Cathay Pacific Airways Limited

6 August, 1997



Cathay Pacific Cargo reported turnover of HK$2,984 million (US$383 million) in the first six months of 1997, a 13.6 percent increase over the same period in 1996. The figure is equivalent to 20.5 percent of Cathay Pacific Airways total traffic turnover.

Cathay Pacific carried 299,821 thousand tonnes of cargo from January to June, up 13.8 percent on the same period in 1996. Cargo revenue tonne kilometres were up 18.4 percent against an increase of 5.3 percent in cargo capacity (measured in available cargo tonne kilometres). Cargo and mail load factor increased to 71.2 percent.

"It has been a very good first half for the cargo side of the operation," said James Barrington, Cathay Pacific's General Manager Cargo. "We have exceeded our targets and taken advantage of some excellent opportunities to boost yields and revenue."

A significant contribution in the first half was predicated on steadier yields in long haul markets and improved load factors. Reduction in unit costs was also an important factor. "We have been quite successful in keeping control of costs, and the improved result is a reflection of efforts such as the use of crews supplied by Aircrew Services Limited," said Mr Barrington. "The strategy is working."

Overall capacity saw much slower growth during this period than over the past several years due to a natural break in Cathay Pacific's aircraft acquisition plan. "Kai Tak airport is very full and we are gearing up for a large growth spurt when Chek Lap Kok opens. At that time we'll see further increases in capacity," said Mr Barrington.

The resumption of Chicago services while relinquishing of Nagoya also had a positive effect on revenues in addition to making more economic use of equipment.

The suspension of A330-300 services in May, due to reliability concerns over the Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engine, caused fewer repercussions for Cargo than it did on the passenger side, said Mr Barrington. "Our freighter services were entirely unaffected, and in fact worked a little bit harder to pick up some of the A330-300 fleet task."

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