cargo demand in November 2021 carried into December despite flight reductions due to the emergence of the Covid Omicron variant.
In December 2021, HKIA handled 477,000 tonnes of cargo, representing year-on-year growth of 8.6%.
The growth in cargo throughput in December was mainly attributed to 18% year-on-year increase in transhipments. Imports and exports both experienced 7% growth.
Overall, cargo to and from Southeast Asia experienced the most significant increases during the month.
In 2021 HKIA handled 1.4m passengers and 144,815 flights, marking year-on-year declines of 84.7% and 9.9%, respectively.
Earlier this month, Hong Kong enforced a 14-day ban on passengers from eight countries in response to rising Covid cases. Prior to this, the Hong Kong Government tightened the quarantine measures for air cargo crew.