Cathay says pax numbers hit more than 20 million in 2023

Cathay Pacific
(PHOTO: Cathay Pacific)

Anything-LondonCathay Pacific released its traffic figures for December 2023. In the full year of 2023, the Cathay Group, comprising Cathay Pacific and HK Express, surpassed the milestone of carrying more than 20 million passengers, which compares with about three million passengers carried for the whole of 2022.

Cathay Pacific carried a total of 1,779,457 passengers in December 2023, an increase of 122.1% compared with December 2022. The month’s revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) increased 89.3% year on year. Passenger load factor decreased by 2 percentage points to 81.2%, while available seat kilometres (ASKs) increased by 94% year on year. In the full year of 2023, the number of passengers carried increased by 541.5% against a 326.8% increase in ASKs and a 396.8% increase in RPKs, as compared with 2022.

The airline carried 128,546 tonnes of cargo in December 2023, an increase of 20.7% compared with December 2022. The month’s cargo revenue tonne kilometres (RFTKs) increased 14.1% year on year. The cargo load factor decreased by 6.5 percentage points to 60.8%, while available cargo tonne kilometres (AFTKs) increased by 26.3% year on year. In the full year of 2023, the tonnage increased by 19.6% against a 59.7% increase in AFTKs and a 40.3% increase in RFTKs, as compared with 2022.

Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau said: “December traditionally marks the peak travel season and we saw many customers take advantage of the extended Christmas holiday to travel, resulting in strong demand for travel services throughout the month. There was overwhelming demand for travel to short-haul leisure destinations, with Japan and Southeast Asia being especially popular. We saw good demand for travel from the United States and the Southwest Pacific in the first half of December. The demand for travel from the United Kingdom was particularly strong as it coincided with the peak period for international students returning to Hong Kong. Furthermore, our seasonal Christchurch service, which resumed last month, was popular not only among Hong Kong customers, but also stimulated transit traffic to and from the Philippines and the United Kingdom.

“Our cargo business performed well in December, and finished on a high, primarily driven by the strong year-end demand for e-commerce products. Additionally, there was increased demand for perishable goods for the holiday season. December also saw a pickup in our Live Animal solutions with significant numbers of racehorses being moved across our network in support of the Hong Kong international race events,” Lau said. “In total, we carried almost 1.4 million tonnes of air cargo throughout 2023, compared with about 1.2 million tonnes in 2022, which was an encouraging result.

“As a Group, we made significant progress in our rebuild journey in 2023. As we look ahead to 2024, we remain committed to working towards fully rebuilding our flights, with the aim of delivering the high-quality and reliable services that Hong Kong deserves. Despite the ongoing challenges that are affecting the entire global aviation industry, we are prepared to face them, as always, with determination,” Lau said.

“The Lunar New Year is approaching and this will mark another peak travel period when people celebrate and visit loved ones. We anticipate strong demand from late January until the end of the Lunar New Year holiday. Looking further ahead, we are also delighted to announce that our popular Barcelona service will resume in June, and we look forward to welcoming customers onboard. In terms of cargo, we expect demand to steadily pick up from the second half of the month with the e-commerce demand on the Americas and European lanes remaining solid and local demand strengthening up to the Lunar New Year holidays.”


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