Easter exodus breaks air travel record

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 March, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 March, 2005, 12:00am


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The Easter exodus kicked off yesterday with a record 790 flights into and out of Chek Lap Kok and more than 700,000 people passing through immigration checkpoints. But for those left behind there were plenty of fun things to do on the first day of the long Easter weekend.

The Immigration Department said 488,794 people left the city and 211,632 people arrived through nine checkpoints by 10pm. About 4.5 million people are expected to pass through Hong Kong's immigration checkpoints during the Easter holidays. By 10pm, 60,542 outbound travellers and 32,396 arrivals were recorded at the airport. Another 349,784 people passed through Lowu.

Yesterday's record 790 flights was 44 more than the previous record on Lunar New Year's Day on February 9, and 60 more than the daily average.

Among those queueing at the airport was one generous businessman who spent over $100,000 to take his 30-odd employees on a three-day trip to Taiwan.

'It's time to reward staff members as the company has been making a profit and Hong Kong's economy is improving.'

Not everyone was busy leaving town, though. There were Easter celebrations across the city.

Sun Hung Kai Properties' APM mall in Kwun Tong opened a three-week International Egg Gallery featuring 100 different cartoonish egg figures by designers from Hong Kong, Japan, the United States, Spain and Britain. In Tseung Kwan O, dozens of children took part in Easter egg design and egg-dropping contests.