March has seen the award-winning Hong Kong International Airport suffer a 7.9% drop in business in comparison to last year’s figure.

But instead of the financial crisis, the airport operators said the fall of Easter holidays – in April instead of March – could be to blame for business seen during he normally busy month.

Passenger figures did, however, see a decline of 9%, suggesting that the economic crisis had affected business and leisure travel –North America and European flights were two of the hardest hit, as well are regional Hong Kong flights.

15% fewer Hong Kong nationals flew from the airport, according to the operator which said in total 3.9 million passengers and 268,000t of cargo was handled in March.

In total, the airport records 1.1% drop in aircraft operations, a 2.5% slide in passenger traffic and 10% decrease in cargo services during April 2008 and March 2009.