Cathay Pacific Airways today released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for September 2012 that show passenger numbers, load factor and capacity all declining year on year. However, cargo and mail tonnage showed positive growth for the first time this year.
Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried a total of 2,245,995 passengers in September – a drop of 0.4% compared to the same month in 2011. The passenger load factor fell by 1.5 percentage points to 78.2%, while capacity for the month, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), declined by 2.1%. For the year to date, passenger numbers have risen by 5.9% compared to a capacity increase of 4.9%.
The two airlines carried 134,584 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, an increase of 2.4% compared to September 2011. The cargo and mail load factor was down by 2.0 percentage points to 62.8%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, decreased by 0.3%, while cargo and mail tonne kilometres flown dropped by 3.3%. For the year to date, tonnage has declined by 8.3% against a capacity drop of 4.9%.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management James Tong said: “In September we trimmed frequencies on a number of long-haul services as one of the cost-containment measures we announced in May to help manage our way through a high-fuel-price environment. Our passenger capacity will show negative growth for the remainder of 2012 and into next year. Demand in the premium cabins usually picks up after the summer holiday season but this year the pick-up has been slow, especially on regional routes. A number of major companies are still imposing restrictions on staff travel.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing James Woodrow said: “Demand out of key markets began to pick up from mid-September onwards, helped by shipments of hi-tech consumer products out of Mainland China and other manufacturing centres such as Vietnam. There was also a short pre-holiday rush in the build-up to the National Day “golden week” in the Mainland. We will operate more scheduled services to Europe and the Americas from mid-October onwards but will still fall short of the number of freighters operated in the same period in 2010. The market from Asia to Europe in particular remains weak and ultra price-competitive as supply continues to exceed demand despite the capacity cuts.”