AVIATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific cargo volume declines 3%

Although passenger numbers increased.

Cathay Pacific Airways recently released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for November 2015 that show a sizeable increase in the number of passengers carried but a fall in the volume of cargo and mail uplifted compared to the same month in 2014.

According to a research note from Cathay Pacific, the airline and Dragonair carried a total of 2,778,590 passengers last month – an increase of 8.1% compared to November 2014.

The passenger load factor grew by 4.5 percentage points to 84.9% while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), grew by 4.6%. In the year to the end of November, passenger traffic rose by 8.1% while capacity increased by 5.9%. The two airlines carried 160,120 tonnes of cargo and mail in November, a 3.0% decrease compared to the same month last year.

The cargo and mail load factor fell by 1.4 percentage points to 67%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, dropped by 1.2% while cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres (RTKs) flown fell by 3.2%.

Here’s more from Cathay Pacific:

In the year to the end of November, tonnage rose by 4.6% against a capacity increase of 5.7% and a 5.7% rise in RTKs. Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management Patricia Hwang said: “We saw a healthy increase in passenger numbers in November, which is traditionally one of the quieter months of the year.

Demand in the Economy cabin remained robust throughout the month, particularly to Europe, North America and on our Southwest Pacific routes. Economy Class loads within the region were also generally above expectations, particularly to Japan and Taiwan.

Traffic in the premium cabins held up well on short-haul routes, though we continued to see a shortfall on some of our key long-haul routes. This, together with factors such as unfavourable currency movements and a greater proportion of connecting traffic, put yield under considerable pressure.”

Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing Mark Sutch said: “We entered the traditional peak period for airfreight in November, but overall demand fell short of our original expectations. We saw a decline in the tonnage carried compared to the same month last year, while yield fell short of expected peak-season levels due to an excess of capacity in the market.

On the positive side, we saw good demand on transpacific routes, which remains our key area of strength, and also into and out of India. And our cargo terminal in Hong Kong recorded its highest monthly throughput since commencing operations.”

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