World’s largest air cargo event kicks off in Hong Kong

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) World Cargo Symposium

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) World Cargo Symposium (WCS), the largest annual event for the global air cargo industry, makes its debut in Hong Kong today.

The three-day event brought over 1,900 delegates from around the world to Hong Kong, with some 50 international exhibitors showcasing latest developments of the global air cargo industry.

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), the busiest cargo hub in the world, is the host airport of the symposium. Cathay Cargo is the host airline of the event.

Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) has been working closely with IATA and airport partners to bring the event to Hong Kong with a view to demonstrating the post-pandemic recovery of Hong Kong’s aviation industry and strong growth prospects in both cargo and passenger business.

Themed “Driving Sustainable and Inclusive Growth” this year, the event at AsiaWorld-Expo tackles different aspects of the global cargo industry, covering technology and innovation, security and customs, cargo operations, and sustainability.

Officiating at the opening plenary were Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government; Liu Chun-san, Acting Secretary of Transport and Logistics; Jack So, Chairman of AAHK; Willie Walsh, Director General, IATA; Fred Lam, Chief Executive Officer of AAHK; Victor Liu, Director General of Civil Aviation of Civil Aviation Department; Ronald Lam, Chief Executive Officer, Cathay Group; Lavinia Lau, Chief Customer and Commercial Officer, Cathay Group; and Brendan Sullivan, Global Head of Cargo, IATA.

Paul Chan, said in his welcome address, “We thank the IATA for choosing Hong Kong as the host city for the WCS. Long renowned for its strategic location, world-class infrastructure and logistics network, Hong Kong is a global nexus for international trade and cargo business.

“We are now working closely with our sister cities in the Greater Bay Area so that HKIA will better serve as the region’s logistic gateway and premier air cargo hub.

“Looking ahead, Hong Kong is determined to expand our air services network and support green transition in aviation, in a bid to lead a more sustainable aviation future.”

Jack So, remarked at the event, “It is our great pleasure for HKIA to host this prestigious event. HKIA continues to hold the title of the world’s busiest international cargo airport, even in the face of the challenges.

“The WCS provides us with a valuable opportunity to foster growth, resilience and sustainability within our industry.

“I look forward to the inspiring discussions and innovative ideas to come.”

Ronald Lam said, “As Hong Kong’s home carrier and the host airline for the city’s first WCS, we are delighted to have the opportunity to showcase everything that makes Hong Kong truly best-in-class.

“Cathay will continue our cargo investments, spanning from freighters, technology, innovation and digitalisation to contribute to Hong Kong’s position as the world’s number one air cargo hub, and enabling us even better connectivity with the rest of the Greater Bay Area, the Chinese Mainland and countries all over the world.”

Willie Walsh said: “We are delighted to host the WCS in Hong Kong and welcome over 1,900 delegates to the event.

“Hong Kong’s strategic location in Asia, coupled with its world-class infrastructure and status as a global logistics hub, makes it the perfect backdrop for this year’s event.

“Air cargo’s success matters. Over the next few days digitalisation, safety and sustainability will be top of mind for the industry’s leaders”.