HONG KONG: Cathay scales back cargo operations

Cathay Pacific Airways is scaling back its cargo business as part of a swath of efforts aimed at cutting costs at the airline amid declining demand. The airline, the fifth-largest freight carrier in the world, will park two 747- 400 converted freighters for a year and delay construction of its cargo terminal at the Hong […]


Cathay Pacific Airways is scaling back its cargo business as part of a swath of efforts aimed at cutting costs at the airline amid declining demand.

The airline, the fifth-largest freight carrier in the world, will park two 747- 400 converted freighters for a year and delay construction of its cargo terminal at the Hong Kong International Airport for up to two years.

Cathay, like its counterparts across the air cargo industry, has seen its freight business slide as an economic downturn has spread around the world and hit Asia air trade particularly hard. Cathay saw its freight traffic fall 6.7 per cent in October, sharply ahead of a 2.6 per cent pullback in capacity, compared to the same period last year.

The amount of cargo and mail carried in October dropped by 7.4 per cent to 144,466 tonnes, while the month’s capacity, measured in available cargo/ mail tonne kilometres, fell by 2.6 per cent compared to the same month in 2007. The cargo and mail load factor dropped by 2.9 percentage points to 65.9 per cent. For the year to date, cargo and mail tonnage has climbed by 2.4 per cent compared to a capacity rise of 2.8 per cent.