Cathay Pacific carried a total of 1,784,980 passengers last month, an increase of 603% compared with August 2022. The month’s revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) increased 342.8% year on year. Passenger load factor increased by 19.4 percentage points to 88%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), increased by 244.9% year on year. In the first eight months of 2023, the number of passengers carried increased by 1,302% against a 633.1% increase in capacity and an 876.7% increase in RPKs, as compared with the same period for 2022.
The airline carried 116,919 tonnes of cargo last month, an increase of 11.5% compared with August 2022. The month’s cargo revenue tonne kilometres (RFTKs) increased 13.2% year on year. The cargo load factor decreased by 8.2 percentage points to 58.8%, while capacity, measured in available cargo tonne kilometres (AFTKs), increased by 29% year on year. In the first eight months of 2023, the tonnage increased by 20.8% against an 87.8% increase in capacity and a 60.5% increase in RFTKs, as compared with the same period for 2022.
Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau said: “Travel demand remained strong as we entered the second month of the traditional peak summer season in August. We continued to increase our flight frequencies to cater for the strong demand. Our newly resumed flights serving Johannesburg received a very positive response, in particular among business and leisure travellers flying to Hong Kong and beyond.
“In the first half of the month, we saw consistently high demand for leisure travel from Hong Kong and the rest of the Greater Bay Area to various short-haul destinations. We also saw increased demand for outbound travel from Japan to Hong Kong and onward destinations in Asia and Europe in mid-August, coinciding with the Obon holiday period in Japan. Meanwhile in the latter part of the month, there was a notable increase in student travel to Canada, the US and the UK from Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland ahead of the start of the new school year.
“Turning to our cargo business, August saw similar levels of demand and tonnage carried as July, as we continued through the traditionally quieter season for air cargo. As has been the case for a number of months now, e-commerce remains a bright spot for the business with tonnage continuing to see positive growth,” Lau said. “Looking ahead first at our travel business, continued demand for student travel to the UK in particular will provide a good boost in September, while overall the outlook for the rest of 2023 looks promising. We continue to add more flights for our customers, in particular to and from the Chinese Mainland where we are currently operating about 170 return flights per week to 16 airports in 15 cities. We were also excited to announce earlier this month that our Colombo and Chennai services will be resuming in February 2024 as we continue to bring back more destinations for our customers.
“For cargo, September marks the start of the traditional peak period and we are seeing demand beginning to pick up well as businesses plan ahead for consumer sales events such as ‘Singles’ Day’ in the Chinese Mainland and ‘Black Friday’ in long-haul markets, as well as new consumer product launches that are on the horizon,” Lau said.