May 15, 2014: Cathay Pacific Airways today released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for April 2014 that show an increase in both passenger numbers and cargo and mail tonnage compared to the same month last year.
Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried a total of 2,704,741 passengers in April – an increase of 10.1% compared to the same month in 2013. The passenger load factor climbed by 3.5 percentage points to 84.7%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), increased by 6.8%. For the year to the end of April, the passenger volume rose by 5.8% compared to a 4.7% increase in capacity.
The two airlines carried 137,444 tonnes of cargo and mail in April, an increase of 11.0% compared to the same month last year. The cargo and mail load factor rose by 2.3 percentage points to 63.1%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, rose by 12.8% while cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres (RTKs) flown were up by 17.0%, mainly as a result of more transpacific flying and the impact of operating larger Boeing 747-8F freighters. For the year to the end of April, tonnage rose by 5.7% while capacity was up by 10.1% and RTKs increased by 9.7%.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management James Tong said: "The increase in passenger numbers in April was mainly due to the shift in the Easter holidays – in 2013 the main departure period for Easter fell in the last week of March. Demand in the Economy cabin was generally satisfactory throughout April, particularly on long-haul routes, though the increase in passenger numbers was at the expense of yield. Yield in the premium cabins was also under pressure and we didn't see the increase in demand expected from the Canton Fair."
Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing Mark Sutch said: "We saw an increase in demand across our freighter network in March and some of that momentum carried through into April. Traffic was also boosted by a pre-Easter rush. But while more long-haul flying and the use of bigger aircraft led to an increase in RTKs, yield continued to be on a downward trend. The general weakness of the world's airfreight markets coupled with over-capacity in the industry is putting enormous pressure on rates."
Commenting on the Cathay Pacific Group's performance over the first four months of 2014, the airline's Chief Executive, Ivan Chu, said: "Our revenue performance over the first four months of 2014 has been below expectations. Passenger numbers and load factors have increased, but yield declines have offset this to some degree. The cargo business, despite a temporary improvement in March, has continued to be weak."