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Hong Kong celebrates seasonal joy with decorations and festive activities

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is celebrating the seasonal joy with Christmas decorations and an array of festive activities at the terminals.

Starting from 15 December, various spots in the terminal will turn into stages for festive performance to delight passengers from around the world.

To kick-off the festive activities, choral group ‘Santa Mama’ joined hands with students from Braemar Hill Nursery School to perform a series of classic Christmas carols at Meeters & Greeters Hall.

Other activities during the holiday season include performances by the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, members of the airport community, primary and secondary schools, and other organisations.

The festive activities started as the airport enters a peak travel period. Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) executive director of airport operations, C K Ng said: “We expect a travel peak at HKIA during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Over this period, airlines will arrange a total of 108 additional flights to cope with the surge in travel demand.

“The most popular destinations are Sapporo, Taipei and Nagoya. We will work with our business partners and the airport community to ensure smooth operations during the holiday season.”

Meanwhile, HKIA reported steady growth in passenger volume in November, handling six million passengers with a year-on-year increase of one per cent. Flight movements increased by 1.5 per cent to 35,445 compared to the same month last year, while cargo and airmail throughput decreased slightly by two per cent to 466,000 tonnes.

Visitor traffic, which registered four per cent year-on-year growth over the same month last year, was the main contributor to the steady increase in passenger traffic during November. Hong Kong resident travel also grew, increasing two per cent during the month. Passenger traffic to and from Japan and North America recorded the most significant increases.

On the cargo front, HKIA saw three per cent and four per cent drops in imports and exports, respectively. Amongst the key trading regions, traffic to and from Europe and mainland China decreased the most during November. Transshipments, however, recorded moderate growth of three per cent.

Over the first 11 months of the year, HKIA handled 68.2 million passengers and 4.7 million tonnes of cargo and airmail, representing year-on-year increases of 2.6 per cent and 2.2 per cent, respectively. Flight movements increased by 1.7 per cent to 390,625 compared to the same period in 2017.

On a rolling 12-month basis, HKIA handled 74.6 million passengers with a year-on-year increase of 2.7 per cent. Cargo and airmail throughput increased 2.5 per cent to 5.1 million tonnes, while flight movements rose 1.8 per cent to 427,270.

HKIA’s extensive network has further expanded with new air services. Passenger airline IndiGO started operations from 10 December, offering six weekly flights to and from Bangalore. In addition, Thai AirAsia launched a new route to and from Krabi with thrice-weekly service starting on 2 December.