Yet the two airlines suffered 11.8% drop in cargo and mail tonnage.
Cathay Pacific Airways on Thursday released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for August 2011 showing a year-on-year increase in passenger numbers alongside a rise in capacity. Cargo and mail tonnage showed a significant decline compared to the same month in 2010.
Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried a total of 2,510,507 passengers last month – up 3.6% on the same month last year – while the passenger load factor fell by 0.2 percentage points to 84.2%. Capacity for the month, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), was up by 7.0%. For the year to date, the number of passengers carried increased by 2% while capacity was up by 9.1%.
The two airlines carried 131,448 tonnes of cargo and mail in August, an 11.8% decrease compared to the same month last year, while the cargo and mail load factor was down 7.8 percentage points to 64.9%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, was up by 1%, while cargo and mail tonne kilometres flown were down by 9.7%. For the year to date, tonnage has dropped by 6% compared to a capacity increase of 11.2%, according to a Cathay Pacific report.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management James Tong said: “Traffic in the summer peak remained strong and the increase in demand, measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPK) was in line with capacity growth. We continued to see a strong performance in the region, in particular from Southeast Asia, South Korea and the secondary Chinese cities, though demand in the Middle East remained weak. Our premium traffic continued to have a strong performance and we are seeing good growth in terms of both volume and yield.”
Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing James Woodrow said: "The market from Asia to Europe and Transpacific remained weak in August, though intra-Asia continued to perform solidly. Additional freighter frequencies to Australia were added for September due to strong imports driven by the strong Australian dollar. The first half of September overall remained soft as expected, though tonnages should start to gradually improve over the coming weeks."
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