The COVID-19 impacts on air transport – a case study of Hong Kong

Wai Ming To, Peter K.C. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the transport industry across the world since February 2020. Using data from the Hong Kong International Airport, we obtained seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average models for passenger movements and air cargo for 2005–2019. The COVID-19 impacts on passenger movements and air cargo were estimated based on differences between the predicted and actual monthly values in 2020. We found that the total number of passenger movements dropped by 86.2% while the total volume of air cargo dropped by 6% in 2020. Additionally, the GHG emission due to the use of aviation kerosene was 10.5 Mt of CO2-eq in 2020; down from 20.8 Mt of CO2-eq in 2019 (i.e., a drop of 49.5%). We also found the significant improvement of visibility at the airport – a rare upside of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to high unemployment rate in the transport and tourism-related sectors and has a negative economic impact on the aviation sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-276
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • COVID-19
  • Hong Kong
  • air cargo
  • air transport
  • passenger movements


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