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AVIATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
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Cathay Pacific Airways passengers slid by a measly 0.1% in April

While cargo and mail uplifted volume increase.

Cathay Pacific Airways has released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for April 2016 that show a marginal year-on-year decrease in the number of passengers carried, together with a small increase in the volume of cargo and mail uplifted.

According to a press release from Cathay Pacific Airways, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried a total of 2,909,534 passengers last month – an decrease of 0.1% compared to April 2015. The passenger load factor fell by 2.3 percentage points to 84.9% while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), grew by 2.4%.

In the first four months of 2016, the number of passengers carried rose by 3.8% compared to a 5.5% increase in capacity. The two airlines carried 147,643 tonnes of cargo and mail in April, an increase of 2.1% compared to the same month last year.

The cargo and mail load factor rose by 0.9 percentage points to 63.5%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, fell by 0.8% while cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres (RTKs) rose by 0.6%. In the first four months of 2016, the tonnage carried fell by 1.8% against a 1.7% increase in capacity and a 3.4% drop in RTKs.

Here’s more from Cathay Pacific Airways:

Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management Patricia Hwang said: “We saw a general weakening in passenger demand last month across most of the markets we serve. The number of passengers carried decreased compared to the same month in 2015, despite more capacity being operated, which resulted in another drop in load factor.

April figures received a boost from Easter returning traffic and the beginning of travel for the Labour Day holidays in China, but overall we are not seeing the high volumes we saw last year. Pressure on yield remains, with competition increasing and premium demand continuing to fall short of expectations.”
Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing Mark Sutch said: “April saw a betterthan-expected performance for our cargo business, at least in terms of tonnage. We managed capacity astutely and were able to capture shipments out of key markets, including Mainland China and India, which led to a small improvement in load factor.

India remains a focus for our cargo business at the moment and we operated a number of additional services to and from the country in April in response to strong demand. The big issue at the moment is yield, which remains under intense pressure due to the overall softness of the markets and the big increase in competitor capacity.”

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