KARACHI: Cathay Pacific Airways on Monday released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for August 2013 that show a healthy growth in passenger numbers and a modest increase in cargo tonnage compared to the same month last year.
Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried a total of 2,749,582 passengers in August an increase of 5.3% compared to the same month last year. The passenger load factor was up 3.6 percentage points to 86.7%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres ASKs, fell by 0.4%. For the year to date, the number of passengers carried has increased by 2.6% while capacity has fallen by 3.7%.
The two airlines carried 122,724 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, a 0.3% increase on August 2012. The cargo and mail load factor fell by 3.2 percentage points to 58.7%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, rose by 6.9% while cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres were up by 1.4%. For the year to date, tonnage has fallen by 1.5% compared to a 0.3% capacity increase.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management James Tong said: “The strong demand we saw in July carried through into August with some very high load factors in our Economy cabins, particularly on long haul routes and the main holiday destinations within Asia. The fact that we saw an increase in passenger numbers despite a drop in capacity highlights the strength of traffic over the summer peak, particularly in the home market. Demand in the premium cabins was relatively soft, in line with expectations, though we expect to see an uptick as we move in the traditional peak period for corporate travel.”
Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing Mark Sutch said: “There was no real change in the market situation in August and demand was dampened further by holidays in various destinations across our network. The Europe and North Asia markets remained particularly soft, though demand on transpacific flights held up reasonably well thanks in part to the shipment of perishables. We took delivery of our 10th Boeing 7478 Freighter last month which means we are well positioned in terms of capacity for any market upturn in the latter part of the year.”