Economic Contribution

In 2019/20, the combined effects of the international trade dispute, social unrest in Hong Kong, and the COVID-19 pandemic had a serious impact on the local economy and the performance of HKIA. While the present downturn is unprecedented, HKIA is maintaining its development plans contributing to the long-term development of Hong Kong and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA).

Economic contribution of HKIA

HKIA generates substantial economic value for Hong Kong through aviation services and non-aviation businesses, which operate at the airport and generate employment and income. We make reference to several indicators to benchmark HKIA’s economic contribution. These include employment opportunities created at HKIA, payments made to local suppliers, and the number of multinational corporations with regional headquarters or offices in Hong Kong.

Employment at HKIA1

Total workforce

> 78,000

  1. Source: HKIA Workforce Survey 2019. The analysis of the HKIA workforce by job category represents 83.5% (355 out of 425) of the companies responding to the 2019 Survey.

Procurement for daily operation in 2019/20

Total value of procurement

HK$4.4 billion

Spend profile by type

Spend profile by geographical location of suppliers

Procurement for development projects in 2019/20

Total value of contracts awarded

HK$31.5 billion

Spend profile by type

Spend profile by geographical location of suppliers1

  1. Percentages are rounded to the nearest integer.

Supporting Hong Kong’s economic pillars (2018 data)1

  1. Source: 2018 data, Census and Statistics Department, HKSAR Government

Supporting external trade (2019 data)1

  1. Source: 2019 data, Hong Kong’s External Merchandise Trade Statistics, Census and Statistics Department, HKSAR Government
  2. "River” refers to transport by vessels in waters in the vicinity of Hong Kong, the Pearl River and other inland waterways in Guangdong Province and Guangxi Autonomous Region, which are accessible from waters in the vicinity of Hong Kong. “Others” include trade by hand-carried and parcel post.

Attracting foreign businesses (2019 data)1

  1. Source: ‘Report on 2019 Annual Survey of Companies in Hong Kong Representing Parent Companies Located outside Hong Kong’, Census and Statistics Department, HKSAR Government


Designated as an international aviation hub in the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), HKIA is strengthening its global air network and connectivity in the GBA to reinforce its hub status and associated functions.

Air connectivity

Hong Kong was connected to around 220 destinations worldwide by around 120 airlines. In 2019/20, one new airline began serving HKIA. The full list of destinations and airlines can be found in our Annual Report 2019/20.

Cross-boundary connectivity

HKIA offers a variety of land and sea transport to cities of the GBA through its cross-boundary coach, ferry and limousine services. We continue to enhance our cross-boundary connectivity with the GBA to provide passengers with greater choice and improved convenience.

In 2019/20, 3.4 million passengers utilised our cross-boundary transport services. We added four city terminals at Foshan Chancheng, Shenzhen Huanggang Control Point, Macao Port of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB), and Shenzhen Nanshan Science and Technology Park, bringing the total number to 18. Our upstream check-in (UCI) service is available through 22 airlines, enabling passengers to check-in at ferry ports and city terminals in the GBA prior to boarding a coach, limousine or ferry directly to HKIA for their flight.

Planned for completion in 2022, the Intermodal Transfer Terminal (ITT) will bring added convenience for air passengers transiting through the HZMB by providing direct access between HKIA and the HKBCF through a bonded vehicular bridge. Construction of the ITT began in 2019 following the completion of a statutory Environmental Impact Assessment with its Environmental Permit issued in August 2018.

Cargo leadership

  • HKIA remained the world’s busiest cargo airport for the tenth consecutive year, handling 4.7 million tonnes of cargo and airmail in 2019/20. We provide efficient and reliable cargo services supporting the development of Hong Kong and the GBA’s logistics industry. To maintain our leadership position, we are focusing on the opportunities in the fast-growing high-value cargo and e-commerce sectors. As such, we have been increasing our capabilities in handling these types of cargo, such as express packages, temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals and perishables.

High-value cargo

  • In 2019/20, two cargo terminal operators based at HKIA obtained certification in the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Live Animals Logistics programme. They are the world’s first ground handling agents to be accredited in all of IATA’s CEIV standards covering the transport of live animals, perishable products (CEIV Fresh) and pharmaceuticals (CEIV Pharma).

  • HKIA and Brussels Airport, together with Cathay Pacific Airways, pioneered an airport-to-airport pharma corridor to ensure a high standard of handling according to IATA CEIV Pharma, providing shippers with assurance of the quality and transparency of the entire transport process.

  • To enhance HKIA’s ground handling of temperature-sensitive cargo, 21 cool dollies equipped with real-time temperature and location tracking were added to the Ground Services Equipment Pooling Scheme for the airport community to lease. Two apron shelters protecting temperature-controlled shipments from exposure to weather elements will enter service in early 2021.

E-commerce market

  • Expansion of DHL Central Asia Hub – The expansion of the Central Asia Hub of DHL Express is ongoing with its completion expected in 2022/23.

  • Premium Logistics Centre – The construction of a premium logistics centre started during the year on a 5.3-hectare plot in the South Cargo Precinct of HKIA. Scheduled to open in 2023, the facility will help HKIA and its business partners capture opportunities in the rapidly expanding cross-border e-commerce market.

  • Transit Mail Centre – The development of the Transit Mail Centre is planned for completion in 2024/25 to facilitate the continued growth of transit mails from Mainland China via HKIA.


  • Transshipment Handling Facility – A transshipment handling facility is planned at the Eastern Support Area of the 3RS to facilitate air-to-air transshipments via the North Runway. It will accommodate the satellite operations of the current cargo terminals at the future 3RS to eliminate the need for transshipment cargo to travel between the New North Runway and the South Cargo Precinct.

  • Intermodal Air Cargo Handling Facility – Located at the Eastern Support Area of the 3RS, we are exploring the feasibility of building an intermodal air cargo facility to serve as a loading and unloading pier for air-to-sea and sea-to-air shipments to and from the GBA. A trial scheme will be implemented at the West Quay in Q4 2021 as a pilot operation to establish the processes and capture interim market demand.