KARACHI: Cathay Pacific Airways on Thursday released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for January 2014 that show a year-on-year increase in passenger numbers, partially driven by the shift in the timing of Chinese New Year. Cargo and mail tonnage declined compared to the same month in 2013.
Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried a total of 2,544,259 passengers in January – an increase of 9.3% compared to the same month in 2013. The passenger load factor climbed by 4.9 percentage points to 83.4%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), increased by 3.3%
The two airlines carried 130,955 tonnes of cargo and mail in January, a drop of 1.4% compared to January 2013. The cargo and mail load factor fell by 2.5 percentage points to 60.5%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, increased by 8.3% while cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres flown were up by 4.0%.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management James Tong said: “There was strong demand for leisure travel over the Chinese New Year peak despite it following soon after the Christmas/New Year holiday. However, last month’s figures are distorted by the Lunar New Year holiday beginning earlier than in 2013. Once again the focus for holiday traffic was on Japan, Korea and leisure destinations in Southeast Asia, but we continued to see a falloff in bookings to Bangkok. Long-haul demand held up well, especially on the North American routes where we will be increasing capacity this year.”
Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing Mark Sutch said: “The markets softened quite sharply after the pre-Christmas peak and we didn’t see any significant surge in demand prior to Chinese New Year, though there were healthy imports of seafood and other perishable items into Greater China and North Asia in advance of the holidays. Demand fizzled out as the long holiday began in Mainland China and factories closed in other manufacturing centres in the region. We expect the pickup in February to be slow.”