Home » Aviation, Breaking News » HK airlines carry higher cargo volumes in April

Sister air carriers Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon showed an increase in both the number of passengers carried and the volume of cargo and mail uplifted in April 2017 compared to the same month in 2016, according to parent company Cathay Pacific Airways.

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon carried a total of 3,003,972 passengers last month, an increase of 3.2% compared to April 2016. The passenger load factor grew by 1.5 percentage points to 86.4%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometers, increased by 4.8%.

In the first four months of 2017, the number of passenger carried declined by 0.1% while capacity rose by 0.9%.

The Hong Kong-based airlines carried 163,473 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, an increase of 10.7% compared to the same month last year. The cargo and mail load factor rose by 2.2 percentage points to 65.7%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometers, was up by 2.6%, while cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometers (RTKs) increased by 6.2%.

In the first four months of 2017, the tonnage rose by 11.2% against a 1.9% increase in capacity and an 8.6% increase in RTKs.

“Passenger numbers in April were boosted by strong Easter holiday traffic out of Hong Kong,” said Patricia Hwang, Cathay Pacific general manager for revenue management. “Volumes rose ahead of the increase in capacity, which is highlighted by a rise in the load factor.”

Overall, demand for regional travel remained strong throughout the month, she noted, adding that a new Tel Aviv route was launched in March. “However, yield continues to be affected by intense competition in the market.”

Cathay Pacific general manager of cargo sales Mark Sutch said: “Our cargo business continued to show encouraging year-on-year tonnage growth. Demand from Hong Kong and key Asian markets to North America, Europe and India remained buoyant. Intra-Asia movement was boosted by strong e-Commerce traffic as well as capacity reduction in the market. Yield has continued its upward trend.”

He said the group recently announced an agreement with Atlas Air Worldwide to wet-lease two Boeing 747-8 freighters, which will supplement capacity on Cathay’s existing network.

“This will enable us to provide our customers with increased options and services from June, when most market indicators are suggesting a solid year for air cargo,” said Sutch.

Photo: John Taggart

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