HONG KONG: Cathay Pacific reports only 1.9% Oct drop

Cathay Pacific Airways reported cargo and mail tonne kilometres fell by 1.9 per cent in October, while passenger numbers were down 3.9 per cent to two million, but this was still, by far its best month of the year to date. Passenger load factors fell 6.8 percentage points to 82.3 per cent, with a 10.1 […]


Cathay Pacific Airways reported cargo and mail tonne kilometres fell by 1.9 per cent in October, while passenger numbers were down 3.9 per cent to two million, but this was still, by far its best month of the year to date.

Passenger load factors fell 6.8 percentage points to 82.3 per cent, with a 10.1 per cent capacity reduction. This includes the operations of both Cathay and its subsidiary Dragonair.

General manager cargo sales and marketing Titus Diu said strong demand from Hong Kong and Shanghai had resulted in high load factors. “We expect demand to remain strong through to mid-December, though it is still too early to say whether we are seeing a sustained recovery,” added Diu.

But despite rising demand and improved yields, the carrier said it will not re-activate any of its sidelined freighters to take advantage of tight capacity in major Asian gateways, including its home base.

In the first six months of 2009 Cathay suffered a 5.3 per cent drop in tonnage, while yield plummeted a shocking 32.8 per cent. By October, capacity had shrunk more than cargo traffic. For the first 10 months of the year, Cathay’s cargo was down 10.1 per cent, whereas capacity was down 11.1 per cent. All the carrier’s B747-200 classic freighters have been taken out of service as well as six 747- 400BCFs, including one that is now on wet-lease to Air Hong Kong, Cathay’s joint venture with DHL.