AVIATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific's passenger count drops 90% in March

Revenue passenger kilometres likewise fell by 84.3%.

Passengers carried through Cathay Pacific Group’s Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon airlines’ plummeted by 90% YoY to 311,128 passengers in March. On a quarterly basis, passenger movements plunged 52% YoY in Q1.

Similarly, its revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) fell 84.3% YoY in the same month. Passenger load factor also slid by 34.6 percentage points (ppt) to 49.3%, whilst capacity dropped by 73.2%.

The two airlines combined carried 119,277 tonnes of cargo and mail, showing a 35.6% YoY fall. Revenue freight tonne kilometres (RFTKs) also crashed 29% YoY. Cargo and mail load factor increased by 9 ppt to 77.4%, whilst capacity was down by 37.2%.

Cathay will be operating a bare skeleton passenger flight schedule in April and May, comprising only 3% of the airline’s normal capacity.

Cathay has been adding cargo capacity through freighter flights and 257 pairs of cargo-only passenger flights in March and is expected to do the same this April. Flights will include long-haul routes such as the Southwest Pacific, where air cargo capacity is said to be extremely tight.

In addition, the commodity mix changed with a surge in the transportation of medical supplies, whilst the volume of consumer goods such as garments and automobile parts declined. These trends reflected the capacity reductions for March 2020 with tightened travel restrictions and quarantine requirements implemented in Hong Kong and other markets.

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