Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair reported a drop in combined cargo and mail traffic figures for March 2013, attributing the decline to the slow recovery of the market following the Lunar New Year holiday.
The two airlines carried 136,504 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, a fall of 5.3 percent year-over-year. The cargo and mail load factor fell by 1.9 percentage points to 66.4 percent. Capacity declined by 8.3 percent, while cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometers were down by 10.8 percent.
In the first quarter of 2013, the tonnage carried was 373,048 tonnes, a drop of 1.4 percent from the same period in 2012. Capacity decreased by 4.8 percent to 3,232,616 tonnes for the quarter compared to the corresponding period a year ago.
“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,” said James Woodrow, general manager of Cathay Pacific for cargo sales and marketing.
He added: “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.”