Mainland air freight grew faster than any other transport figures in the first six months of the year, including passenger transport, according to the latest government statistics quoted in the China Daily Business Weekly. The report said the country shipped 584,200 tonnes of freight by air, a 7.2 per cent increase from the same period last year. Air passenger transport the leading sector of the period, grew 4.8 per cent, a report by the State Statistical Information and Consultancy Service Centre said. Total freight volume was 1.3 billion tonnes in the six-month period, a 1 per cent fall from the year-ago period. Of this, railways fell 0.93 per cent to 803 million tonnes, while road cargo saw a fall of 3 per cent to 213 million tonnes. Freight turnover, an important indicator of economic efficiency, rose 7.2 per cent to 1.55 trillion tonne-kilometres. One tonne-km is one tonne of cargo transported one kilometre. Total passenger figures rose 2.3 per cent to 2.5 billion, while railway travel rose 0.88 per cent to 452 million. Of this, bus passengers totalled 1.9 billion, up 2.9 per cent, while boat traffic fell 5.8 per cent to 63 million. Passenger turnover in the six month period rose 6.4 per cent to 322 billion person-kilometres. Passenger travel by rail gained 6 per cent to 171 billion person kilometres, while bus travel rose 7.4 per cent to 106 billion person-kilometres.