AVIATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific passenger numbers up 6.9% to 2.8m in October

Cargo numbers also grew.

Cathay Pacific Airways has released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for October 2015 that show growth in both the number of passengers carried and the amount of cargo and mail uplifted compared to the same month in 2014.

According to a release from Cathay Pacific, it and Dragonair carried a total of 2,843,442 passengers last month – an increase of 6.9% compared to October 2014. The passenger load factor grew by 3.4 percentage points to 84.1% while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), grew by 6.0%.

In the year to the end of October, passenger traffic rose by 8.1% while capacity increased by 6.0%. The two airlines carried 163,733 tonnes of cargo and mail in October, an increase of 4.6% compared to the same month last year.

Here's more from Cathay Pacific:

The cargo and mail load factor rose by 1.4 percentage points to 66.5%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, rose by 0.8% while cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres (RTKs) flown increased by 2.9%.

In the year to the end of October, tonnage rose by 5.5% against a capacity increase of 6.5% and a 6.8% rise in RTKs. Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management Patricia Hwang said: “Autumn is traditionally the peak period for corporate and business travel and we did indeed see an increase in demand in our premium cabins in October, given an additional push by the Canton Fair.

However, the pick-up in premium traffic is still lagging the increase in capacity on certain longhaul routes. Demand in the Economy cabin remained robust throughout October, and the increase in load factor was above expectations. Leisure demand on long-haul routes was very strong while inter-Asia traffic was boosted by public holidays in Hong Kong and Mainland China.

Capacity and demand on our Korean routes has returned to pre-MERS levels, but at lower yield.” Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing Mark Sutch said: “Demand for airfreight shipments continued to climb as we moved into the traditional peak period.

We moved to a full freighter schedule as traffic on the transpacific routes increased and demand to and from India continued to strengthen. Our teams worked hard to push up the load factor for both freighters and passenger aircraft belly space; however, overcapacity in the market continued to put pressure on yield. Current indications are that this year’s cargo peak will run through until the end of November.”

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