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Hong Kong aviation

Record number of Easter holiday travellers fly out of Hong Kong

Hong Kong International Airport saw the highest-ever number of passengers leaving the city for the Easter getaway on Thursday and Friday

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 31 March, 2018, 3:29pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 31 March, 2018, 11:19pm

A record numbers of travellers are flying out of Hong Kong for the Easter holidays, official immigration data shows, with Japan and Korea popular destinations.

Hong Kong International Airport saw the highest-ever number of passengers leaving the city for the Easter getaway on Thursday and Friday.

The number exiting rose 11 per cent over the previous Easter holiday, to 213,000. However, the number flying in over the two days remained little changed at about 157,200.

The airport, one of the world’s busiest for international passengers handled, typically deals with about 1,200 flights per day. The Airport Authority, which runs HKIA, said 70 extra flights were added over the peak travel period to popular destinations such as Taipei, Seoul and Tokyo.

Japan and South Korea are some of the most popular countries Hongkongers like to visit. The timing of Easter also coincides with the start of the sakura, or cherry blossom, season in Japan.

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The record airport numbers are likely to be driven by the extra flights for Easter and year-round increase to key regional and long-haul destinations and bigger planes being used, in a boost for airlines particularly Cathay Pacific Airways and Cathay Dragon, which control around 45 per cent of take-off and landing slots at HKIA.

At the city’s more than a dozen land, sea and rail border control points, the numbers crossing marked the second highest levels since 2014, with about 760,000 arriving and 1.28 million leaving over the past two days.

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Similarly, at the key Hong Kong-mainland China border crossings, including Lo Wu, Shenzhen Bay and Lok Ma Chau, the volumes of people entering Hong Kong were robust, in a positive sign for the local economy. Most people crossing the land borders are mainland Chinese citizens who make up 75 per cent of all visitors entering the city year-round.

For staycation Hongkongers and visitors alike, the city continued to bask in sunshine. By 2pm, the median temperature was 27 degrees Celsius in urban areas and almost 30 degrees in rural spots.