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National holidays to boost Hong Kong air traffic
( 2003-09-21 16:16) (Agencies)

Hong Kong's SARS-hit air traffic will get a boost from Chinese holidays in the first week of October, official figures showed on Sunday.

China's National Day falls on October 1 and marks the start of a week-long holiday known as the Golden Week.

The number of daily flights to and from Hong Kong International Airport, Asia's busiest, is expected to rise about 16 percent to 634 on October 1, the Civil Aviation Department said in a statement.

Eight airlines plan to run a total of 176 additional scheduled and ad-hoc charter flights to and from the territory during the period from September 22 to October 7, more than double the 72 additional flights of the year-earlier period.

"The anticipated surge in demand for air transportation can be attributed to more individual travellers coming to Hong Kong from the mainland, and local residents spending their holidays overseas during National Day Golden Week," the statement said.

The airport now sees 545 daily flights on average, more than 90 percent of pre-SARS levels.

Passenger flow through Hong Kong airport came to a near standstill this year as the deadly SARS virus scared off tourists and business travellers.

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