Hong Kong International Airport (IATA: HKG, ICAO: VHHH) is the main airport in Hong Kong. It is colloquially known as Chek Lap Kok Airport (赤鱲角機場), being built on the island of Chek Lap Kok by land reclamation, and also to distinguish it from its predecessor, the closed Kai Tak Airport.
The airport opened for commercial operations in 1998, replacing Kai Tak, and is an important regional trans-shipment centre, passenger hub and gateway for destinations in Mainland China (with over 40 destinations) and the rest of Asia. Hong Kong International Airport has won eight Skytrax World Airport Awards for customer satisfaction in eleven years. HKIA ranked second and third in 2009 and 2010 respectively for the Skytrax World Airport Awards, and has also won the Skytrax World Airport of the Year 2011.
HKIA also operates one of the world's largest passenger terminal buildings (the largest when opened in 1998) and operates twenty-four hours a day. The airport is operated by the Airport Authority Hong Kong and is the primary hub for Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Hong Kong Express Airways, Hong Kong Airlines and Air Hong Kong (cargo). It is a focus city for Air New Zealand, and to a lesser extent Qantas and Virgin Atlantic, both of which use Hong Kong as a stopover point for flights on the Kangaroo Route between Australasia and Europe. Both United Airlines and Air India use Hong Kong as a stopover point for flights respectively from the United States to Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City as well as from India to Osaka and Seoul. In the near future, Garuda Indonesia is considering making Hong Kong their transit hub for flights to Europe while Swiss International Air Lines considers Hong Kong to be a major transfer hub for its network.
Flights are operated by about 90 airlines to over 150 cities across the globe, and in 2009 it was the 13th busiest airport worldwide in terms of passenger throughput, registering 45,560,888. HKIA is also an important contributor to the Hong Kong economy, with 60,000 people employed at the airport.
In 2009, it was the second busiest airport in the world in cargo traffic, handling 3,384,765 tons of cargo. In 2010, HKIA became the busiest airport by cargo traffic in the world, ahead of Memphis Airport in the US, along with Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific holding the title of the world's largest international cargo airline.