Cathay says air cargo grows, pax demand good

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Cargo delivers medical supplies for India’s healthcare emergency_ENG
(PHOTO: Cathay Pacific Cargo)

https://www.ses.ie/Cathay Pacific released its traffic figures for November 2023, which saw a good growth in air cargo carried largely driven by seasonal sales events and year-end demand.

Cathay Pacific carried a total of 1,633,145 passengers in November 2023, an increase of 210% compared with November 2022. The month’s revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) increased 148.2% year on year. Passenger load factor increased by 2.1 percentage points to 80.5%, while available seat kilometres (ASKs) increased by 141.9% year on year. In the first 11 months of 2023, the number of passengers carried increased by 709.2% against a 393.2% increase in ASKs and a 499.7% increase in RPKs, as compared with the same period for 2022.

The airline carried 123,970 tonnes of cargo in November 2023, an increase of 20.3% compared with November 2022. The month’s cargo revenue tonne kilometres (RFTKs) increased 14.2% year on year. The cargo load factor decreased by 5.8 percentage points to 61.1%, while available cargo tonne kilometres (AFTKs) increased by 25.1% year on year. In the first 11 months of 2023, the tonnage increased by 19.5% against a 64.2% increase in AFTKs and a 43.6% increase in RFTKs, as compared with the same period for 2022.

Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau said: “November is typically a slower month for our travel business. Our routes to and from the United States saw reduced demand before Thanksgiving week with less business and leisure travel around the holiday period. As there were no public holidays in November, leisure travel from Hong Kong across the network was also generally softer. Nevertheless, there were some bright spots within the network, including our India routes which saw strong Diwali traffic. Our Japan routes also saw good leisure demand for the autumn leaves.

“Air cargo demand got stronger in November as we reached the middle of the peak season. Tonnage grew around 20% compared with the same month in 2022, largely driven by seasonal sales events such as ‘Singles’ Day’ and ‘Black Friday’, the Thanksgiving holidays, as well as year-end demand as we approach the Christmas holiday period. Aside from e-Commerce, demand was also robust in traditional air cargo commodities such as high-end electronics, automotives and perishables,” Lau said.

“We are very excited to have welcomed a number of recent developments that further enhance the intermodal travel experience from the Greater Bay Area. The first was the opening of our first-ever Cathay Pacific ferry lounge at the Shekou Cruise Home Port in Shenzhen in November, enabling customers travelling via ferry codeshare to enjoy a premium lounge experience before their journey. The second was the launch of the ‘Fly-Via-Zhuhai-HK’ passenger service by Airport Authority Hong Kong in December, that enables seamless connection via Hong Kong International Airport using the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge without the need for border control clearance in Hong Kong,” Lau said.

“Meanwhile, this December will mark the first Christmas holiday period since Hong Kong’s borders fully reopened and we are very pleased to see that travel demand remains strong. Our seasonal Christchurch service returned this month – it was our first seasonal restart since the pandemic and the response from our customers has been encouraging. We are also delighted to be bringing back our First Class service on our popular New York (JFK) flights CX830/CX831 starting from 31 March 2024. In terms of cargo, the outlook for December continues to be positive. We expect demand to remain strong through to the beginning of the year-end holidays,” Lau said.

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