Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried a total of 2,672,694 passengers last month – an increase of 1.5% compared to September 2015. The passenger load factor dropped by 0.6 percentage point to 83.3%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), increased by 2.6%. In the first nine months of 2016, the number of passengers carried rose by 1.8% compared to a 3.3% increase in capacity.
The two airlines carried 162,116 tonnes of cargo and mail in September, an increase of 7.1% compared to the same month last year. The cargo and mail load factor rose by 2.6 percentage points to 65.0%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, increased by 2.2%, while cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres (RTKs) increased by 6.3%. In the first nine months of 2016, the tonnage carried rose by 1.9% against a 0.5% increase in capacity and it was flat in RTKs.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management Patricia Hwang said: “While we saw a slight increase in passenger traffic during September, it lagged behind capacity growth. The latest addition to our network, Gatwick, is off to a good start as a result of back-to-school student demand. Influenced by fragile economies, our key sales territories of Hong Kong, Mainland China and the United States continued to show weakness. Demand for our Mainland China routes has also been affected by the substantial increase in direct capacity. Yield continues to come under intense pressure in the face of strong competition.”
Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing Mark Sutch said: “Overall cargo demand in September was fairly strong and tonnage continued to grow. Exports from Europe, Asia and Mainland China all saw good growth, while demand for freight on our North America routes was robust. The last week of the month, prior to the long national holiday in Mainland China, saw us break the company’s weekly uplift tonnage record. Although yield is down from the same period in 2015, we plan to maximise our freighter schedule over the last quarter as we expect demand to strengthen during the traditional peak season.