Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited — Hong Kong International Airport's cargo handler — experienced the second best year in its 37-year history in 2012, with officials seeing a 2.1-percent rise in cargo throughput when compared to 2011.
Last year’s total of nearly 2.78 million tons fell 4.2-percent short of the company’s 2010 all-time high, which was fueled by a post-recession bounce.
The new services of Air Astana, Globus Airlines, SF Airlines, Vladivostok Air and Uni-top Airlines, all which signed up for handling services in the fourth quarter, helped push the last quarter of the year to a traffic increase of 6.2 percent when compared to the same period in 2011. The fourth-quarter total of 754,226 tons is the best mark since the beginning of 2011.
“2012 ended stronger than we expected. Despite the continuing uncertainty in Europe and the U.S., our figures have maintained a modest and steady recovery that hopefully will become a sustainable trend,” Hactl’s Lilian Chan said in a statement.
A change is coming to Hong Kong International Airport this year, though, and the new development could significantly impact Hactl’s numbers. One of it’s largest customers, Cathay Pacific Airways, is opening up its own terminal and will no longer need Hactl’s services. In November, Cathay and its subsidiary carried a total of 140,824 tons of cargo and mail.
“2013 will be challenging for us, as Cathay Pacific Airways migrates to self-handling and we relinquish their business in phases throughout the year,” she said. “We are well-prepared, and our 100 other airline customers have been growing as a proportion of our total business, which will cushion the overall impact.” - Jon Ross