July 15, 2008

Cathay Pacific Sees Passengers, Cargo Tonnage Growth in June

Cathay Pacific sees passengers, cargo tonnage growth in June

HONG KONG, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong-based aviation giant Cathay Pacific Airways continued to record growth in passengers and cargo tonnage capacity in June despite rocketing oil prices, revealed the company's latest figures here Monday.

Cathay Pacific and Dragonair, the two airlines under the same parent company, carried a total of 2,123,462 passengers, up 12.7 percent over the same month in 2007, according to the combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for June 2008.

However, the load factor was up only 0.3 percentage point to 81.3 percent in June while the month's capacity, measured in available seat kilometers (ASKs), rose 16 percent on the previous year.

For the year to date, the number of passengers carried has risen by 13.7 percent compared to a capacity rise of 14.3 percent.

Between them, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried 137,680 tons of cargo and mail last month, up 4 percent on June 2007. Capacity for the month, measured in available cargo/mail ton kilometres, grew by 2.2 percent while the cargo and mail load factor edged up by 0.5 percentage point to 67.5 percent.

Both cargo tonnage and capacity for the year to date have risen by 6.9 percent, according to the company's figures.

Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, Sales and Distribution Ian Shiu said the company's passenger demand was strong throughout June in the build-up to the summer peak.

"We have added a lot of capacity since last year, particular to India, Australia and North America, so for passenger growth to fall only marginally behind capacity growth is a creditable performance." Shiu said.

He added that advance bookings for the summer are quite healthy, but we must strike a note of caution in view of ever-increasing fuel prices and the prevailing international economic sentiment.

Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales and Marketing Titus Diu also saw a "fairly robust demand in most markets in June with the exception of Northeast Asia.

"We were pleased to see cargo and mail tonnage growth stay ahead of capacity growth," Diu said. "Our cargo business has been given a boost by the launch of passenger services to Chennai and Bengaluru, but the continued rise in jet fuel costs is having a serious impact on our bottom line."

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