KARACHI: Cathay Pacific Airways on Thursday released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for March 2013 that show an increase in the number of passengers carried compared to the same month in 2012, alongside a decrease in cargo and mail tonnage.
Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried a total of 2,550,108 passengers in March – an increase of 6.7% compared to the same month last year. The passenger load factor climbed by 4.0 percentage points to 83.4%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), fell by 6.6%. In the first quarter of 2013, the number of passengers carried showed a 2.8% increase against a capacity decline of 6.4%.
The two airlines carried 136,504 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, a drop of 5.3% compared to March 2012. The cargo and mail load factor fell by 1.9 percentage points to 66.4%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, declined by 8.3%, while cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres were down by 10.8%. In the first quarter of 2013, the tonnage drop of 1.4% compared to a 4.8% capacity decrease.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management James Tong said: “The pick-up in our passenger business continued to gather pace in March, boosted by the Hong Kong Sevens and the start of the Easter peak. Demand in all cabins was robust throughout the month and we mounted a number of additional flights to cater for demand over the Easter and Ching Ming holiday period. We also began to restore some of the flights that were cancelled last year as part of our cost-saving initiatives. Flights were added back on the Toronto and Los Angeles routes at the end of March, and New York will resume to four flights a day from September.”
Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing James Woodrow said: “We saw little change in the overall market situation in March. Demand was slow to recover from the extended closure of factories over the Chinese New Year period in February, and there was no significant surge out of our two key markets, Hong Kong and Mainland China. The major airfreight markets have been soft for two years now and, with no sign of any sustained pick-up in sight, we will continue to manage our freighter capacity in line with market demand.”