Cathay Pacific Airways today released combined Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon traffic figures for September 2017 that show a decrease in the number of passengers carried and an increase in cargo and mail uplifted compared to the same month in 2016.
Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon carried a total of 2,639,559 passengers last month - a decrease of 1.2% compared to September 2016. The passenger load factor dropped 2.3 percentage points to 81.0%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), increased by 2.4%. In the first nine months of 2017, the number of passenger carried increased by 0.1% while capacity rose by 2.0%.
The two airline s carried 177,691 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, an increase of 9.6% compared to the same month last year. The cargo and mail load factor rose by 3.1 percentage points to 68.1%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, was up by 2.6% while cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres (RTKs) increased by 7.5%. In the first nine months of 2017, the tonnage rose by 11.6% against a 3.2% increase in capacity and a 9.3% increase in RTKs.
Cathay Pacific Director Commercial and Cargo Ronald Lam said: "Strong frontend momentum proved to be the driver for our passenger business in September, which was a result of growing demand for business traffic. After a generally lacklustre start, which was reflected by a low load factor, backend demand steadily increased and was strong in the lead up to the National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival holiday week in early October. Headwinds in the form of revenue decline persisted in several of our key long-haul markets, although our routes to Japan proved particularly popular, with a significant increase in demand recorded.
"Meanwhile, the performance of our cargo business remained robust. We ramped up our freighter capacity on transpacific, India and China routes to commensurate with growing demand, and also added a charter operation to the United States. Tonnage growth was well ahead of capacity growth, with a commendable load factor achieved on both long-haul routes as well as regional services. The week of 17-23 September saw us break the company's all time weekly uplift tonnage record. A high freight load factor has also helped to underpin a sustained recovery in cargo yields."