KARACHI: Cathay Pacific Airways on Wednesday released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for January 2013 that show a drop in the number of passengers carried compared to the same month in 2012, alongside a significant year-on-year increase in cargo and mail tonnage.
Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried a total of 2,327,071 passengers in January – a drop of 7.3% compared to the same month last year. The passenger load factor fell by 3.4 percentage points to 78.5%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), saw a 6.3% decline.
The two airlines carried 132,792 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, an increase of 14.2% compared to January 2012. The cargo and mail load factor rose by 3.1 percentage points to 63%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, rose by 2.4%, while cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres were up by 7.7%.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management James Tong said: “Year-on-year comparisons for January’s passenger business are distorted by the holiday effect – last year the Chinese New Year peak was in January while this year the holiday fell in February.”
“The drop in passenger numbers is partly attributed to the impact of the holiday and also to the fact that we trimmed our capacity. Passenger demand on long-haul routes remained reasonably strong though the performance on regional routes was softer than anticipated. There was no significant pick-up in demand in the premium cabins following the Christmas/New Year break.”
Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing James Woodrow said: “Demand was generally quite robust out of our key Hong Kong and Mainland China markets in January, though we didn’t see any significant pre-Chinese New Year rush as in previous years.”
We have reduced our base freighter schedule to Europe in light of the continued weakness in demand on the Asia to Europe lanes. We will continue to adjust our capacity in line with demand and push ahead with the modernisation of our freighter fleet. Another Boeing 747-400 converted freighter will be taken out of service in February.”